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June 1, 2015 1:00 pm  #1

What happened to all of the record company offices in suburbia?

Growing up at Lawrence & Leslie it was incredibly easy for me to hit up the local record companies.  CBS/Epic was just south of Lawrence on Leslie, and MCA was up at Vic. Park & Sheppard.    People can talk about MuchMusic being the frist VJ hangout in Canada, the reality was Steve Spice was picking up 3/4" tapes from CBS/Stiff (The Stiff stuff was PAL they'd convert for us) and airing them all the time on York Cable TV's Music show long before MuchMusic came into being.  Same with Warner, London and A&M.  Though A&M were the stingiest when it came to freebies.  CBS/MCA were easily the best.

<via 12:36>

Joe Summers, who ran A&M Records of Canada as an outpost of the storied L.A. record label for much of its run, died on Friday at age 75.

While not a household name, his legacy is a reminder of when the Canadian music industry took root in buildings throughout the eastern suburbs of Toronto (and gained a mythic reputation among kids who’d read the fine print of records). The secluded locations allowed rock stars to meet their minders with no chance of being mobbed.

The former A&M building at 939 Warden Ave. in Scarborough, home of A&M until it was absorbed by Universal Music in 1997, is being sold for $2,680,000. Recently, the lifeless-looking spot served as a furniture clearance outlet, storing couches and recliners in the space that once held LPs and tapes.

A similar building for CBS Records of Canada was located at 1121 Leslie St. When what became the music division of Sony was sold to BMG in 2004, the merged company moved to Liberty Village, but the Don Mills building remained as offices for the Japanese electronics giant. Now, it’s available for lease.

The three surviving major record companies are now all outside of downtown. Universal has remained close to the original A&M site, at 2450 Victoria Park Ave.; Warner Music Canada is currently at 3381 Steeles Ave. E., not far from its longtime Scarborough home; and the Sony BMG office eventually moved back north to 150 Ferrand Dr. in Don Mills. Downtown office space is no longer supper the major record companies want to sing for.



Last edited by ig (June 1, 2015 1:07 pm)

Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.

June 1, 2015 1:05 pm  #2

Re: What happened to all of the record company offices in suburbia?

By the way, if you don't subscribe to 12:36 you should consider it. 

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Today's also has an interesting take on the upcoming Federal election by Dick Smyth

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Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
     Thread Starter

June 2, 2015 6:59 am  #3

Re: What happened to all of the record company offices in suburbia?

I remember dropping into Phonodisc Records at Warden and Eglinton; where Garry Newman's Father was in charge.  They had all the Motown singles and they distributed delta records.  James Brown was on that label. I was always permitted to go through the boxes and help myself.

Over on Birchmount Road; was the home of WEA; or Warner Brothers.  Stan Kulin, Randy Sharrard, Kim Cook, Tom Williams, Garry Newman and many more.  Promo guys would invite you into their offices to hear new releases.  Great times!


June 2, 2015 7:44 am  #4

Re: What happened to all of the record company offices in suburbia?

Many of the recordings made & distributed by record company offices in suburbia were of course retailed by Sam Sniderman out of his SAM THE RECORD MAN outlets.    Giant discs that faced historic Yonge St. are reportedly being restored (perhaps converted from neon to LED technology?) by the Gregory Signs company.   It will be a day for celebration when those discs are re-erected over Yonge-Dundas Square