If you’re a music lover, a vinyl collector, or simply looking for a way to connect with the neighbourhood, checking out the eclectic mix of local record stores is a fun way to see the sights and pick up some new albums. Especially since several of the best shops are easy walking distance if you’re staying on the Plateau. Montreal has long had a passionate music scene, producing greats such as Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire, Rufus Wainwright, and The Stills. As inspired new artists continue to emerge in nearly every genre, many neighbourhood record stores carry local artists’ recordings on vinyl. So as you search for old favourites, you might just discover something new. Here are some of the best shops nearby.
Stocking both new and used records, Beatnik has a large and well-organized collection. They are definitely a stop for serious collectors, and you are likely to find hidden gems and rare items among their impressive selection and wide range of genres. Prices are average, but you are may find a deal or two here and there, and their albums are in great condition. Take advantage of the friendly, knowledgeable staff for recommendations or help finding what you’re looking for.
Where: 3770 St Denis
Specializing in second-hand vinyl, this grungy music haven has a great punk section and also serves coffee. As well as a wide selection of underground artists, they have neat décor, with part of the ceiling lined with records and funky art/album covers on the walls. Located in the heart of the Plateau, you can easily spend a chunk of time browsing and playing albums at their listening station.
Where: 4486 Coloniale (Corner of Mont-Royal)
Le Pick up
Le Pick up is definitely a favourite. Located on Avenue des Pins it has great prices and a huge selection of 45s. It’s not terribly organized, but since it’s a fairly small place, it’s pleasant to flip through their selection if you have the time, and a lovely way to spend part of your afternoon. The owner is super knowledgeable and helpful if you’re looking for something in particular. They also have used books – mostly classics – in both English and French at very cheap prices. Genres include Rock, Jazz, Punk Garage, Rock ‘n Roll, 50’s, 60’s, Electro, Disco, Psychobilly, Country, Metal, Soul and more.
Where: 169 Pins Ave E.
Situated on the corner of Marianne and Rivard, this small record store has been in existence since 1987, and has a great selection of local artists. It’s the place to go for emerging independent artists recordings and to get a taste for the underground music scene in Montreal. They carry both new and used vinyl.
Where: 4333 Rivard (Corner of Marianne)