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Past TOURS / For the Record

For the Record

We got to know some of the people, places, and stories of Toronto’s unique record store scene. On this tour, we visited indie record stores of Toronto’s past and present, and heard stories from key players in the community.

In the past few decades, the way we listened to music had transformed – and so had our city.

On this tour, we explored Toronto’s unique community of record stores and enthusiasts– an unlikely tale of retro resilience.

As vinyl has withstood the journey from record player to smartphone streaming, Toronto’s record stores have stood strong – often serving as informal hubs for the city’s music scene, creating space for marginalized communities, and championing emerging musical movements, from reggae and punk to hip-hop and electronica.

This tour took people down Spadina Avenue, through Kensington Market, and Queen West, visiting a network of these vital spaces. Usually the passion projects of devoted music fans, today’s record stores bridge the gap between specialist and general interest.

During this tour we tuned in to the groove of our city with stories from shop owners, employees, patrons, and DJs – demystifying the “High Fidelity” record-store experience.

Developed in collaboration with Jonny Dovercourt and Paul E Lopes.

Dates + Times

Sunday, June 18th @ 2 pm
Sunday, June 18th @ 4:30 pm
Sunday, June 25th @ 2 pm
Sunday, June 25th @ 4:30 pm

More About This Tour


Meeting point: Play De Record (411 Spadina Ave.)
End point: 801 Queen St W, former site of Rotate This
Length of the tour: 75-90 minutes
Total active walking time: 45-55 minutes
Total walking distance: 3km
Longest walking time between stops: 10–12 minutes


Jonny Dovercourt
A 20+ year veteran of the Toronto music community, Jonny Dovercourt (a.k.a. Jonathan Bunce) has been praised everywhere from City Hall to The New York Times for his contributions to the arts and culture in this city. Co-founder and Artistic Director of the groundbreaking non-profit organization and concert series Wavelength Music, Jonny has also worked for arts institutions including long-running new music space The Music Gallery, small-press stalwarts Coach House Books, and the Images Festival of experimental film and video. The author of the acclaimed book Any Night of the Week: A D.I.Y. History of Toronto Music 1957-2001 (Coach House Books, 2020), his writing has also appeared in Eye Weekly, the Huffington Post, Now Magazine, MusicWorks, Exclaim and CBCMusic.ca. As a musician, he has performed as part of a dozen different ensembles, including The Hidden Cameras, Republic of Safety, and Several Futures, and performed across North America and Europe.

Paul E. Lopes
Paul E. Lopes began DJing in 1983 at block parties held in his Toronto neighbourhood. He hosted and produced his groundbreaking college radio show Vibes N’ Stuff on CIUT 89.5FM in addition to spinning the legendary Bump N’ Hustle parties for two decades!


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