A Guide to Toronto’s Most Vibrant Co-Working Spaces
With the rise of tech startups, freelancers and independent contractors who have chosen to forego traditional corporate life, as well as the growing number of businesses that have loosened their grip on the nine-to-five cubicle grind, co-working spaces have never been so prevalent. But not all such spaces are created equal.
What makes a great co-working environment isn’t just about creating a space designed for individuals who want to mark off their to-do lists for the day. It’s about bringing together like-minded people – idea sharing, networking and inspiration are core components of a successful co-working atmosphere. (A kitchen with a killer espresso machine helps, too.)
In Toronto, there’s been a co-working boom; the settings satisfy a breadth of old coffee shop loiterers, who are looking for productivity mixed with camaraderie. In most cases, you require a membership in order obtain desk space, but in other cases, you can pay a small fee per day to work in the lounge. Almost always, you’re able to test out the scene for one day before making any commitments. Here are some of Toronto’s most dynamic co-working spaces.
Located just south of Toronto’s vibrant Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, and a mere jaunt from King West, Acme Works offers the most flexibility for a co-working space. “Top Dog” access to a desk is $495 per month, but a spot at a shared seven-person table is much cheaper: $25 a day or $60 for three days. The per day rates are a great starter option, plus you get access to all the amenities, which include a kitchen with unlimited coffee and tea, phone booths for private calls and lockers.
229 Niagara St., 416-479-445
A month-to-month membership with BrightLane, tucked down a lane amid the hot King Street West strip, allows you 24/7 access to your workspace along with a few perks like craft beer on Fridays, a rooftop terrace equipped with a BBQ, and discounts from the neighbouring vendors. Their one-time membership fee is $100, and price per seat ranges from $556 to $599. Be sure to keep your calendar open, because BrightLane hosts a load of workshops and networking events in the evening for entrepreneurs, startups and media professionals too.
545 King St. W, 416-987-7181
If you’re still dabbling in the co-working space lifestyle, Workhaus may be best suited to you. Their fourth floor, brick-and-bream loft space near St. Lawrence Market allows for three types of members – hot desk, dedicated desk and private office. The latter is currently sold out, but the rates for a hot desk and dedicated desk memberships are reasonable: $195, and $395, respectively. Perks include printing services, 10% off at Workhaus’ partner restaurant, The Corner Place, and access to their member network, socials and events.
4, 100 Front St. E, 416-219-6962
Project:Spaces launched with Project:RHINO, the closest coworking space to the Billy Bishop Island Airport. Atop the Hoxton and Bank Note pub, Project:RHINO is a 5,200 square foot space that freelancers and entrepreneurs call home. They’ve recently set up Project:OWL on the trendy Queen Street West, which has more of an agency feel, well suited to graphic designers, artists and other freelance creatives. A monthly dedicated desk at RHINO is $350, and at OWL it’s $395. Lounge space at each location is $200.
20 Camden St. Suite 200, 416-304-9014
Originating in London, Soho House’s Toronto outpost is a place for both work and play. This membership club has fast become a go-to co-working space for those in creative industries such as film, fashion, advertising, music art and media but all are welcome. There are two types of memberships: Local House ($1,200/year) and Every House ($2,800/year), as well as discounted pricing for those under 27-years-old. The House is adorned with a number of rooms including a library and club bar. Members also have full access to Soho House Chicago, if they’re ever dropping by Chi-town.
192 Adelaide St. W, 416-599-7646
Centre for Social Innovation (CSI)
With one location in New York, four outposts in Toronto (the flagship at Queen and Spadina, along with the Annex, Regent Park, and Chinatown), CSI is a co-working space, launch pad and social enterprise connecting non-profits, for-profits, entrepreneurs, and activists whose mission is to improve communities locally and around the world. To become a member at CSI, you must apply stating why your work is socially innovative, but once you're in, the benefits include a network of over 1,700 members as well as an opportunity for co-working abroad with CSI's global partners. Memberships consist of a "Hot Desk" 20, 60 or 100 (hours per week) at $125, $200 and $250, respectively. A dedicated desk is $335 plus a $65 shared-amenity fee. A community membership ($30 monthly) doesn’t afford you any desk space but grants you use of lounges, discounted meeting space and email access to the CSI community. Prices for office suites vary depending on size.
400-215 Spadina Ave., 416-979-3939