Best Montreal Record Stores?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by AidanB, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. AidanB

    AidanB Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Indiana, USA
    My family and I are going to be in Montreal, Quebec for the Montreal Jazz Fest in July. Anyone know some great record stores in the area? Also, is there going to be much of a language barrier there? I've never been to Canada, or anywhere outside of the US for that matter, so I'm a bit nervous about how bad the language barrier would be in the Frenchy part of Canada. Thanks!
  2. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I wouldn't worry about the language barrier in Montreal. A lot of people speak English and in some cases, as my bilingual friend found out when he tried to order a sub at Subway in French, some people only speak English. :) But seriously, you'll be fine.

    Records stores...I can't remember all the ones my friend told me he hit up and had great success at. But Aux 33 Tours was one of his favourites. Accueil »

    He also mentioned Atom Heart Atom Heart » which made's best record stores in the world list: The world’s best record shops #017: Atom Heart, Montreal »

    That's about all I can remember. I'll ask him for any others though.
    Simon A likes this.
  3. Simon A

    Simon A Arrr!

    I've worked at quite a few of them. Two places not to miss:


    Nick knows his stuff. He's been in the business for over forty years and loves records. His true passion is Soul Music and he can recommend some amazing stuff. His store is the real thing. Small, cramped spaces with too many LPs and CDs all over the place. The store is divided into four rooms. You'll want to spend hours digging. Should you be looking for specific records, make sure to send a list a few days in advance. Nick has a wharehouse where he keeps overstock so if they don't have it instore, they may still have it at the wharehouse or even in his private collection. I was a customer there long before I worked for him and it's the only place I buy vinyl in Montreal. Nick is my favourite record grader in North America. The other one is the owner of Saturn records in California.

    To sum up: best bang for the buck in a real Old School record shop.

    Here's indie documentary about the return of vinyl in Montreal that was shot about seven years ago. Much of it was shot at the store.

    The other one is Aux 33 Tours (meaning at 33 rpm).

    It is the largest in Montreal and you'll probably find something there as well. I've worked there as well. I admit only buying there about once or twice every five years. It's just not for me.

    There are at least a dozen of other stores, but I've never been that impressed with what they offer.

    Send me a PM if you want to know some great places to eat. :)

    Have fun!
  4. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    I highly recommend stopping in at Aux 33 Tours. I was up there last fall when I was on vacation in Montreal. I went to at least half a dozen shops and that one was by far the best, IMO.

    Don't worry about the language barrier. Almost everyone speaks at least a little English in the city. I don't speak a word of French and I've never had a problem at all in Montreal.
  5. countingbackward

    countingbackward Forum Resident

    Montreal, QC
    My favorite is Aux 33 Tours - great selection of new and used records, and among the used records you can find UK pressings of UK artists from time to time, and you can regularly find Japanese pressings of most major artists. It has everything from cheap used records to audiophile issues and collector's box sets. I don't shop classical, so it doesn't bother me that their classical selection isn't on par with the rest of their store. I'd say that it's the record store with the best balance of inventory I've shopped in...they really understand that the key to the modern record store business is to have a really good buyer.

    On the next rung are L'Oblique and Cheap Thrills. L'Oblique is tiny, but I still regularly find stuff there, and they have a good selection of concert tickets with minimal service charges. Cheap Thrills IMHO is not anywhere near what it was in its hey-day of late 80's/early 90's on account of less friendly, excessively hipster-ish staff. Still though - you can find some hard-to-find used stuff there as they have a loyal customer base that will sell them the "good" stuff. It's just not as much fun to shop there as it used to be.

    And those are the 3 I spend the most time in! Never got into Beatnick...too many bootlegs mixed casually into their bins, makes it confusing to shop there.

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