Welcome to the Buymusic.ca Blog





Greetings fellow music consumers and welcome to the buymusic.ca blog.

Here you will find various information relating to the purchase of music online and by mail, as well as sheet music, music instruments and memorabilia.

I will also be posting various commentaries and reviews in regards to these services and various related issues.

To begin either click on an option in the menu to your left, which features various source listings, or scroll down for my blog entries. And if you are aware of a Canadian music retailer or record convention or fair that I have missed, please contact me with details.

Thanks. And Enjoy.

Measures Extended in Ontario

The provincial government of Ontario has just announced extra measures effective Thursday at 12:01am Eastern.

“All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.”

Music retailers will therefore operate on reduced hours in the province on Ontario for up to 28 days, many shifting to curbside pickup or deliveries.

Please consult your favourite retailers’ web sites for details.

Newegg Canada

Quebec Under Curfew

A curfew is now in effect in the province of Quebec for four weeks and this may cause retailers in the province to reduce their hours, possibly delaying shipments both inside and outside the province.

This curfew occurs from 8 PM to 5 AM province wide and is response to the high numbers of COVID-19 infections in the province.

Details in regards to delays and reduced hours of operation should be available on your retailer’s official websites.

Boxing Day

Although Ontario and Quebec have chosen to shut down due to the pandemic, you should note that some record stores (and other stores) will be accepting orders for local deliveries, curbside and store pickups. And some will extend their usual Boxing Day discounts to give their customers a chance to get these savings.

Details on what options are available will be on their retail websites and in advertisements so you may want to give your local retailers a browse online.

You can also browse small and medium Canadian retailer listings on Amazon Canada, where Canadian products are being featured on their own microsite.

By the way, Amazon Canada has also recently installed additional hub lockers throughout Canada, where parcels can be delivered securely if you aren’t at home or are having problems with delivery theft at your home.

Canadian Tire offers a similar system, where you use a printed bar code to open a locker compartment at their store that contains your purchase. The Amazon version operates in a similar manner, with a code, and is available at local transit stations, shopping malls, gas stations, pharmacies and other centrally located retail locations.

I have just recently found one of these hubs at a local pharmacy and gas station, which will be convenient if I require deliveries outside of my home.

Trying Disney + Again

I’ve decided to try Disney + again, mainly to binge watch The Mandalorian and to see how they’ve improved in regards to the Classic cartoon shorts.

They’ve added a few of the latter but it appears they are taking their time up converting their most popular shorts to HD, unless i’ve missed a menu option; I’m still going through what’s available on the site.

A significant amount of content will be added to the service in February 2021, from Disney TV, 20th Century Fox and the FX Channel. But unfortunately the monthly subscription fee will go up to $11.99 so i’d advise new users to use the Air Miles Shops offer before December 31st, 2020. They get a bonus 100 Air Miles on a yearly subscription ($89.99).

It’s a shame the five episode Loki series is only coming out in May 2021. I would have definitely kept my subscription going if it had been released in January or February. But I already have most of the films I would watch on Disney + and Starz on Blu-Ray, although the 4k UHD upgrade would be nice.

The original Star Wars film series looks great. But I don’t know if it’s worth $12 per month. I guess i’ll know in a month…

I’ll post an update then.

The Taxman Cometh

The Canadian government is again considering a digital services tax on foreign services like Google Play, Netflix, Prime Video and Spotify, whose operations are not based in Canada.

Unlike Cineplex and Apple/iTunes, these companies are not compelled by law to collect taxes on their services because they have no physical presence in the country, no Canadian subsidiary, and simply broadcast services to Canada.

The CRTC had ruled against a Netflix Tax in March 2015 and in June 2018 the federal government had passed on implementing the tax. But the provincial governments of Quebec and Saskatchewan have collected provincial sales tax on these services since January 2019 and British Columbia followed suit in July 2020, setting a precedent that could ease the introduction of a federal tax.

Monthly subscriptions could get costly for some but I suspect these services will continue offering incentives and promotions to keep their clientele.

Discounts and bonus rewards are usually offered on gift card purchases throughout the year, some of which are considerable.

For example, Shoppers Optimum points users will get 7500 points when they purchase $50 iTunes cards from select Shoppers Drug Mart stores until December 11th, 2020. And the same offer will be made available to some users who purchase $50 iTunes gift cards at select Real Canadian Superstore locations from December 10th to December 16th, 2020.

I occasionally encounter similar offers for discounts and bonus points for Google Play, Netflix and Spotify gift cards. And in regards to Prime Video and Prime Music, these services are made available free to Amazon Prime members.

Apple TV is also offered free for a year on new Apple product purchases so some relief can be had on some digital purchases and subscriptions. But I don’t think the tax will be implemented for some time.

The provinces that have yet to implement a provincial sales tax on these services will likely wish to discuss the possibility of a Harmonized Sales Tax so I suspect our foreign digital services won’t be taxed until July 1st, 2021 or January 1st, 2022.

Cyber Monday Week

The deals continue at the major online retailers, like Amazon.ca, Best Buy Canada, Chapters / Indigo, Microsoft Canadaicon, Newegg Canadaicon, The Source, etc. But don’t forget to visit the smaller chains like Archambault and Sunrise Records, and your local record store sites. They’ve got deep discounts as well.

In Ottawa, my go-to records stores are Legend Records, The Odds & Sods Shop, Turning Point and Sunrise Records and I’m hoping to browse the stores along Bank Street shortly after the pandemic is addressed, including the new location for Vertigo Records, a store I used to visit on Rideau street.

Whenever I’m in Montreal I try to drop by at the Archambault store at Berri and St. Catherine Est and nearby records stores on Berri and Saint-Denis, like Beatnick Records and Disques Sonik. But it’s been a while and many stores on those streets may have moved or closed since I visited five or so years back, unfortunately.

By the way, Nord VPN, ESET North America, Kaspersky Canada, Intego Antivirus, and VIPRE Antivirus are offering deep discounts on their services as well, in case you were looking to secure your computers and devices.

Have a safe Cyber Monday week.

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies