Global Village Backpackers

Former Global Village hostel to become innovation hub

The fate of the former Global Village Backpackers building has finally come into focus. The iconic old hostel shut its doors in January 2014 and was on the market six months later, but only recently has the future of the site been revealed. Konrad Group, a digital and technology firm, will open an innovation hub in the 20,000 square foot heritage property at King and Spadina.

The 150 year old building will be home to what the Konrad Group calls BrainStation, an educational organization the company acquired last fall, as well as a shared office concept that will draw tech startups and freelancers to King West. As far as retail goes, 460 King will also play host to a new coffee shop by the name of Quantum Coffee.

The idea with the cafe, as with much of the building, is to make it as tech-forward as possible. So far that involves the promise of an app-Ť∂≥enabled pour over machine, the first in Canada, and "order ahead" mobile payments that will allow customers to avoid waiting in line for their caffeine fix.

Not much has been revealed about the architectural plans for the building, but the rendering currently available shows that the plan is to restore the building with a Tudor-style exterior and a glass addition on the west side of the building. It's a conservative plan for a project that touts innovation as its mantra, but solid restoration work would be most welcome.

What do you think of the plans for the building?


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