The Good Neighbour (Dovercourt & Argyle)


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.


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.


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.


A good neighbourhood to reflect on

2 responses to “The Good Neighbour (Dovercourt & Argyle)

  1. This is just a note for anyone who has come here expecting this to be anything other than a coffice space review: It is a coffice space review. That means it reviews this establishment, as it is, as a place to sit and work in on a computer for a few hours. It is part of a whole set of such reviews; the index can be accessed through the menu bar at the top of the site. It covers what can be experienced in, and seen from, the establishment in question. Further details, such as whether the brick apartment building is a condo renovation (by the way, condo apartments are still apartments; I live in one myself), are not germane. Those wanting to know more about such things have various sources to go to, but that information would be superfluous here.

    • And to the one person who knows who he is: A bit more research would serve you well. It’s easy these days. I have no trouble finding out quickly if someone is, for instance, a costume designer (as opposed to, say, an architect, a historian, or a teacher); it’s no great trouble to find out things about me, such as my PhD in theatre, my MA in linguistics, my 20 successful years as an editor and writer, and the fact that this is article is part of a set of reviews of coffee places to work in, and nothing more or other than that. I could include far more facts than I do, but they’re not germane, and these reviews are intended to be light, quick reads. If you want articles where I include a lot of extra facts, there are well over a thousand articles here on words and language, and some of them have more accessory facts than you probably even want (scroll the home page to start). This article is just one kind of article here, and not everyone is expected to have a use or taste for it.

      If it’s important to you for everyone to know more about the surrounding buildings and their history, you could write your own article on it for your own blog. If you just posted the extra info here in the comments and weren’t needlessly rude and insulting in doing so, I’d approve it, but I’m not the sort of sucker who lets people be rude and insulting to him on his own site—in fact, I delete comments that are rude to other commenters, too. This is not the wall for you to hurl your mental spaghetti at. And whoever it actually is that you have unfinished business with that makes you so touchy on the subject, it can’t be me, because I’m sure we’ve never met.

      Here’s a tip for you if you want to share the same kind of information on anyone else’s site in the future, though: Try something more along the lines of “I was surprised that you didn’t include [facts X, Y, and Z]. This may not be immediately obvious, but it’s important background to the flavour of the place.” Then, even though you’re implying that the author didn’t do a sufficient job, the author might nonetheless more likely say “Thanks” rather than deleting your comment. Take that as free advice from someone who makes a good living communicating.

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