The Good Neighbour (Dovercourt & Argyle)

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Hello, neighbours

A good neighbour makes a good neighbourhood. Right?

Well, this Good Neighbour is in a good neighbourhood, anyway. Especially if it’s a summer day and you feel like sitting outside. You can plant yourself at one of the six little round metal tables on the patio and watch the world go by at Dovercourt and Argyle, just a short walk west of the hippest part of Ossington. The other three corners are taken by an old brick apartment building, an old brick church (Romanesque style), and an old brick house (three storeys, flat roof). Bicyclists sail by, cars and trucks roll up to the four-way stop and then roll on, pedestrians and their dogs and kids come and go as they please.

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No vegetables anymore. I think.

This used to be a corner grocery store. You can tell that by the Coca-Cola and Pepsi stickers that still decorate the windows, and also by the door right on the angle of the corner, which no one ever does for a house. Inside, it’s a bright, white, airy space with a blonde wood floor, four square stone tables along a wall bench, six modern metal wire-bucket stools up at a shallow counter at the window, and the service counter and area taking up a big square in the corner opposite the door.

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So clean and airy and spacious (the washroom is in a former broom closet behind that back wall)

There are steps up to the front door, giving the barista a good place to sit and watch the world (or their phone) on an unbusy day. If you have mobility restrictions, your only choice is the patio – just an extension of the sidewalk – and someone will have to get you your coffee. But no one with anyparticular restrictions can manage to use the washroom: even though it’s on the level with the rest of the place, it’s the smallest damn washroom I’ve ever seen in a coffice space. It does work, though, and it’s not nasty.

This is a lovely, calm, neighbourhoody place, with birds and bikes and brick buildings and all that. But you probably won’t stay here all afternoon. Why not? They have no outlets, outside or in. Once your battery drains out, you’ll have to move on. I recommend going over to Ossington; there are a couple of places there you can sit down and plug in at, like I did last time I was here. Or you can do as I did today, and hit one of them first, and then come here to round out the afternoon.

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A good neighbourhood to reflect on

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