Cafés & Coffee Shops For The Creatives: Toronto

If you work for yourself or you’re a freelance writer or work remotely. You will understand the importance of finding a café or coffee shop that can provide you with a creative work space. FYI, for those who don’t know writers leave their homes and yes they know what the weather is like. Writers don’t sit at home all day in their pjs huddled under blankets. It’s an annoying stereotype that needs to be put to bed. If you have a friend who works for themselves or is in a creative field that doesn’t require them to follow a 9 to 5 realm of existence. I want you to know, that you’re joke that they never leave their house is rude. It’s actually quite ignorant to be honest. You may not understand this world but respect is due. All that information you get to swipe through on your morning commute, the many great stories, editorials and images you get to indulge in are created by these people who work at times 14 hour days. Yes, maybe they’re not saving lives per se, although a compelling read on depression or how to change your life is just what you needed that day. Even the mundane material one could say some how magically makes its way into your daily reading/browsing and inspires you. It’s work, it’s hard work that requires dedication, perseverance and passion.

I decided it was time to feature some of the best places to get some work done if you want to leave your home office. Of course, I decided to start with Toronto but I will feature different cafés and coffee shops in different cities. For each city I will list only 5. I know I could easily list more and I may make this a regular thing so if your favourite spot isn’t mentioned it may get a shout out next time I feature your city. I did my research, I went straight the source, the people, the writers, the coffee shop dwellers and creatives.


Here are a few places to create in Toronto:

Rooster Coffee House

568 Jarvis Street. 

I have heard great things about Rooster Coffee House. So of course I had to check it out. It definitely lives up to the hype and it’s the perfect destination if you need an office away from home that serves organic fair trade blends. I will also note that it’s not too loud and has a very chill retro atmosphere. I don’t understand why coffee shops, restaurants included blare loud music?! Um what? If you wanted music to pound and damage your ear drums you would venture to a night club or a bar… because this is where it’s appropriate to play loud music! You won’t have any issues at Rooster Coffee House and luckily for all of us who appreciate great coffee and a comfortable creative space, they have three locations! They have a great menu selection of salads and sandwiches along with delicious baked goods! It’s not difficult to stay there all day and feel completely right at home.


The Common

I stumbled upon their first Bloor Street location a few years ago (they opened a second one on Bloor close to the University of Toronto campus). I liked The Common immediately for its rustic simplicity. I wasn’t into coffee until I tried one here with almond milk and honey. This is where my love for coffee started, so I will give them all the credit. Americanos are only $3.00 and you have a choice between dark or medium roast. Baked goods at the common are from local bakers and there isn’t a set menu so don’t expect to get the same thing every time you stop in. It’s the perfect work space for someone who doesn’t want any fuss. Maybe you plan to stop in for a coffee, a small sweet treat and a few hours of work. I find the productivity level at The Common pretty high and it might be because there are no frills. It’s also a great spot for a meeting if you work from home or remotely. There’s the right amount of privacy and it’s definitely not pretentious. They also have another location on college street. They don’t have a website so just google and it should come up right away for you.


RSquared Cafe

686 Queen Street West 

This is another place I was referred to by a friend of mine. I was told that if it wasn’t on the list I am no longer relevant. Rude, but so true. RSquared Cafe is quite popular and after doing a quick stop by…busy times for this little lady. I could see why. The atmosphere is chill and I love the art that adorns the walls. What great way to keep the patron engaged on all levels. It seems everybody is working or studying or conversing at RSquared. They are also known for their great lattes, I am a fan of their matcha latte. A Matcha latte is normally my drink of choice so I like to try them at different cafés just to compare; a definite winner. For those with a sweet tooth good luck trying to escape the deliciousness of their cookies. It’s a great overall vibe and you won’t have an issue getting some work done while there.


Tampered Press

256 Crawford St

If you walk into Tempered Press it’s not unlikely to see a sea of people and their laptops working away and creating something…a master piece I am sure. I call it a writers haven and a place for someone who misses working around other people. There’s a sense of solidarity and likeness at Tempered Press, a yeah we are all in this together type of feeling and it feels good. It’s also a good place for a meeting or an excuse for you and a colleague to venture out of the office (new meeting spot) and nibble on vegan gluten-free donuts to compliment a beverage of your choice. It’s located in the Trinity Bellwoods area so you can take your drink and eats to go; head to the park on a nice day. Nothing like nature to get the creative juices flowing. I stopped by TP a while back with an ex-boyfriend; he has good taste when it comes to discovering a new coffee shop.


Te Aro

983 Queen East.

Te Aro is located in Toronto’s east end (Leslieville) so I have only been there twice. It’s a far trek for work purposes but it worked out great for a few meetings I had in that area. If you live close by, then you’re in luck because it’s a great café. The atmosphere is perfect and for those who like to work outdoors they have a large patio area in the front. If you’re familiar with Pilot Coffee Roasters, you most likely know that this is one of their cafés. One thing I love about Pilot Coffee Roasters is their loyalty to Direct Trade . You can really feel the love in each sip of coffee. You have to try the Gluten Free Orange and Rosemary Muffins. Honestly these muffins aren’t just pretty to look at; simply delicious!


If there is a place I left out and you think I should check it out please let me know.  I only listed 5 places I have been to so I am sure there are more gems in the city.


Author Description

Hanifa Sekandi

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

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