tempered room toronto

Hard hit Toronto cafe is looking to collaborate with neighbours and people are loving it

Humera Ali, who co-owns popular Parkdale cafe and bakery The Tempered Room, knew she wasn't the only one who was having a tough year, so she reached out to neighbours on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in pooling skills and resources to raise some spirits, and maybe a couple of bottom lines.

"Spring into Parkdale has been cancelled," she wrote, referring to the annual Parkdale BIA fest, "can we perhaps try and bring it back in an altered/creative manner? Parkdale people, do you have any ideas/wishes?"

She was bowled over by the response. 

Dozens of suggestions and offers poured in for her and her co-owner with Greg Laird, from business tips to offers of volunteer labour, to other neighbourhood businesses suggesting joint ventures.

"Look at these comments," Ali wrote in response to her own post. "Never imagined there would be volunteers! Getting excited."

One poster offered their services as a volunteer delivery service for low-cost items. Another suggested three restaurants get together and offer daily breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Anotehr suggested a cookbook, which might contain local recipes for Tempered Room's almond croissant, Skyline's pie, momos from one of the many local restaurants that serve them, Larry's Folly butter tarts and a cocktail from Legal Tenders.

Others still didn't have specific ideas, but offered skills and resources to keep businesses from spending money on their collaborations.

A multimedia artist said they'd donate art. Someone else offered to donate marketing services. Another offered graphic design. Yet another said they had the domain parkdaleproud.com registered, sitting unused. Many more volunteered their time for whatever needed.

Many other local business owners also chimed in to say they were down to collaborate, including Makara Tattoo, Koffee Kween and The Grand Trunk.

Ali did not respond to blogTO in time for publication to say which ones seemed the most likely to her, but keep on the lookout for what may result from this discussion.

Lead photo by


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