I first came to The Porch Light in mid-winter, quite by whim and serendipity. I was on King Street near Jarvis and had intended to go to a coffice space just a bit farther east on King, but the streetcar that showed up was a 502 bound for Kingston Road and I thought, What the heck. I took it to Victoria Park and then walked back west along Kingston Road until I found this coffice space a few blocks along. It was – and is – bright, sunny, generally calm and quiet. People come here to work on their computers and just sometimes to be social.
I’d been meaning to come back, and today was my chance, since I was on this side of town anyway. I dropped my stuff at a table by the window and went and got a coffee. I was a little dismayed to observe a parade of women with strollers coming through the front door – clearly a get-together of moms with sproggets of the yowling age. But they’ve all convened in a back room, so while they’re audible, it’s not dominant. Except when one goes off the rails and is carried outside by the mom, right through the door right there. But that’s transient. And I don’t think those gatherings are a daily thing.
I’m not sure how many tables there are in that back room, but there are five four-seaters, three two-seaters, and a two-seater high-top in this bright and arty front area. Sit on a colonial-modern wooden chair or a rescued church pew, as you prefer. Your view is a slice of Kingston Road in the Beaches with a United Church across the way. (If you are about to upbraid me and say that the neighbourhood is not the Beaches, it’s the Beach, because there’s one Beach, duh, please be aware that I don’t care. First of all, there are in fact several beaches, if you would bother going to see the discontinuity; second, I am neither in nor on the beach, I am in the neighbourhood, frankly a kilometre uphill from the nearest damn beach, and the plural makes that plainer; and third, I’m not alone in this use. So back off. You can use your fussy distinction as a shibboleth to let you know who actually lives around here and who’s some stranger from elsewhere in town just passing through. I am the latter. And I have work to do.)
The Porch Light has food, though I haven’t eaten any of it, and it has alcoholic beverages, but they close at 4, so you’d be having drink o’clock perhaps a little earlier than usual. But, then, if you don’t live in the neighbourhood, you’ll be glad you’re on the streetcar before the heart of rush hour anyway. Just make sure to trundle down the stairs to the washroom in the basement before you go – it may not be a short trip back.