Soundscapes is an independent CD and music book retailer located in the Little Italy neighbourhood of downtown Toronto. The shop was founded with the simple intent of carrying the best music of all styles and persuasions. Our inventory includes (but is not limited to) folk, jazz, world, psych, garage, prog, blues, soul, reggae, classical, experimental, noise, americana/country, electronic, hip-hop, R&B, metal and pop/rock. We also devote our energies to finding the best in reissues of all genres and imports from across the pond. Finally, our store has one of the city’s best selections of local indie artists.
Soundscapes is a ticket outlet for many independent promoters and we regularly provide tickets for the town’s cornerstone venues, such as The Horseshoe Tavern, Lee’s Palace, The Mod Club, The Music Gallery and The Opera House, among others. A long-time supporter of Toronto’s independent music scene, we have a large consignment section and a seven-year relationship with local indie club night Wavelength (the breeding ground for Broken Social Scene, The Constantines, Royal City and Do Make Say Think to name a few).
Since its birth in August of 1999, the store has quickly grown into one of Toronto’s most-respected and loved music shops. Most importantly, our shelves are stocked not only by the tastes of our staff, but also through suggestions of many a regular customer. We pride ourselves on a relationship with our clientele that is based on respect and a mutual love of music.
In August 1999, Greg Davis first opened the doors on a modest shop in Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood. The space used to be a children’s clothing store. Now it was a fledgling CD shop called Soundscapes. Greg had arrived at this place in a very un-rock n’ roll way. Although a native son of nearby Burlington, he had spent the previous two years as an accountant living in San Diego. Like a lot of number-crunchers he found his job profitable but boring. Unlike the majority of his cohorts, he decided to do something about it.
Greg’s record-store-owner-by-way-of-accountant history was unconventional and so was his approach to the indie record shop. Instead of the cluttered bins and surly attitudes depicted in High Fidelity, he favoured clean lines, broad genre stocking, and wide-eyed enthusiasm. The idea was that while he was a huge fan of music himself, he had as much to learn as the next person. Soundscapes was to be a meeting place of like open minds, where the customer had as much to say about the stocking of the shelves as the owner himself.
When the shop first started, it had no more than a couple thousand titles and Greg was the only employee: day in, day out. In the years since, the store has greatly expanded with an inventory of some 20,000 CDs, books and DVDs, as well as over a dozen employees. The shop’s well-chosen, always-improving stock ranges from folk, pop, rock and soul to jazz, classical and experimental, not to mention numerous reissues and import titles.