Friday, December 9, 2016


Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With 50 record shops in Toronto, most of them in and around downtown you may want to set aside some time to get to these. I am unsure how 50 some shops can all co-exist but they somehow manage. Vinyl pricing around town is generally CAN $7-8 and up for a clean LP. There are some $5 LP's to be had and I even found some $1 and $2 bargains. The exchange rate vs the US dollar is currently quite favorable at CAN $1.32 for one USD. Considering the current exchange rate I did OK in Toronto and you should too!

Toronto is a beautiful well balanced international city, you will find all sorts of great places to eat and shop. The record shops are pretty much walking distance, sometimes a long walk, you will definitely get some serious steps in if you do chose to walk. There is a pretty good subway, bus and light rail system. Traffic in Toronto is awful and parking is about $20 a day near downtown. With that in mind your best bet may be to either book a hotel walking distance from a bus or other public transportation and get into downtown that way or pay the $20 to park all day in a parking structure and then take a subway into downtown.

Toronto light rail and Kops Records

June Records - June is a nice shop with good prices. New and used vinyl. They had an excellent selection of 45's with good pricing on those as well. Friendly staff. I picked up lots of nice 45's and quite a few LP as well, this was in the late afternoon and my vinyl record backpack was already getting heavy, I stuffed a bunch more vinyl from June in my bag and bounced to the next shop. I will be back to June Records for sure. Recommended. 662 College Street.


Good Music - This shop is really cool and the lady who owns it was super nice and helpful. Located in the little Portugal district. Good prices here on used vinyl. I picked up some Led Zep, Stones, Queen and lots more. All Canadian pressings of course! The shop looks like they could pack up and bug out in a few hours if they had to, not a lot in the shop other than the vinyl. This shop is definitely on my hit again list next time I am here. Recommended. 1611 Dundas Street West.


Rotate This - A decent shop, mostly new vinyl and newer artists. They also serve as a ticket outlet for local concerts. In the back of the shop I found a dollar bin and did amazingly well digging through there.
186 Ossington Ave.


BMV Books - I wasn't expecting too much from a book store, but downstairs I found a very nice selection of used vinyl, all genres and a small but cool selection of 45's. Canadian pressings of course. Good pricing on par with the rest of Toronto. I bought a bunch of records here. I had a nice conversation with the clerk about other shops that I should be visiting in Toronto, very helpful. Recommended. 471 Bloor Street West.


Kops - 3 locations around Toronto, I went to 2 of them. I did pretty good at the Bloor street location and so-so at the Queen st location. Good prices, some mark down bins, the 45's are on the high end starting at 4 bucks. Both of the shops I went to were well stocked with all genres and friendly staff.

592 Bloor Street West
229 Queen Street West

Upstairs 45 room at Queen st.
Sonic Boom - Chain store. Very good selection of both used LP's and 45's. Decent prices as well. I found a Tubes Canadian promo for 2 bucks and a bunch of cool 45's. Located in Chinatown area. Recommended. 215 Spandia Ave.

Neurotica - This shop is very close to Kops on Bloor street, when I was here the owner was having a 35% off moving sale. So he is moving to another location in town, not sure where. The condition of his records are not as awesome as some of the other shops in town so check condition. I did manage to find a couple of Robert Fripp 45's from the UK, a Queen 45 (Canada) and some Cheech and Chong LP's (Canada). I would surely go back if I were in town. Recommended. 585 Markham Street.

Cosmos - Nice little shop. Pretty good prices. Friendly owner. I bought a few LP's, some 45's and bounced out. Cosmos have 2 locations the 607 Queen W has all genres, the 652 shop specializes in Jazz.  607A Queen West / 652 Queen West.

On my walk from Cosmos to the next shop on my list I found a cool fish n chips joint called Chippy's. I looked at my watch, it was noon, time for lunch!
Chippy's Fish and Chips. 893 Queen Street W

Grasshopper Records - I stopped by at 1pm, Grasshopper was closed. I was told by another shop that they keep odd hours, try 1am and maybe they will be open. I understand they sell Hip Hop mostly. 1167 Dundas Street West.

Henry's Records - I didn't really have lots of time to shop at Henry's so I made a 15 minute pop in to check things out. Henry's is off the beaten path, not in downtown (not even Toronto technically) and located in the rear area of an industrial park complex. Henry is a super nice guy. I was looking at 45's, he asked what I was looking for I told him at that moment Canadian 45 company sleeves. He said pick some out and we'll talk. I picked some out, handed them to him and he GAVE them to me! He said 'those are a Canadian gift from me to you'!  Wow. Thank you Henry, I will be back when I have more time. 'Henry, do you mind if I take a picture of your shop for my blog'? No, go right ahead'! Henry is cool.
130 Shorting Road, Scarborough


Here is a link where you can find a comprehensive list and address of all the record shops in Toronto:

Happy hunting!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rochester, NY

The Bop Shop - The best shop that I have been to in Rochester. Well organized, decent prices and the stock is in nice condition. I like the new location. Spent about a hour and a half here and walked with a nice stack of records. The girl working there was friendly. I will be back. Highly Recommended. 1460 Monroe Ave.

Record Archive - Super big store with tons of inventory. The higher priced LP's are on a wall cataloged like a library which makes it difficult to flip. The collectors records are hanging on a wall, some nice stuff there but a bit pricey. There are lot's of other interesting things in this shop as well, like a dinosaur and crazy gift items. I have been here twice now and only managed to find one LP I wanted. They have some 3 and 5 dollar LP's but they are mostly common. This place is fun to just walk around and look at all the stuff and there is lots of stuff. This place is certainly worthy of a good look. Recommended. 33 1/3 Rockwood street.


Lakeshore Record Exchange - This is a nice medium sized shop however I didn't find too much of interest to me. Lots of new vinyl, some second hand. I did buy several used 7 inch records very cheap here. If you are in town and have time, stop by. 370 Park Ave.


Other shops in Rochester that I didnt have the time on this trip to check out: (next time)

Record Time - 60 Crittenden Blvd #1305
Round Cat Records - 277 Mount Ridge Cir.
House of Guitars - 645 Titus Ave.
Needle Drop Records - 304 Gregory st.
Heavy Metal Records - 75 W. Main St.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mobile, AL

Mobile Records - The last time I was in Mobile back in 2012 there were no record shops in town. I see somebody had the intelligence to open one up here. Good move. No competition. The shop is owned by Keith Glass a guy who moved here from Australia, he's a friendly guy and he and his staff are very knowledgeable about music and helpful as well. The shop is a bit disheveled with LP's packed too tightly in the bins and LP's on the floor that you may trip over but that's a small price to pay to shop in the only record store in town. There are plenty of records to flip through and keep you busy for awhile. Something for everybody. All genres. The condition of some of the LP's well, they were a bit too scratchy for my taste but for someone else maybe that's OK. Don't worry, keep looking you are bound to find something you just have to have. Mobile Records is quite the hang out, during the 2 hours I was there two different people came in bringing with them records to play in store. The owner put them on and everybody listened and then there were comments and discussion. I thought that was pretty cool. I did find several records here at a good price.

I returned 3 days later and Mobile Records just happened to have their semi-annual backdoor sale and quite a few people came out for the .25 cent records. They had a BBQ out back going and it was just a really good time. Glad to see a proper shop open here now.  Highly Recommended. 140 S Sage Ave #B

"Mind if I take a photo of your shop"?   "No, go right ahead"!
Backdoor Sale

James is no longer at the Mobile Flea Market but this guy is (below).... his common records have prices that are out there. I didn't have to hang around too long. I moved onto the pigs, chickens, airbrushed T-shirts and hipster beenies 

My 2012 Mobile, AL post: