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The Daily Grind: Bloorcourt’s new café Bloomer’s

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

bloomersBy Chris Hughes

Bloomer’s is a brand new café that just opened in July on Bloor Street West just east of Ossington Avenue. It has an eclectic but homey style, with photos of dogs and family vacation spots lining the walls. The homey atmosphere doesn’t end with the decor—this café has a distinctly relaxed ambience, with the owners making regular rounds to top up coffee for their laid-back clientele, many of whom set up shop to work away on laptops and tablets. To top it all off, the entire front of the restaurant opens up onto Bloor Street, letting in the breeze to make it a great summer hangout.

Perfect for just about any diet, this bakery café churns out a wide range of vegan and gluten-free baked goods including bagels, breads, cakes, and cookies. If those treats don’t catch your eye, then you should try their delicious butterless, vegan butter tarts or their caramel-glazed bread pudding. In addition to their baked goods, Bloomer’s offers two roasts of coffee, espresso-based coffees, and a wide range of teas including English breakfast tea and the South American yerba mate.

Wi-Fi network name: bloomers
Number of tables: 12
Number of power outlets: Five
873 Bloor St. W., open Mon.­–Sat. 8 AM–6 PM, Sun. 10 AM–5 PM

Chris Hughes is a Toronto-based freelance editor specializing in copy editing academic and educational materials.

 This article was copy edited by Valerie Borden.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café L’Espresso Bar Mercurio

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

MercurioBy Sara Scharf

Whenever I need a little italianità or crave a superior cappuccino, I head to L’Espresso Bar Mercurio. This family-owned “bar” (in the European sense) is located on the ground floor of Grad House, on the southeast corner of St. George and Bloor streets. It is always buzzing with the convivial chatter of academics, expat Italians, and various literati—Margaret Atwood and Lawrence Hill have been spotted here by my fellow editors. Light meals and pastries are made in-house and include a large selection of traditional Italian, vegan, and gluten-free goodies. I recommend the almond crescents and donut puffs, but the panini with sweet potato fries also has a cult following. Whether you’re working, dropping by for brunch on the weekend, or kicking back on the patio and pretending you’re in Italy, L’Espresso Bar Mercurio is well worth a visit. And all students receive a 20 per cent discount!

Wi-Fi: Available, but ask at the counter for current particulars

Number of tables: 35, plus a private room seating 14

Number of power outlets: Three

321 Bloor St. W., open Mon.–Fri. 7:30 AM–7:30 PM, Sat. and Sun. 9 AM–5 PM

Sara Scharf is a freelance academic editor and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, and she could use a cappuccino right now.

This article was copy edited by Jeny Nussey.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café Coffee and All That Jazz

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

All That JazzBy Valerie Lam

Coffee and All That Jazz, located a few blocks south of Dundas West subway station, on the corner of Roncesvalles and Howard Park avenues, is airy, bright, and spacious. Offering lots of sunlight, coffee, tea, and an expanded menu of savoury dishes and sweet treats, the café boasts a mellow atmosphere for freelancers parked with laptops at power outlets and families stopping in for a break. The café is convenient to High Park library (at 228 Roncesvalles Ave.), High Park itself (at the west end of Howard Park Avenue), and the 506 Carlton streetcar route (which runs along Howard Park). The café is outfitted with a conference room (which can be closed off from the rest of the café and booked for $20 per hour), two large conference tables (seating six and eight), and several chairs and small tables (11 in total). Every seat offers a windowed view.

Wi-Fi network name: Jazzjazz
Number of power outlets: Three
72 Howard Park Ave., open Mon.-Fri. 7 AM–9 PM, Sat. 8 AM–8 PM, Sun. 9 AM–8 PM

Valerie Lam is an editor, writer, and EAC member residing in Toronto.

This article was copy edited by Laura Edlund.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café Pâtisserie La Cigogne

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

PatisserieBy Jennifer D. Foster

Pâtisserie La Cigogne (cigogne is French for stork), at the southeast corner of the Danforth and Monarch Park Avenue, reminds me of the cafés and their sumptuous treats from my incredible vacation in Southern France. Spacious, cheerful, and full of goodies handcrafted by owner and award-winning French master pastry chef Thierry Schmitt, the café is an artisanal sweet-lover’s delight. Traditional Alsatian breads, baguettes, and brioche loaves ($2.90 to $7.25), pastries ($2.05 to $3.20), truffles ($13.50/half-dozen), petit fours ($26/dozen), and cakes, pies, tarts, and flans ($5.75/slice; up to $51 whole) are all baked fresh daily. Need a wedding or special-event cake? Look no further. Baguette sandwiches ($7.30), tourtières ($9.49/slice; $35/nine-inch tourtière), quiches ($9.49/slice; $29/nine-inch quiche), and all-day breakfast and brunch ($4.95 to $8.95) are also standard fare. An impressive selection of coffees and teas ranges from $2 to $3.80 each.

Clientele include weary local shoppers, neighbourhood regulars, and even community groups, such as the PWAC Danforth Success Group. The latter is a subgroup of the PWAC Toronto branch, of which I’m a member. It meets for lunch monthly to commiserate on the business of freelancing. Café-goers can’t seem to get enough of the bottomless house coffee ($2), melt-in-your-mouth rainbow-coloured macarons ($10.95 for six), or imported candies and other, often seasonal, French delicacies. Added bonus? Every Saturday and Sunday, from 11 AM to 3 PM, Pâtisserie La Cigogne offers a yummy 12-inch tarte flambée for $11.49. Bon appétit!

Wi-Fi network name: PLC
Number of tables: 15
Number of power outlets: Four
1419 Danforth Ave., open Mon.–Thurs. 7:30 AM–7 PM, Fri. 7:30 AM–8 PM, Sat. 8 AM–8 PM, Sun. 8 AM–7 PM
(Additional location at 1626 Bayview Ave.)

Jennifer D. Foster is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor, specializing in fiction/non-fiction, custom publishing, magazines, and marketing and communications. 

This article was copy edited by Sadie Scapillato.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café Cabin Fever Collective

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

Cabin FeverBy Valerie Lam

Conveniently located on Bloor Street between Keele and Dundas West subway stations, Cabin Fever Collective is an eclectic café that specializes in gourmet tea and vinyl records. Because the café is part record store, patrons can browse new, classic, and hard-to-find albums or enjoy the mellow indie playlist streaming throughout the space. A back room offers a small and quiet lounge-like space with two couches and a coffee table, which make it feel like an art lover’s living room. The front of the space has tables for two and a sunlit view of Bloor Street. Cabin Fever Collective also hosts various artistic events and regularly features local artwork on the walls, which means there is never an uninspiring square foot in this cozy space.

Wi-Fi network name: cabin fever
Number of tables: 5
Number of power outlets: Several! There’s an outlet every four feet throughout the space.
1669 Bloor St. W., open Mon.­–Fri. 7 AM–7 PM, Sat. 9 AM–8 PM, Sun. 11 AM–6 PM

Valerie Lam is an editor, writer, and EAC member residing in Toronto.

This article was copy edited by Laura Edlund.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café Red Rocket Coffee

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

Red Rocket CoffeeBy Michelle Schriver

As a freelancer, I enjoy the comforts of a home office. No harsh commercial lighting or erratic heating/cooling system stifles my productivity. But when it’s time for a break or for a client meeting, Red Rocket Coffee on the Danforth (east of Greenwood) is fast becoming my home office away from home office. When I walk through the door, I’m greeted by warm wood accents, comfy toffee-coloured leather couches, glowing fireplace embers, and pleasant ambient and accent lighting. No doubt Goldilocks herself would dub this place “just right”—perfect for working or reading. Jazz plays unobtrusively in the background while patrons tap away on laptops or settle in with novels. Baristas are friendly and helpful. I rate Red Rocket A for ambiance, all right.

The Reunion Island Coffee ($2/$2.25/$2.50) doesn’t disappoint, either. Signature and seasonal (salted caramel latte, anyone?) coffees as well as espresso, tea, cold drinks, and beer are on offer. Food options include sandwiches ($7.95) and generously portioned baked goods such as homemade bagels and wheat-free peanut butter cookies. A thick slice of dark gingerbread ($2.65) reminds me of dessert back home in the Maritimes. And there’s the crux of it: I feel at home here.

Wi-Fi Network Name: 3141592654 (pi to nine decimal places)
Number of tables: 7
Number of power outlets: 11
1364 Danforth Ave., open Mon.–Fri. 7 AM–6 PM, Sat. 8 AM–10 PM, Sun. 8 AM–6 PM
(Additional location at 154 Wellesley St. E.)

Michelle Schriver is a freelance editor and writer who hates harsh glare and blowing fans. Luckily, she lives in an old house with poor lighting and hissing radiators.

This article was copy edited by Sadie Scapillato.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café The Rustic Owl

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

Rustic OwlBy Laura Godfrey

The Rustic Owl offers a perfectly laid-back environment with ample seating and décor that lives up to the café’s name: various sizes of wooden tables, bare light bulbs that hang from the ceiling, and painted turquoise chairs that add a splash of colour, plus a vintage Underwood typewriter on display. The menu includes a decent selection of sandwiches and burritos (about $7–$9, with a small salad), all-day brunch items, and drinks that range from lattés and cappuccinos to teas and juices. A small crowd of locals can usually be found here during the day working away on their laptops or chatting with a friend, with no pressure from the staff to move on and take their work elsewhere. The space also doubles as an art gallery and event venue—paintings (owl-themed or otherwise) from local artists hang on the walls, and the café often hosts live music, comedy, and literary events in the evenings after closing time.

Wi-Fi network name: Rustic Owl II
Number of tables: 15
Number of power outlets: Available near almost every table
993 Bloor St. W., open Mon.–Sun. 10:30 AM–5 PM

Laura Godfrey is a Toronto-based copy editor, book reviewer, and editor-in-chief of EAC Toronto branch’s BoldFace blog.

This article was copy edited by Ana Trask.

The Daily Grind: Toronto café The Rooster Coffee House

The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.

By Laura Edlund

The Rooster Coffee House on Broadview Avenue, north of Gerrard Street East and Riverdale Avenue, has both a cozy neighbourhood setting and a fantastic view of the city from across Riverdale Park East. The rooster theme is funky and the food and drinks are fresh. Waves of freelancer types and parents who are dropping off kids at a nearby school take up residence at the window counter (seating eight), comfy chairs (six), rear counter (five), harvest table (10), and sidewalk tables (12+). As well as good coffees, teas, Italian sodas, pastries, and sandwiches, The Rooster has seasonal offerings such as hot cider.  Riverdale Library is handy—south of the café, at Broadview and Gerrard.

Wi-Fi network name: the rooster cafe
Number of power outlets: Many!
479 Broadview Ave., open 7 AM–7 PM every day
(Additional location at 343 King St. E.)

Laura Edlund is an EAC-certified structural and stylistic editor who lives, works, and blogs in Riverdale.