Toronto music lovers are a passionate bunch - and they're lucky because this city is filled with a cacophony of sound thanks to our diverse roster of talented bands, artists and promoters; yes, we have more than just Drake to offer the world. While your musical friend or loved one may have discerning taste, I have whipped up a gift guide that should please most.
Here are my picks for the top gifts for the music lover on your list.
For the pop princess/prince
Artists from the GTA and southern Ontario having been tearing it up on the Billboard Hot 100 chart lately, so why not give the gift of pop music this holiday season? Grab a copy of Alessia Cara's "Know-It-All", J-Bieb's "Purpose", The Weeknd's "Beauty Behind the Madness", Shawn Mendes's "Handwritten" and of course, Drake's (and Future's) "What A Time to Be Alive" for the ultimate pop present.
For festival season
The festival scene has exploded in Toronto over the past few years, so why not treat your special someone with tickets to one of these weekend-long affairs? Super early bird, $100 tickets to Field Trip, happening at Fort York June 4 and 5, go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. There's a limited amount of these reasonably-priced weekend explorer passports available so you'll have to act fast.
For the audiophile
Mass Fidelity's Core wireless speaker tore up Indiegogo last year and raked in more than $1.5 million from backers. The Toronto-based company started delivering its much-anticipated product this month, and you can buy one just in time for Christmas. The Core speaker is bluetooth compatible and completely portable. It retails for $599, but shipping within Canada (and the US) is free!
For the vinyl collector
Record stores have been popping up all over Toronto lately, so grab some hard-to-find vinyl for those on your Christmas list. For jazz lovers, the newly opened Press Books, Coffee and Vinyl has a rare German import of Miles Davis's "Bluing". Kops Records across the street always has a good selection. On the west side, dig through the racks at SRC Vinyl and Quixotic Sounds.
For the opera aficionado
The Canadian Opera Company (COC) wants to get more young people into its home at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. That's why it offers reasonably-priced packages for the under-30 set. For $86, you can grab tickets to all four of the COC's 2016 operas: The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Siegfried and Maometto II.
For the concert-goer
Jukely launched in Toronto earlier this year, giving us access to unlimited concerts starting at $25 per month. While there's no gifting option available on the site, it shouldn't be too hard to set up an account for a loved one (on your credit card, of course). You can cancel their subscription at any time if you don't want to pay for an entire year of music.
For the art collector
Toronto is home to numerous artists who create unique posters for various shows, both large and small scale. Many sell posters via their websites (check out Miles Tsang's intricate prints) or, you can always reach out to artists directly to inquire about purchasing their work.
For the photographer
Analogue Gallery owner Lucia Graca Remedios sells an array of music-related prints at her Queen West outpost. She also offers up some of her own photographs of Toronto music venues, making it easy for your friend to relive memories at places such as Massey Hall, the Opera House and the now defunct Big Bop.
For those who wear only band t-shirts
No one can ever have too many t-shirts; it's pretty much a fail-safe gift. Head to Sonic Boom for its impressive collection of vintage and made-in-house tees. The Spadina store also stocks all sorts of merch and apparel, including denim jackets.
For the budding Toronto musician
Inspire a burgeoning musician with upcycled guitar picks. The Spacing Store has transformed old Metropasses into colourful guitar picks and a set of 15 costs only $5. These would make and ideal stocking stuffer or a cheap-and-cheerful Secret Santa Gift.
What did I miss? Add more gift ideas to the comments.
Photo from Kops Records.
by Amy Grief via blogTO