Lyle's Place record store, a pillar of the Victoria music scene, to close after 40 years

·2 min read
'It fostered friendships and cultural awakenings in all sorts of ways,' said local musician Rob Nesbitt about Lyle's Place. (CHEK News - image credit)
'It fostered friendships and cultural awakenings in all sorts of ways,' said local musician Rob Nesbitt about Lyle's Place. (CHEK News - image credit)

It's the end of an era for the music scene in Victoria. Lyle's Place, a beloved record store in the city's downtown core, is closing its doors this fall after nearly 40 years in business.

The shop on Yates Street announced the closure on social media, prompting dozens of customers from all over Canada to share their stories and express their sadness over the news.

"So sad, spent a lot of my teen years going to that place," wrote one follower.

"I worked at Lyle's Place around 97-98. Great memories working the buying table and going next door to buy chips for everyone," wrote another.

Janice Lyle, who runs the store with her husband Rod, told CHEK News, simply, "it's time."


Local musician Rob Nesbitt, 53, started working at Lyle's Place after graduating from high school.

"It's going to sound like a hyperbole or an overstatement or something, but working at that record store … changed the course of my life," he told CBC's All Points West host Robyn Burns.

It's where Nesbitt met his songwriting partner, along with other people he would later work with as a musician.

He said in its heyday, from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, Lyle's Place was a hub for people like him.

"When you were a punk rocker in the 1980s, that was a dangerous thing. You were beaten up ... or chased regularly for just looking different or having the wrong T-shirt or the wrong haircut."

The store also sold hard-to-find albums and magazines, and helped many broaden their musical interests.

LISTEN | Rob Nesbitt shares his memories of working at Lyle's Place in Victoria:

"We were creating a community that made us all feel safer and less alone. It fostered friendships and cultural awakenings in all sorts of ways," Nesbitt said.

"It was the place I found some of the dearest friendships of my life," he added, choking back tears.

"I'll never forget it."

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