Published on January 3rd, 2013 | by Alan Cross


The 50 Best Toronto Albums Ever

NOW, the Toronto alternative weekly, is out today.  The big cover story is their picks for the 50 best Toronto albums ever.

While the first impulse of the Toronto-hating ROC is to ignore this list, it does so at is peril because there’s some very, very fine CanCon here.  Most will be familar to the music fan.  Some, not so much.

There’s plenty of music discovery within this list (and lists for punk, hip-hop and dance).  For example, how many people are aware of the ultra-rare direct-to-disc recording made by Rough Trade in 1976 (#18)?  I have a beat-up copy in my basement and it’s easiestly one of the rarest things I own.

Then there’s the Viletones’ punk classic, A Taste of Honey (#20)?  Handsome Ned’s 1987 release that set the tone for much of Canadian alt-country (#28)? Or the 1970 soul of Wayne McGhie and the Sounds of Joy (#8)?

There are many other interesting names on the list.  Glenn Gould.  Dream Warriors.  Oscar Peterson.  Ugly Ducklings.  Meryn Cadell.

I won’t spoil the #1 pick for you.  Start at #50 and work your way up.  It’s a fun ride.

About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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4 Responses to The 50 Best Toronto Albums Ever

  1. Wow, nice journey through my formative years to today. I was Toronto born and raised so this was a complete and known list for me!

  2. Annette says:

    What a journey through time that was. A few I have to find and hear. Enough to bring tears to your eyes if you lived through it all

  3. Keith says:

    Instead of 2112 at Number 6, arguably Moving Pictures is a more influential Rush album

  4. dwmdm says:

    Could not agree with the top 5 more. So happy to see Mary Margaret O'Hara up there.

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