Nobody saw it coming, but soon enough, good old-fashioned vinyl records will outsell CDs for the first time since the 80s. And if you’re in the mood to start (or perhaps restart) your record collection, look no further than Vancouver. The city’s known for its bustling culture of vintage shopping, and nothing screams vintage more than vinyl – so here’s a handy list of five great Vancouver record shops.
Vancouver’s oldest independent record is a favorite of local residents due to its massive collection of new and used records (the largest in the city) as well as the famed, limited-release selections one can find here every Record Store on April 18th.
Where: 3561 Main Street
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-6:30pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
Beat Street Records
Located just a minute’s walk from the Lookout, this renown shop carries approximately 50,000 records in stock – so you can’t go wrong here, whether you’re looking for a shiny new release, rare collector’s item, or something from the bargain bin. They also sell DJ supplies, vintage collectibles, and even cassettes, making this a heaven for music lovers. And unlike most other Vancouver vinyl stores, they’re also willing to buy your records – visit their website to learn more!
Where: 439 W Hastings Street
Hours: Sunday to Tuesday 12pm-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 12pm-7pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-8pm
Noize to Go Records
Recently finding a new home on Union Street in 2014 after being evicted from its previous location, this small and charming shop on the of edge of Chinatown specializes in second-hand and collectible records. Friendly, knowledgeable staff make it easy to locate whatever rare album you’ve been itching to put your hands on. The owner, Dale Weise, has been a mainstay of the Vancouver vinyl community for years, so you can be certain you’re in good hands when you visit his shop.
Where: 243 Union Street
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12:30pm-6:30pm, Sunday 1pm-5:30pm, Monday 2:30pm-6:30pm
Red Cat Records
Recently voted by customers as one of the ten best independent record shops in Canada (CBC Radio 3 Searchlight), this quirky store is so-named after Buddy the Cat, who unfortunately passed away in 2006 (but not before leaving behind a great legacy, including a concept album by Ray Cooder that was inspired by him). The gang at Red Cat has recently opened a second location in the Hasting-Sunrise neighborhood. Both locations have a fantastic library of new and used vinyl as well as an assortment of turntables and speakers. Make sure to check out their website’s “staff top 10 lists” section for some great recommendations.
Where: 4332 Main Street and 2447 E Hastings Street
- Main Street location: Monday to Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday to Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-6pm.
- Hastings location: Monday to Thursday 11am-6:30pm, Friday to Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 11am-6pm.
Though a little ways away from downtown Vancouver, Zulu Records was a finalist in CBC Radio 3’s Searchlight contest to find Canada’s best record shop – and they have much more than just vinyl. They sell silkscreen posters, turntable equipment, concert tickets, and even host the occasional live performance of a local band or artist. Also under the same roof as Zulu Records you can find
Videomatica, a specialty video store where you can find a wide variety of blu-rays, DVDs and even laserdiscs (yes, those still exist).
Where: 1972 W 4th Avenue
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:30am-7pm, Thursday to Friday 10:30am-9pm, Saturday 9:30am-6:30pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm