Tuesday, January 20, 2009

End of An Era: Goodbye Sonic Temple

I live in North York, Ontario, Canada which is part of the Greater Toronto Area. One of the great things about my neighbourhood are all the wonderful shops, restaurants and theatres. One of my favourite hangouts is Sonic Temple. Voted "BEST TRACK RECORD" by the Bayview Post, Sonic Temple is the last of a dying breed, this hip, indy music shop is a destination for music aficionados across the GTA.
I went in before Christmas to get a gift certificate for Tim. With 684 CD's, I think, he loves his music. I was completely shocked when Court advised against it as the store would be closing in the new year. I mumbled something like, "Oh, that's too bad" and stumbled from the store.

Sonic Temple has been a part of my life for so long and been with me through the good times and the bad. Let me explain....

As a lover of music, I always enjoyed browsing through their vast selection of items. Selling new and used cd's, I was always able to find something I just had to have.

Some of the best memories I have of time spent with my dad, were when we would go to a record store and look at all the new releases. Back then, 45's were still being produced and I would look at the Billboard charts and always buy a couple of them for our Seeburg Jukebox (Oh, how I miss that!). So, when Declan was old enough - I think 5 or 6, we would head over to Sonic Temple for some quality mother/son time. Jeff got a huge kick out of this little person coming in and talking to him about Megadeath. For awhile that was Declan's favourite band, more for the cover art than for the music I think.

When my Dad passed away, Mom was left with hundreds, perhaps even over a thousand, albums and didn't know what to do with them. I knew that Sonic Temple would look at whole collections. God Bless, Akim, who drove all the way to Picton and met with Mom and bought quite a bit of the collection.

When times were rough and I didn't have enough money for the mortgage or groceries (yes - we all go through it), Sonic Temple was there to buy some of my cd's off me. I think they took pity on me - because who else would buy a used copy of Dee-Lite? Sheesh!

When I was flush - I would head straight to the store and see what was on the counter of the new ones. I would buy birthday and Christmas presents there. I would buy cd's just to let someone know I was thinking of them. Who did I buy that box set of Roxy Music for again?

I must admit that there were not, from what I could see when I was there, a lot of female shoppers. I am sure there were. One of the great things, is that the guys would never laugh at my music choices. I always felt comfortable going in and poking around. My musical knowledge is a little Steve Miller, Jack Johnson, Lisa Stansfield, Earth, Wind and Fire. I never felt intimidated by these gurus of sound.

I don't know how much longer the store will be open - but go by and pay tribute to the great folks who have worked there. I will really miss them.


1 comment:

  1. Nah - it was doomed, and from what I gathered from the stock they carried, it's their own fault. There's a quote somewhere in The Star from the guy who ran Sonic Temple to the effect that specialising will grant a store's longevity and relevance. He's got a point - but you have to specialise in the right area. Indie vinyl contributed greatly to the fact that vinyl sold more last year than it has done in the past 20 years. it's overtaken compact discs. you don't need to compete with Walmart or Best Buy - so stock stuff I can't buy there.

    I special ordered stuff from ST to give them a chance to prove their "if it's in print. we can order it " claim. I'm sorry, even with the $5 deposit - I got bored waiting after 8 or 9 weeks, and ordered it direct from the label - who were cheaper even though I lost my deposit.