Give a record, take a record with Vinyl Swap Box

Photo:  Matt Durant

Photo: Matt Durant

Give a record, take a record — vinyl fans in Toronto's east end have a new hotspot through which to trade and discover records. 

The Vinyl Swap Box hangs outside the studio of Leslieville artist Matt Durant, who came up with the idea for the free-trade music crate. In the spirit of Free Little Library, it's a chance to swap out your well-loved records for some new-to-you ones.

"I hope that people enjoy treasure hunting for new music through it, but I also hope they will help plant some seeds of music discovery for others through thoughtful donations, too," Durant says. "I've already seen some local musicians place their own music there through vinyl and cassettes; I didn't think of that at first but I'm thrilled to see it happening."

The Vinyl Swap Box is meant to inspire neighbourly interaction, turn folks on to undiscovered records and promote local musicians. As for etiquette, there aren't really any rules short of common sensibilities. 

"Don't wreck the box, close the lid after you dig and think about donating if you are taking often enough — who wants to be thought of as greedy anyway?"

Durant says the response has been fantastic.  

"It's motivating to want to choose interesting goodies to plant in the box," he says. "I've even started to make notes on some of the covers as to why a certain record might have another lesser-known level of interest. Maybe it was recorded in Massey Hall, or there is an infamous story about a show that was played in the Toronto, or the artist used to live in the area."

The Vinyl Swap Box is located at 1401 Queen Street East. Follow along for fresh arrivals on Instagram