The top 10 shared office space options in Toronto
Shared office space options in Toronto have proliferated since our last post on the topic. And it's a good thing too. Working from home in one's pajamas can play a major role in spurring the onset of insanity. Like cats, we need a bit of human interaction in order to keep our heads screwed on properly. When you spend too much time alone, you start talking to yourself, and before you know it, you're the nuttiest person on the bus and you don't even notice.
Because of this widely-known factoid, office spaces dedicated to an atmosphere of co-working have been cropping up all over the city. Finally, an excuse to get out of bed, scrape the drool off your face, dust off the chip crumbs and go make some work-friends.
Now it's even easier to escape the confines of your home/local coffee shop and work from an office haven complete with exposed brick and long communal tables. Yes, you still have to work, but at least this way you won't spend most of the day meandering to and from the fridge and wondering if anything good to eat will ever magically appear. Most of the spaces offer a combination of private offices, dedicated desks and hot desks, which are shared by multiple people at different times.
Not only does this space-sharing model inspire the self-employed to put on a pair of jeans and actually leave the house: It also (in theory, at least) fosters some serious development and intermingling of ideas. Innovation, if you will. Here, a collection of lovely newfangled office spaces in Toronto:
IQ Office Suites
Since it's home to the blogTO office we'd get some funny looks in the hallways is we didn't exert our bias and put this at the top of our list. But it deserves it. IQ Office occupies three floors of the historic Dineen building at Yonge and Temperance. The space provides private offices as well as dedicated desks, and there's group meeting space that fosters open discussion on the lower level. There are coffee and tea stations set up at various points throughout the space. IQ offers virtual office services as well. Prices for office and desk space range from $599 to $4,900 per month, depending on the size of the unit in question.
Centre for Social Innovation
CSI is known for hosting the beginnings of grassroots operations, countless interesting talks and community-oriented lunches. There are three locations: Spadina, the Annex, and Regent Park. The spaces are all large and light-filled, with warm brick and wood finishes, and they collectively house about 400 organizations. There are a range of rates available, depending on your needs. Rates start at $30 for access to the community, and they climb to $900 per month for a private office. There are lots of options in between, and all members are entitled to 24/7 access to the buildings' facilities. (Psst: they also offer a free introductory day so you can see if you actually like working in close proximity to other humans. Win.)
Workplace One has a business focus, with the intent of encouraging entrepreneurs to help one another and share ideas. There are two locations, one at Queen and Bathurst, and one at King and Parliament. The buildings are equipped with WiFi and reception to greet clients. Each floor has fax services, a scanner and printer, a kitchen, and coffee stations. There's also a lounge and professional boardrooms for meetings and strategy development. Workplace One is a little pricier than some other co-working locations, with dedicated desks running about $565 per month. There are also $25 day passes for co-working in the lounge, though.
Where many of these spaces seem aimed at more overtly creative types, MaRs has an entrepreneurial bent. The space is tailored to those starting up new businesses, with advisory services and business courses, and workshops with experienced entrepreneurs. Workspace is difficult to get though. There's a big wait-list and it's invite-only (but anyone is welcome to apply).
Project:Rhino is snuggled into the heart of King West, at Bathurst St. Rates vary, but a slice of desk space can be had here for $250 per month. Or, if you don't want to actually show up to the office, they also offer virtual office services. Which basically means that you can make yourself seem like a legit human by having your shit mailed to the Rhino. Cool! Members also have access to a games room with Steam Whistle on tap, a gallery, and group meeting areas. Project:Rhino seems like a fun place to work, geared toward freelancers and startups. They make the time to play with new initiatives, like the monthly drinks and demos series. Those who join the community are also provided with 24-7 access, high speed internet, and colour laser printing.
Co-Work on Bloor
Located across from Christie Pits park, Co-Work on Bloor has the seemingly requisite exposed beams, brick and concrete. Costs are flexible, with a full-time monthly membership available for $325. Co-Work offers private, semi-private and open work spaces. Amenities include wireless connectivity and printing, coffee, and lots of shared meeting space. It's also possible to get an ADCC discount on your workspace.
ING Network Orange
Rates vary, but the drop-in rate is only $20 for the day, and 40 hours of desk space per month for $100. Apparently 100 per cent of that goes to charity, too. Perks of the space include wireless, projectors, teleconference, videoconference, and WebEx equipment, as well as whiteboards, colour printing, copying, scanning, faxing, networking events and educational seminars. There are both hot desks and group meeting rooms available.
Beach Business Hub
The Beach Business Hub, located just east of Queen and Woodbine, is somewhat less fancy than some of the other co-working locations in the city. It looks more like a traditional office, but then, I guess that's the point of these spaces, not aimlessly staring at the decor. (Or is it?) The space provides "the usual office equipment and access to shared meeting rooms. They don't yet have private offices on offer, but according to their website, that could change. Amenities include administrative services, I.T. support, and LCD projection rentals. Rates are comparable to other locations, with drop-ins available for $25 and private desks for $425 per month.
Camaraderie is the Roncy neighbourhood's answer to the co-working scene. Located at Dundas and Roncesvalles, this space offers the classic office fixings, including a printer, scanner, shredder, internet access, boardroom access and coffee stations. "startup rooms can be had for $600 per month, with drop in rates at $25 per day. Most of the available space is in the form of shared work space and desks, but there are two private offices. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but 24 hour access is available as well.
Foundery is a recently renovated, 2,000 square foot space at Dundas and Bathurst. It features high-speed wireless internet, printing and fax capabilities, a full kitchen and access to a private conference room. The office is home to a mixture of artists, entrepreneurs and freelancers. Rates range from $25 for one day to $2390 per month for the swankiest private office option.
Because we couldn't leave out Scarborough, S.O.W. Space, or Study or Work Space, located at Ellesmere and McCowan, just might be the most student-friendly option of the bunch. Like other spaces, the rates vary, but on the whole they seem slightly lower than average. There's the standard $25 drop-in fee, and casual membership is $130, which buys you 60 hours of office space per month. Members get access to office amenities like white boards, fax, office phone, internet, coffee stations and free parking.
Or, you know. There's always eating cake in bed in your Power Ranger jammies.
What did we miss? Do you know of a great shared office space or co-working option in Toronto?