Do you have any idea what an interesting assortment of people pass by on Sherbourne just north of King every day? Come sit and work at Black Canary and you will.
If you plant yourself at the counter along the window, you’ll be facing right out onto the sidewalk, and while the furniture store across the street isn’t the biggest visual treat ever, and the cars and trucks passing by are just cars and trucks, there’s really no end to the incessant variety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
But even if you’re not looking out the window, you’ll still get the people-watching, because some of them come in. Some come in and work on their computers, like the guy right across from me now at the big eight-seater table in the middle. Some come and chat with friends and colleagues, like the two film-industry people who were at the little table by the side window when I came in, or the couple chatting at one of the little tables in the alcove behind me to the left right now. Some come and have business meetings, like the three people who were at the other end of this big table for an hour. Some come and help each other learn languages, like the two ladies who have been in the sofa-and-armchair alcove behind me to the right helping each other learn Italian nearly the whole time I’ve been sitting here today. Some come to play games, as a group of four did for an hour one of the previous afternoons I spent here. Yes, they have a shelf of books and games.
I haven’t seen any people in wheelchairs or scooters, but if you have any mobility challenges, you can still enjoy this coffice space. The washrooms are down a hall in the dirty white bowels of the building, shared with the barber shop next door and whoever else is also here, but they’re not down stairs and they meet accessibility requirements.
So yeah, if you want a place that’s altogether free of distractions, you probably won’t get lucky here. Their music, which tilts towards stuff I liked or tolerated 20 years ago, helps lay down some atmosphere, but the conversations can still obtrude.
But if you want to be at a place where there are people, and where you can usually set up with a bit of space around you rather than on a cookie-sized wobbly table, and you’re good with an eclectic décor with paintings and a low green ceiling and big windows, and – lest we forget about this – good coffee, you’ll like Black Canary.