Where Should I Hold My “Coffee and Code” Days?

Guy in a cafe using a laptop

From 1998 to 2000, I was self-employed. Lacking the funds to rent office space, I ended up working outside the boundaries of cubicle-land or even anything that looked like an office. I worked out of my kitchen, my business partner Adam’s living room and often by the bar at the old location of the Queen Street cafe known as Tequila Bookworm. Being a gregarious and social guy, I enjoyed working at “The ‘Worm”, mixing work with mingling with both the people who came to the cafe and the people who worked there (which led to a story I call Worst Date Ever, which was actually a lot of fun, even back then).

Today, I’m a Sith Lord – er, Developer Evangelist — at Microsoft. In addition to the cool red lightsaber and the ability to hurl lightning bolts, I also have the benefit of being a remote worker, which means I can choose where I work. I’ve got a nice home office setup and I can go hang out at the Evangelist Corner at the Mississauga office, but neither of these locations puts me anywhere where you can come up and talk to me.

That’s why I plan have a “Coffee and Code” day at least once a week. On these days, I plan to work from a wifi-equipped cafe, where you can walk right up to me and talk.

This brings me to my question: Where should I set up? A better way of putting this question might be “Where should I set up so that it’s convenient for you to drop by and have a word with me?” As long as it’s got wifi and it’s somewhere in Toronto, if it’s at a place that’s convenient for a lot of developers and techies, that’s where I want to be.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

15 replies on “Where Should I Hold My “Coffee and Code” Days?”

you should rotate through the city and announce where you will be. It is the only way to really be fair to those who might not be able to get more than 20 minutes away from their desk, or those that might not be able to travel to where you are because of disability. I’d say do a 2 month rotation through various parts of toronto, could be great fun.

jeremy: I’m up for rotating locations. In these days of blogging, Twitter, and all-round social networking, announcing where I’ll be is pretty simple, and I’m all for sampling the many cafes this city has to offer.

So go ahead, folks, feel free to suggest more than one location!

Not being a Toronto resident, I don’t have a suggestion, but when you do get it figured out, I’d love to come talk to you. I’ve just inherited a project that was written by Dark Jedi – errr, ASP.NET 1.0 coders – and I’d like to know how I can bring it into the 21st century.

Joey, anywhere within University and Dundas would be good for me. There are a ton of cafes and restaurants within few blocks of the location and I’d be able to join you there. I’m on Twitter as batasrki, so if your rotation passes through the neighbourhood, tweet.

The Urbana Cafe at Bay & St. Joseph is pretty central, has WiFi, lots of tables, and pretty good coffee and treats. The music is sometimes too loud, but you can probably ask them to turn it down.

Future Bakery in the Annex is another option – they don’t seem to mind if you sit there all day. Plus: pierogies and beer!

Definitely, I suggest the rotation. Dark Horse (, Mercatto downtown (good espresso!), Red Rocket, and so on. Hell, put in a little website, let people vote.

In fact, better still, make a nice little tool for people to organize coffee/code meetings that don’t have to involve you; not that having you there is a bad thing, but giving other people a way to self-organize would be cool, too.

I smell a side project. Lemme go write that up in Evernote.

I agree with Geoffrey about Dark Horse, but if you’re going to be in my neighbourhood I would STRONGLY suggest the Merchants of Green Coffee instead. Way more room, wifi, way more laid back (less new media douches) and the coffee is far superior, IMO (although I’m a confessed coffeee-snob).

Other good coffee spots (thought don’t know about wifi):
Moonbean in Kensington
Balzacs in Distillery</A)

Article in WestJet’s Up! Magazine just did a review of Vancouver’s best coffee house virtual offices — why couldn’t they have done TO?

Hey Y’all,

Sorry I’m a little late on this one, but, I work Thursdays at Merchants of Green Coffee. We’d love to have any and all of you in to use our place as your own. You wouldn’t be the first to make us your office. Stay as long as you like and yes, free wifi! :)

Facebook: Merchants of Green Coffee

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