After a decade at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor, Sonic Boom is being forced by its landlord to relocate in order to make way for a new tenant. In late August, the iconic record shop will move across the street, in a space occupied by another Annex (#ANX) landmark: Honest Ed’s.
An 11,000 square-foot streetside space has been cleared out of Honest Ed’s over the past couple of months and will house the new Sonic Boom, which will still feature a wide selection of vinyl records and CDs, as well as the popular in-store performances that have marked the shop as a destination for Toronto’s music lovers. “In-stores have been a large part of our business model and success, and they’ve been a lot of fun,” owner Jeff Barber says. “They’ve helped make the store part of the neighbourhood and scene of the Annex.”
The compulsory move is a harsh blow in the midst of Sonic Boom’s most successful year to date, in terms of both finances and traffic. “We’ve never had a down year,” Barber insists. But Barber is treating the bad news as an opportunity to expand the business. In late July, Sonic Boom will open a second location—under the same name—on Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market (#KNM). At 2,000 square feet, the store will be a smaller, quirkier version of the Annex mainstay. The Kensington location will be “vinyl-focused,” says Barber, and will also feature vintage casual wear as well as “oddities and curios.”
As for the store’s current location, it will soon be home to—get ready for this—Dollarama. “It’s pretty funny,” Barber admits, finding humour in his predicament. “We’ve been excellent tenants for ten years, but we weren’t even given an offer [to match the new tenant's rent],” he says. “It’s a shame for the neighbourhood.”