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Dineen Coffee Co.

Posted by Amy Michelle Smith / Posted on May 6, 2013

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoThe Dineen Coffee Co. opened its doors to the anxiously awaiting public at Yonge and Temperance today — a corner which, though bustling with foot traffic from the tourists of Yonge Street and the corporate towers of Bay Street, has somehow survived all these years without the services of a decent coffee joint. Aptly named, this new space sits at the bottom of the historic Dineen Building, once home to W. and F. Dineen Co., a producer of hats and furs. Now home to IQ Office Suites (which blogTO has called home since January), as well as a number of restaurants, this new space is just one aspect of the major face-lift underway at the historic landmark.

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoThe sweeping space is an impressive departure from the slew of independent cafes popping up in the city. The incredibly stylish interior boasts high ceilings, custom marble countertops, sweeping red leather banquettes, hand-painted tile floors imported from South America and an incredible chandelier, once housed in the iconic Royal York Hotel. With floor-to-ceiling windows wrapped around the space and the beginnings of a huge patio in the works Dineen Coffee Co. is on its way to becoming a go-to spot for meetings and seriously extended coffee breaks. In the mere hours that the cafe had been open when I stopped by this morning, the cafe had already filled to the brim with excited patrons, itching for their morning caffeine fix.

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoSupplied by Social Coffee Roasters out of Richmond Hill and with the help of coffee consultant Alex Castellani of Pig Iron Coffee, Dineen has created a number of unique roasts for the cafe, most notably the delicious Temperance Espresso Blend, a mix of Mexican and Brazillian beans with a smooth, buttery texture and light citrus notes.

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoIn lieu of your run-of-the mill watered-down mocha mix, Dineen has a vat of chocolate ganache churning all day long to be used in their signature mochas ($4.25/Medium and $4.55/Large). A rotation of drip coffees are available daily, always including a medium-dark roast blend and a feature single-origin option for those seeking out a lighter option.

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoBaked goods are custom-made for the cafe by an undisclosed local bakery and include your standard muffins, tarts and croissants (I tried out the ham and swiss-$3.40-which was seriously delicious) as well as some tantalizing looking tarts and pastries.

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoCo-owners Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (along with their partner John Young) fill me in on the ethos of the space — taking much of the inspiration for the design from the historic building itself, as well as the sleek style of New York cafes like Stumptown at the Ace Hotel and La Colombe.

Dineen Coffee Co. TorontoThe idea is to marry classic style, independent coffee roasting and modern, efficient service in one space, and as the attractive, young staff, clad in matching gingham shirts and sleek grey vests scramble about behind the spacious bar, it's clear that though it may be their first day open, Dineen Coffee Co. is well on its way to becoming a staple of the coffee scene in Toronto.

Dineen Coffee CompanyPhotos by Derek Flack



Pablo / May 6, 2013 at 01:28 pm
There are more cafes than people in Toronto.
Sacha replying to a comment from Pablo / May 6, 2013 at 01:37 pm
Good. Should keep 'em nice and quiet and enjoyable, and promote innovation.
huh / May 6, 2013 at 01:37 pm
...why is the royal york infamous?
Robert replying to a comment from Pablo / May 6, 2013 at 01:54 pm
There is a lack of good coffee shops, most are dreary and uncomfortable, try to be trendy. Sometimes there is no difference from a chain and an indie shop. Then there are the indie house that are chains.
Even so it is very difficult to find a shop to relax in after 4:00pm.
Tom replying to a comment from huh / May 6, 2013 at 01:58 pm
I was wondering the same thing!
Confused / May 6, 2013 at 02:01 pm
in·fa·mous [in-fuh-muhs]

1. having an extremely bad reputation: an infamous city.
2. deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable: an infamous deed.

Royal York????
X / May 6, 2013 at 02:34 pm
Big thumbs up on the restoration of the building. Looks great!
Derek replying to a comment from Confused / May 6, 2013 at 02:39 pm
The word we were looking for was "iconic." Thanks!
blerg / May 6, 2013 at 02:45 pm
Amazing building restoration. A testament to the kind of thoughtful and beautiful urban planning that can be achieved by fantastic developers. In very short supply here.
DadManCat / May 6, 2013 at 03:28 pm
I wanna live on that balcony above the counter.
q* / May 6, 2013 at 03:43 pm
Wifi? Do you see this as a place where people are going to park out for hours?
Ben / May 6, 2013 at 03:59 pm
Amazing. Who are the designers?
No longer confused / May 6, 2013 at 04:49 pm
Ah - Iconic! Much better :-) Thanks for clearing it up
Todd Toronto / May 6, 2013 at 04:49 pm
I choose to believe that, like Tim Hortons before it, this was named for former Hartford Whaler Kevin Dineen.
kafe / May 6, 2013 at 05:26 pm
shit just got real
hoc / May 6, 2013 at 06:29 pm
The place looks awesome!
Can't wait to try it!
dd / May 6, 2013 at 07:19 pm
Drooling looking at these photos. This space is classic, blows some of the trendy places out of the water.
Seamus / May 6, 2013 at 08:23 pm
Just knocked SJCB out of the number 1 spot in the core.
Jer / May 7, 2013 at 10:13 am
You failed to mention that the coffee was free yesterday (May 6th) and may have explained the huge crowds. Regardless, I will definitely be making my own visit to this place when in the area again. Nice to see the restoration of the building and this cafe bringing street level activity.
Jack / May 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Went in today, bought a large coffee and that almond pastry shown in the pics above - $7.85. Yikes!
Sean / May 7, 2013 at 08:11 pm
Nice place. Went there this afternoon an ordered a double espresso - which was excellent - and was only $2.10.
Anne replying to a comment from Jack / May 8, 2013 at 03:13 am
The price is no different than going to Starbucks. Pricey compared to Tim's, but any indie coffee place with quality pastries would be also.
Jack Augh / May 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm
It's definitely a nice set-up, an improvement over your typical faux retro, used bike shop look of your typical TO indie coffeehouse. However, the large Americano that I had was a disappointment - it was watered down and not the dark, chocolatey note that I was expecting. Is it me or do Torontonians prefer fruity under-roasted espressos?
Sarah / May 8, 2013 at 08:48 pm
Hmm.. uncanny resemblance to Balzac's.
the lemur / May 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm
Nice - some stuff is expensive but certainly worth it (the $4 gateaux basques in photo 5).

My main complaint is that the drinks list behind the bar (on the right in photos 2 & 3) is seriously unreadable - the font size is too small for the glass panels and the colour scheme makes it wash out.
Alexandra / May 17, 2013 at 08:57 am
Their iced latte is excellent and despite the price the medium is quite big. I do agree though that it has a similar feel to Balzacs, with the same old world European interior.
dave / May 21, 2013 at 08:48 am
Staff was very rude and snobby this morning may 21. The latte took so long and was not hot. The croissant was so small. I left feeling not wanted from the young girl at the cash to the latte girl who was sing a song to herself and talking to some other staff. Why not say hello to the person buying the coffee. Who every owns this place get off your high horse and say hell and have bigger croissant oh and how about warming them or having the option. I have been to various coffee places in the world and this one won’t have me going back
Paul replying to a comment from dave / May 24, 2013 at 01:59 am
Maybe you're a creeper since you're able to make a commitment of never going back because two girls pissed you off for not saying hello?

And where around the world have you been to? In Paris, which I've lived in, croissants are eaten cold. At certain times, they may be warm because they bake them 2-3 times a day. But it's rare to order a warm croissant. And the size is 1/3 smaller than the ones served here. Also, drinks aren't served hot for a reason.

Don't get off your high horse. No one wants you at ground level.
Joe / May 30, 2013 at 03:58 pm
LOVE this place.

Am mildly annoyed that they think only finance types and tourists are their base. I live two blocks from here, this is my local stop.

Along with Gaberdine, John & Sons and Richmond Stn:)

Thank you to people with taste who don't cater to the suburbanites or hipsters.
Jean Francois / June 10, 2013 at 09:11 am
Went there last for the first time last Saturday and it was amazing.
Here's my review of it.
NativeTorontonianAl / June 28, 2013 at 09:32 am
Just a note that's not about the cafe: The building and Clayton Smith & team behind the restoration of it, was featured in newspapers throughout a number of months ago, besides here. They're online. The story was not just about this particular building and it's history, but about proper and responsible development, restoration, planning and design. It was significant given the big issue and injustice known to be going on in Toronto, about the lack of good design and preservation. Too bad, we need more like him and it's almost too late and decades wasted.
Ashley / September 4, 2013 at 05:36 pm
As the last cup of my crawl today, this hit the spot. The space is gorgeous and the service fast paced.
A friend and I both had excellent cappuccinos here. Thank you, Evan.
Dot / November 19, 2013 at 11:18 am
Does anyone know how it got the name Dineen?
Julia replying to a comment from Dot / November 20, 2013 at 10:29 am
If you had read even just the first paragraph of this article, you would have your answer.
Lupe / December 29, 2013 at 12:13 am
Espresso was acceptable, but the Cortado was disappointing. Decor is nice but for more consistent quality go to Fahrenheit espresso nearby.
jeff / September 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm
Had a cappuccino there today and it was decent but the cup was not clean and I wasn't the only one experiencing this .should hire a dishwasher guys .
Atur replying to a comment from Paul / December 22, 2014 at 02:46 pm
Yes, Paul, yes.
The Wolf of Bay St. / March 18, 2015 at 04:00 pm
The coffee is ok. The real draw is the vast array of attractive females who frequent this place.
kas / March 18, 2015 at 04:02 pm
I love the look of the building and the history behind it
was watching as it was being renovated it is lovely
wonder what is in the upper area
Iliana & Serg / July 26, 2015 at 07:22 pm
"We walked in through a large patio, a space enjoyed by quite a few people wanting to be part of the outside social scene while enjoying the light breeze and bright sun. "
"Options for food were scarce to say the least. It was 5pm to be fair, but still... We got a Breakfast Western Bake - a scone with bacon, egg, onion and cilantro. To put it simply, it was not up to par: light in flavour and did not even have an option to be warmed up."
"Definitely a great spot for a quick date, a catch up with friends or to grab a coffee on your way elsewhere. "
A few bites from our full experience -

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