By Ted Simpson
Three generations of the Lauzon family have built the long-standing music store on Wellington West into a modern-day “candy store” for guitarists and pianists alike.
Lauzon Music is one of the oldest businesses in Wellington West, opening in 1945. Only two others remain from that time period: Morris Home Hardware and Hillary’s Cleaners.
Founded by Larry and Dorothy Lauzon, the business has always been known for having beautiful pianos on display in the front windows. In 1974, the business passed down to their son Ken Lauzon. Now in its third iteration, the store is under the direction of grandson Dave Lauzon.
“My grandfather was in the military. And when he came back, he started selling things out of his garage and selling musical instruments, as well as electronics and other things, radios and stuff,” Dave said. “And it just sort of, gradually, became more and more instruments and then he eventually moved it out of his garage into a storefront.”
As the shop has moved through generations of the Lauzon family, their business model has evolved and expanded.
“When I was growing up with my dad running the shop, it was more about pianos,” said Dave. “We got into the guitar business again when I was in high school and then it’s kind of been my project since.”
Dave went out for a few years to take his turn as a professional guitarist, touring the world and playing rock and roll. He came back to the family business in 2005 and has been shaping Lauzon Music into a very special place to buy a guitar.
“We just try and make this jaw dropping candy store for guitar players to come in and see dream instruments,” says Dave. “Anyone can come in, they can try stuff out, they can get their hands on something that they might have only ever seen on the internet.”
Many of the unique, custom shop guitars on the shop walls are one-off products that are carefully curated by Lauzon Music. In some cases, Dave even had the opportunity to select the timbers and finishing techniques that go into these hand-built instruments from master luthiers. It can take a number of years for an instrument to be completed.
Most recently, Lauzon Music has been making a new and bold statement on the streetscape of Wellington West with new red signage. There have been a few looks to the storefront over the decades, and their most recent update brings a new rock and roll edge to the brand.
“We got a new website and we had that logo done at the same time and so the last step was really getting it out front. It’s just investing in the business bit by bit to bring it together,” said Dave.
“You know, we’ve just been at it for a long time, but where we are right now is the result of things we kind of put in motion 10 years ago or 15 years ago,” Dave added. “So, I feel like it evolves quite naturally: we just keep selling cool guitars and having fun.”