A much-loved Toronto record store that supported the local independent music scene will close by June 1.
Soundscapes, located at 572 College St., drew lineups on Saturday and Sunday for its closing sale, which began on Wednesday and will continue until the store closes its doors. The store has been in business for 22 years. It opened in August 1999.
“A big thank you to all of our loyal customers through the years! You have made it all worthwhile and we so appreciate your support for us through the good times and lean times,” a note on the store window reads.
“We are all lucky to be living in a golden age for musical discovery. The past twenty years produced musical riches aplenty, both from new artists, as well as the discovery of archival releases from the past. We hope you have enjoyed the music we were lucky enough to recommend and sell to you over the years.”
Phil Liberbaum, senior staff clerk at Soundscapes, said on Sunday in a brief interview before the store opened that the store has received much support since it announced that it has to close.
“The show of love, adoration and support we have all had here has been amazing. It’s been wonderful,” he said.
In an article in Now Magazine, Liberbaum elaborated on the reasons for the impending closure.
“Ever since the pandemic hit we were on shakier ground,” he told the magazine. “We had a significant number of loyal customers who came in during the reopening in June after the first lockdown. But it wasn’t enough.”
The store, which was opened by Greg Davis, quickly became a “community hub” for independent music in Toronto.
The Toronto Public Library, in an article about the store on May 11, 2011, said: “Over the last decade, Soundscapes has kept its customers steadily supplied with some of the best recordings, in-store performances, and concert tickets to be found in the GTA.
“Greg’s been joined behind the counter by some other faces over the years, but his enthusiastic advice and friendly encouragement of audiophiles new and old has remained an essential part of what makes Soundscapes one of the best record stores you’ll ever walk into.”
Soundscapes partnered with the library on its Local Music Scene program since the store first opened and the store has helped the library “choose recordings, plan events and host shows,” it said.
Added Liberbaum: “We are looking at putting a lock on the door by June 1st.”
Customers took to Twitter on the Easter long weekend to express their gratitude for the store.
RIP Soundscapes, the best record store in Toronto. I had hoped they had weathered the lockdowns, but it wasn’t to be. Such a huge loss.
Soundscapes Toronto was a whole lot more than just a record store. Curation, community, continuum, dedication to the written word and live performance. Greg Davis & his staff will go down in TO music history. My love letter here: <a href=”https://t.co/jL99Be22Q1″>https://t.co/jL99Be22Q1</a> <a href=”https://t.co/3AAlwHYMGm”>pic.twitter.com/3AAlwHYMGm</a>
Sad news about <a href=”https://twitter.com/soundscapesTO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@soundscapesTO</a> — Greg was an early supporter of us & other projects. Here’s a great piece by <a href=”https://twitter.com/JDovercourt?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@JDovercourt</a> we ran in 2009 about how Soundscapes successfully fostered the local music community. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TOpoli</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOculture?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TOculture</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/shoplocal?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#shoplocal</a> <a href=”https://t.co/pTy4K0c7Ew”>https://t.co/pTy4K0c7Ew</a>
Today there was a long line outside Soundscapes. Sadly they’re closing and doing a final sale. Lots of great books, CDs, magazines, films and of course, records. In true Toronto fashion, I waited close to two hours, but it was worth the wait. <a href=”https://t.co/HHmQjnKYdt”>pic.twitter.com/HHmQjnKYdt</a>
Gutted to hear about the end of Soundscapes, Toronto’s best record shop. A significant % of the albums in my house came from there. Here is the very first one I bought. I couldn’t believe you could just walk into a store and buy an Alex Chilton album off the wall. <a href=”https://t.co/Sp9EpdD7Zw”>pic.twitter.com/Sp9EpdD7Zw</a>
Soundscapes record shop, a Toronto institution, is closing its doors this week. Here’s a profile of its grooviest clerk, Flipped Out Phil. <a href=”https://t.co/9N8EsP3jkc”>https://t.co/9N8EsP3jkc</a>
A real pity to hear that <a href=”https://twitter.com/soundscapesTO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@soundscapesTO</a> is closing. I have very fond memories of popping in for a browse, buying concert tickets and seeing in-store performances by local bands <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/soundscapes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#soundscapes</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/toronto?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#toronto</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/recordstore?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#recordstore</a> <a href=”https://t.co/Dyos8V75Wp”>https://t.co/Dyos8V75Wp</a>
APR 2 2021 – Farewell SOUNDSCAPES MUSIC here in Toronto; pandemic business casualty? A nod of thanks & ❤️ 💙 to that wonderful shop for being FAB source for music books, import music, box sets, <a href=”https://twitter.com/shindigmagazine?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@shindigmagazine</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/RecCollMag?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RecCollMag</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/MOJOmagazine?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@MOJOmagazine</a>, and <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheBeatleInCanada?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TheBeatleInCanada</a> RED books. <a href=”https://t.co/nfbdXdjO4Z”>pic.twitter.com/nfbdXdjO4Z</a>
The loss of Soundscapes is not only sad for the arts scene of Toronto. Imagination and reality change places. Imagination seems to become reality and reality imagined. The experience of that magic neighbourhood changes internally. The only comparison I have is Letterman retiring.