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  #1  
Old 12-09-2019, 02:45 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Default Canadians, tell us about YOUR favorite Canadian music stores

Virtually all of my guitar shopping in Canada has been done in the greater Vancouver, BC area, where I've shopped at both Long & McQuade and Tom Lee Music stores. I did visit a few music stores in Victoria when I was there close to twenty years ago now, but I can't assume that all of those stores are still in operation.

So what music stores do you all like? My buddy Fred in Coquitlam is a fan of the Twelfth Fret in Toronto, which means it's got to be an exceptionally good store because Fred is a knowledgeable and discerning customer. But I'd like to solicit your favorites from all of you because:

1.) Once I get beyond the Greater Vancouver area I don't know diddly squat about what other stores in your country there might be;

and

2.) I can't recall EVER seeing a thread on this forum where Canadians have talked about the stores they like - or, for that matter - dislike.


I'm interested in reading what you have to say.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:50 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Bump: I know there have to be at LEAST two or three Canadians who participate on this guitar forum.....


whm
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2019, 05:54 AM
hilts hilts is offline
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Here in Ottawa, I frequent Long & McQuade as it's a 5 min drive from my house. Very large store that has everything and staff has always been very helpful. Never bought a guitar there but I buy all my strings, accessories, etc there. All my guitars have been bought used privately, except for my Martin which I bought from MFG in Florida. Hey, I like the idea of supporting local businesses but even more, I like the idea of saving over $1,000 on the cost of a new guitar.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:02 AM
DownUpDave DownUpDave is offline
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I live just outside of Toronto. Long and McQuad is the big nation wide chain. Don’t think Guitar Center in the US this is a family owned and run business. Staff is always great, the ordering, purchasing and return experience has always been stellar.

The 12th Fret is a must see if you are in Toronto. They have been a musical instrument institution for decades, carry a great assortment of high end and vintage.

North of Toronto is Cosmo Music, a huge super store that is another must see. Really well done, knowledgeable staff and a HUGE amount of every kind of musical instrument imaginable. As well as stage and sound equipment. They even have a piano room with lots of pianos
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:04 AM
beatcomber beatcomber is offline
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I donít have much to add, except a comment. I was in Montreal a couple of months ago, and stopped into a guitar shop. It was neat seeing so many domestic Canadian brands on display, mostly from the Godin family.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:28 AM
Rockysdad Rockysdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Bump: I know there have to be at LEAST two or three Canadians who participate on this guitar forum.....


whm
There are indeed, but, we don't all live in Canada
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:39 AM
Norsepicker Norsepicker is offline
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Default 12th fret

I second the love for 12th fret. I got a deal on a beautiful luthier guitar (Ron Belanger 12 string) they shipped to me. Exceeded expectation - gorgeous. Had great conversations with the guys there, one of whom told me Toronto is a ďhotbed for luthiers.Ē If you look through their stock youíll see what they mean. Iím not Canadian, but they shipped it to me.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:00 AM
ship of fools ship of fools is offline
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Default Hey Wade old friend

https://www.bluedogguitars.com/?gcli...SAAEgJQM_D_BwE these two kids are just wonderful Wade I know you'd fall in love with the shop and of course these two crazy kids for even opening a shop there are great.
And of course there is Rufus guitar shop. http://www.rufusguitarshop.com/
another wonderful little gem that every once in a while has some great picks.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:01 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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I'm in Ottawa but I've had experiences around Ontario and Quebec. Here are the ones I like that are still around:

Ottawa:
- Lauzon Music. High end shop with a great selection. They carry a lot of brands and models no one else does. Purchased a lot of guitars etc. from them over the years.
- Long and McQuade (3 here in town). Really excellent big box stores. Purchased a lot of guitars etc. from all three locations.

Toronto:
- Twelfth Fret. High end shop with great selection. Lots of new and used and vintage. Boutique and otherwise too. Had a bad experience with their repair shop. They did fix their screw up though.

Guelph/Waterloo:
- Folkway Music. High end mostly vintage and boutique shop. Real experts in the field. Top notch repairs too.

Thunder Bay:
- Music World. Really excellent family owned business. Purchased a lot of gear from them when I lived there.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:11 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
North of Toronto is Cosmo Music, a huge super store that is another must see. Really well done, knowledgeable staff and a HUGE amount of every kind of musical instrument imaginable. As well as stage and sound equipment. They even have a piano room with lots of pianos
Dave, when I was at the first Fretboard Summit guitar gathering in California a few years ago, I met a Canadian music store owner or manager who was a great left handed guitarist. I first saw him playing a right-handed guitar upside down, the way that Elizabeth Cotton used to play and Bill Staines still plays. A day or two later he was playing a left-handed guitar right side up. And playing it VERY well.

I told him Iíd seen him playing like Elizabeth Cotton a day or two earlier, and he laughed and said: ďOh, yeah, thatís my little parlor trick. Itís pretty useful, too, because I can check out the sound and playability of the right-handed guitars we get in the store.Ē

Then I told him that whenever Iím getting ready to teach a class, workshop or private student that I will pick up my instrument and deliberately play it left-handed, just to remind myself of how awkward and physically painful it is for beginners to get started playing stringed instruments.

He thought a moment and said: ďThatís a really good idea. Iím going to tell our teachers at the store to start doing that.Ē

Anyway, is there any possibility that the guy I met runs Cosmo Music? Left-handed, in his thirties or maybe a very youthful forty, dark haired? He told me the name of the store but I donít remember what it was. I had heard of the Twelfth Fret before, so if that had been it I would remember.


whm
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:01 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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In the prairies we have Sawchyn's in Regina. He is authorized dealer for Martin, Guild, Sigma, Eastman, and also has a lot of other brands and vintage instruments around. Builds fantastic guitars and mandolins. His shop is also a hangout for local musicians, so chances are always good to run into the one or other Juno nominee or winner.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:12 AM
Tube Sound Tube Sound is offline
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In Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, is Arbutus Music. They always have quite a range of vintage guitars, which is where I linger. Owned by Richard Leighton, who has a long history in guitar shops and repair. The staff is friendly, eager to help and no pressure. Their inventory online is not frequently updated, walk in the store or call. https://arbutusmusic.com/

In Waterloo, Ontario, The Fishin' Musician. I just love the name. Interesting vintage inventory, small shop, nice guys. https://fishinmusicianstore.com/
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:21 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube Sound View Post
In Waterloo, Ontario, The Fishin' Musician. I just love the name.
SCTV! Here's one of my favorite episodes:

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Old 12-09-2019, 10:10 AM
aw meyer aw meyer is offline
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Hey Wade, I haven't chatted with you in some time. I live in Burnaby, BC. For years the highest end shop was Rufus guitar shop in Vancouver. It features higher end Martins and Collings guitars. A few years ago a new shop opened in North Vancouver called Blue Dog Guitars. They feature a lot of high end guitars.
www.bluedogguitars.com. They have made it mostly a "by appointment only" shop. The two folks that originally owned are very good friendly folks. I've
played some amazingly good guitars there, but I'm in a position where I can't afford any of the their guitars, with the exception a few.

I have bought two Bourgeois guitars and a Collings OM from a fella I met several years ago who lives in Calgary. His name is Mike McLeod. He operates from his house in Calgary on a by appointment only basis. He has a website www.accousticguitar.net. He's happy to ship the guitars to me at little or no extra cost. I make it a point to visit him any time I'm in Calgary.

I've been to the 12th Fret a couple of times. Great selection and friendly staff. I've purchased several guitar related items --strings, tuners, etc.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:46 AM
Jaden Jaden is online now
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On mid central Vancouver Island I frequent Long & McQuade in Nanaimo and Tom Lee Music. Although the region is fairly non descript/ not urban sophisticated, it is home to a continuing inflow of retirees from continental Canada who appreciate the mild climate and have a comfortable life style, time and money, together with a very healthy population of retired guitar nerds and folkies, so between these two stores and private sales, plus trips to Vancouver, the south west coast is a friendly place for acoustic guitarists and equally as important, luthiers and repair techs.
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