You’ve mastered “Rock Band,” but before you can nail down that record deal, you’re going to have to swap your plastic toy for the real thing. Good news: Whether you’re an aspiring jazz musician, a burgeoning headbanger or an esteemed campfire troubadour, one of these Toronto guitar shops will have the axe that is right for you.
Best for Broke Beginners: Long and McQuade
This national chain is your best bet for high quality entry-level acoustic and electric guitars. Short on cash? No problem. Long and McQuade have long been known for offering financing to under-employed musicians. Multiple locations.
Best for Hardcore Collectors: Capsule Music
This shop caters to discerning players who are prepared to drop a month’s wages on high-quality vintage guitars and collector’s items. Drop in to gawk at late-model Gibson, Gretsch and Danelectro guitars, but beware: The sales staff might not have much patience for newbies. 921 Queen St. W., 416-203-0202.
Best for an Afternoon of Browsing: Cosmo Music
Part amusement park, part museum, Cosmo Instrument Superstore is one of the biggest musical instrument retail stores in the world. The insane selection means it’s worth the trip to Richmond Hill. 10 Via Renzo Drive, Richmond Hill, 905-770-5222.
Best for the Rolling Stones: Twelfth Fret
For over 33 years, serious pickers have trusted The Twelfth Fret for top-of-the line acoustic instruments. Plus, the repair department’s five full-time luthiers (guitar builders) can restore your grandfather’s old, beat-up clunker into a playable, and possibly valuable, instrument. Even the Stones rely on this place for tune-ups when they’re in town. 2132 Danforth Ave., 416-423-1554.