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Civic Impact

Junction gets new co-working space

Toronto’s newest coworking space has opened in the Junction neighbourhood this month, reflecting how quickly that part of Toronto is changing.

“I first started living in the area about 10 years ago,” says Lab T.O. founder and writer David Hamilton. “On the week I moved there, I remember being at a local Coffee Time at around 8 p.m., and seeing a guy get jumped by two tough looking men. Minutes later, I found out they were plainclothes cops arresting a crack dealer. Throughout the ordeal, I was the only one in the donut shop who even batted an eye. There’s still a rough element to the area, but it’s also one of the few affordable places for creative people to live in the city, and the neighbourhood is starting to reflect that. I’ve been seeing more people in their 20s and 30s who aren’t working traditional jobs and who want to be involved in their community. This is perfect for creating a co-working community. Also, with tech companies like Ubisoft and Freshbooks having offices in the neighbourhood, it’s becoming a major tech hub within Toronto.”

With spots for as many as 25 people at a time, the loft-style space can be rearranged for events and workshops. “One of the things I’m most excited about is being about to host free events at the space which typically aren’t held in this part of the city,” he says. “In the next few weeks, we’re hosting some video game programming workshops and a WordPress meetup.”

Like other co-working spaces, Lab T.O. aims to combine flexibility for independent workers with a workplace environment that allows for serendipity, collaboration and socializing among creative types, though Hamilton isn’t zeroing in on any particular industry or sector. The community feeling will come from working shoulder-to-shoulder and from the location itself. “Many locals in the Junction, High Park and Roncesvalles don’t want to commute all the way downtown,” says Hamilton. “For those further-flung, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the subway, the GO and the UP Express, and it’s on the Railpath for cyclists.”

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: David Hamilton

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