The best places to shop for vinyl in Hamilton

And most of them have sweet deals for Record Store Day


RECORD STORE DAY at various stores Saturday (April 22). recordstoreday.com.


Work in Toronto but commute back to Hamilton for weekends? Live in Hamilton after being priced out of Toronto? Here are the four main, Hamilton non-chain mom-and-pop stops taking part in Record Store Day festivities, along with a few non-RSD-approved places having celebrations of their own. As for Toronto, 11 stores are officially taking part. See the full list – and the exclusives on offer here.

Dr. Disc (20 Wilson, 905-523-1010, drdisc.ca) was Hamilton’s first Record Store Day participant. Long known as the city’s go-to store for rap, dance and alternative, it consistently has lineups down the block for its 9 am opening on RSD. No in-store discounts on the day, but buyers get buy-one-get-one-free coupons for future used LP purchases. The store is super-active on social media: @drdischamilton

Cheapies (67 King East, 905-523-0296, cheapiesrecords.ca) is downtown Hamilton’s oldest and largest record store. Opened in 1978, the 4,000-square-foot King Street mainstay usually has the largest selection of RSD product front-racked when you enter, but the real deals are in the discounted new vinyl area behind the customer service desk halfway back. Cheapies also has the largest selection of LP boxed sets in the city, hands down. Opens at 9 am.

Revolution Records (166 Ottawa North, 289-389-7746) is the newest record store in town, located in the middle of what’s now referred to as the “Ottawa Street record alley.” Last year Revolution had the lowest prices in the city on RSD releases. This year its entire stock is tax-free for the day. There are always great albums in the used bargain bins – if you’re lucky, you’ll find (pre-Black Mountain) Jerk With a Bomb LPs for under four dollars.

Records on Wheels (34 King East, Dundas, 905-627-7706) is a diamond in the rough, located on the western edge of Greater Hamilton in picturesque Dundas. Long known as one of Ontario’s destinations for progressive rock, folk and blues, the store mainly carries RSD product that relates to its regular stock, and owner Mike Clasen is extremely knowledgable about his inventory. Opens at 8 am, with everything in the store discounted by at least 10 per cent. 

Although not official RSD participants, the Hammer’s two punk-centric stores are also worth checking out.

Hammer City Records (228 James North, basement at rear, 905-546-PUNX, fb.com/hammercityrecords) has Hamilton’s best collection of new DIY punk and hardcore vinyl. Its owners also operate the label Schizophrenic Records, and in past years have done limited runs of their own releases to coincide with RSD, including special pressings by Rammer and Haymaker.

Crash Landing (1189 Cannon East, 905-548-0039) is just steps west of Ottawa Street. This music instrument store always has a great selection of used punk, metal, blues and classic rock and only carries a handful of new releases, mostly from Hamilton’s Rebel Time Records and the all-metal reissue imprint War On Music. You won’t find any RSD official releases here, but the store generally has a RSD sale on everything. 

Two final best bets: Stardust Records (124 Ottawa North, 905-545-4011, stardustrecords.ca), an oldies shop with the biggest selection of 45s in the city and Books & Beats (1565 Barton East), a stall in Haggler’s Flea Market run by longtime Hamilton club DJ Douglas Middlemiss that focuses on UK indie and Britpop. 

music@nowtoronto.com | @seanpalmerston

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