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The walls are alternating brick and panel, some painted white, some not; the tables are a mix of small two-person ones – no two of them identical, seven in total – plus a big heavy wooden high-top six-seater; the logo is painted big on one wall: a stylized lion shield with NINE BARS, whatever that means; the whole of it could be in some hip part of town and the place could be littered with hipsters, or it could be on a déclassé side of the city centre and packed with wage slaves. But this particular coffee joint is in Deer Park. It’s on St. Clair, just east of Yonge. It’s a good part of town to work if you’re a high-priced accountant. It’s a good part of town to live if you’re a high-priced accountant’s client. So the clientele here are largely a mix of quiet young ladies, guys in suits, and people well north of 50.
The music suits, and it helps to drown out the conversations. It’s a great playlist spanning that great era in popular music from 1965 to 1985, and it is guaranteed to make people over 50 feel at home, me included. But, hey, it’s good music! It’s all classics! Nothing in it sounds like the singer is actually making a cry for help, or causing someone else to!
And it’s a good thing that it mostly drowns out the conversations, because those old mid-town Baby Boomers can be kind of annoying, with passive-aggressive old-married conversations, inexplicable videos played at maximum volume on phones for friends, and watery political observations that seem intended to sound wise but don’t really make it across the street. On the other hand, they’re not usually as loud as some of the guys in suits, who must be a real treat to share an office with.
But hey. The coffee’s good, the chairs are comfortable (well, some of them are; pick what you like, there’s tons of variety), the atmosphere is welcoming and conducive to work, there’s food if you want, the staff are nice – though you may need to attract them from out of the back room during quieter times – and the whole place, including the bathroom, as you would expect, is fully accessible to all regardless of mobility.
And if you need a book, you’re right near the Deer Park library. And if you need an accountant, just cross the street. And if you need groceries, there’s a store on the other side of the library. And if you need to throw yourself into a ravine, there’s one just a block away. And if you just need to get out of Deer Park, you’re right by the subway station.