Category Archives: Coffice Space

Croissant Express

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Where else can you find this?

Listen to the audio of this – complete with the background fridge hum and radio – on Patreon, for free.

This place is a secret. Don’t tell anyone about it. I don’t want to come here one day and find it packed out with Toronto Life readers or retro-hipsters. This is one place I can come on a winter’s day where there is always room to work and it’s always warm. I’ve been holding off on even mentioning it. Continue reading

Tango Palace Coffee Company

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Don’t know where you would tango, but…

Listen to the audio of this on Patreon, as always!

If you’re jonesing for a cute coffice space with a cute name and cute fixtures and everything that comes with that, including a floor that’s years overdue for being refinished (they’re redoing it this summer), a dozen low small round tables flanked by old padded chairs of varying wobbliness, and your choice of illumination from right-in-the-window to deep in the dark back – though of course there are Art Deco lamps throughout (and there’s a garden when the weather’s good enough), dance over to Tango Palace Coffee Company at Queen and Jones. It’s towards the east side of hipsterville, right next to a pretty little park. Continue reading

Boxcar Social (Boulton Avenue)

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Here’s the beer

Listen to the audio for free on Patreon

It’s beer o’clock in Hipster City. Even better, it’s Tuesday, which means this hi-test myrrh-smoked gose before me cost me only $5 plus tax (and tip – always tip). I’ve been planted in this high-ceilinged room for three hours now and have gone through a “large” drip coffee (which is a small with a refill) and a gluten-free cookie while seated on a decently padded stool at one of the five dark wood-plank four-spot high-tops, copyediting a Darien Gap of academic prose with my editorial machete. The music has lately shifted from anodyne jazz to techno-club, and the joint is jumping as the laptop-bound cyberserfs are joined by the thirstier crowds done work for the day. Continue reading

Jimmy’s (McCaul Street)

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Thank heavens it’s not called George’s or Donald’s

Listen to the audio of this on Patreon, complete with background sound.

If you like seeing the world come and go, traffic pass, and dumbass drivers at a simple intersection nearly kill bicyclists, pedestrians, and each other, and occasionally a car or truck drive straight into what your brain tells you should be the business next door but is actually an alley that continues Elm Street, grab one of the four stools at the window counter of Jimmy’s on McCaul, if you can get one. Be aware that on a bright day you may get eyestrain if you work on your computer there. Continue reading

Henrietta Lane

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It does kinda look like a bar…

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This place has way more liquor bottles than the average coffice space. Continue reading

Bicerin

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This is where the magic happens

Listen to the audio version of this, with background sound from the coffice space, on Patreon, for free.

I’ve been sitting in Bicerin all afternoon working on an edit, and as of 4:40, it’s almost quiet in here. Almost. At last.

Bicerin is on Baldwin Street, a little street known for its restaurants. It’s also near the University of Toronto, and not too far from OCAD University either.

If you feel at home in a crowd that seems, for the most part, very much like the crowd you would find in a hip campus café, or maybe even in the lounge in a student residence, Bicerin will be a welcoming place for you. If you like lots of conversations and laughter around you – so much that you can generally ignore them if you want, though they can be pretty entertaining – then you will like Bicerin.

If you want peace and quiet, clean lines, and sturdy modern furniture and décor, don’t come.

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But check out these murals

When I came in, I planted myself at one of the three long six-person tables, right near an outlet so my Macbook wouldn’t drain out before I was done. My chair was wicked wobbly. When the other guy at the table left, I switched to the other side of the table. My new chair was worse, partly because the foot was almost going through a hole between the floorboards that gives a view of the basement. I moved over and have been comfortable enough ever since.

There is also a counter at the window with two stools, and two square tables against the wall with little backless square seats. And there is a couch with a coffee table. Unsurprisingly, there were three university-aged people lounging on the couch having a riotously good time.

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They were right there. I waited till they had left because PRIVACY

The décor is black walls at the back, creamy walls with murals at the front, stained wooden joists dividing them. The music is the kind of alt-new-wave-psycho-techno-disorientation stuff that I used to hear on CBC Radio 2 at 4 in the morning and wonder who would actually buy it to listen to it. Now I know, I guess. It just adds to the sonic wallpaper and the hip student vibe.

The coffee is good. If you like espresso and chocolate, try the eponymous house drink, an Italian specialty.

The bathrooms are down a steep set of old stairs that, by an optical illusion, at first appear to turn into a wall. If you have any trouble with stairs at all, you do not want to have to piss here.

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I’m not joking.

The view out the window is right up Henry Street, which is lined with trees. People come and people go. If you want the feeling of being completely surrounded by people busily doing people things but don’t want to have to directly interact with them, this is a good place. And if you like East Asian food, oh boy, you are on the right block.

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And to think that I saw it on Baldwin Street, at Henry Street

Odin and Thor

 

Listen to this coffice space review, complete with ambient background sound, for free on Patreon

The bottom of the heart of central Toronto is guarded on either side by two Norse gods so important each has a workday named after him: Odin and Thor. On the east side, on King by River Street, is Odin, the god who gave us hump day (Wednesday is Odin’s day, by way of another version of his name, Wotan). On the west side, on Bathurst at Niagara – two blocks south of King – is Thor, the god who gave us Thursday.

Each god is represented by an eponymous coffice space. Continue reading