Located in Toronto’s up-and-coming Riverside district, three year-old co-working space East Room is in the process of expanding.
Operating out of an 1920s industrial warehouse and former jam factory, East Room currently has three floors of office and communal work space built above 507 Antiques in the basement. Local entrepreneurs Derreck and Sam Martin set up the private members’ club a few years ago above their father’s store, and furnished it with many of his mid-century pieces.
However, the 930 sqm basement is now being built out as part of an expansion of East Room, where there will be co-working space and a retail outlet for 507 Antiques. The store will also sell online and many of the items throughout the club will be for sale, meaning it doubles as a showroom. At the moment there is a convivial ground-floor lounge and coffee shop selling zucchini chocolate cake, cappuccinos and ginger root tea. Wifi is throughout the premises.Decorated with vintage film posters, antique leather Chesterfields and vases of magnolia, there is enough floor space for 250-person events.
There are also rooms with long work benches, communal kitchens where people can make hot drinks and leave their lunch in the fridge, boardrooms, break-out rooms, phone booths, an outdoor terrace and private offices (18 on the first floor, ten on the second floor and three on the third floor).
Another 13 new private office suites will open on the second floor by the beginning of April taking the total to more than 40. Next year, a dedicated farm-to-table restaurant will open (at the moment you can only get snacks at the cafe).
The second floor is mainly dedicated to private offices, while the third floor (once fitted out with live-work studios) is used by three different companies including startup agency NFA
. The high-ceilinged concrete corridors and public spaces feature giant fiddle leaf fig trees and glowing neon signs, adding to the trendy look of the place.
“Through various programming initiatives, East Room connects work, leisure and culture to establish a dynamic creative community and environment. The space allows members to develop within a diverse, hand-selected group of entrepreneurs, providing a platform for the members-only network to collaborate, share ideas and grow alongside each other,” says a spokeswoman for the co-working space.
At the moment, East Room has about 500 members from a diversity of industries – there are landscapers, photographers, architects, PRs, techies, business developers and strategists, physiotherapists and advertisers.
Unfortunately for travellers visiting the city there are no day passes available for East Room. Membership starts from CA$250 (£137) a month and includes full access to the East Room events programme.
Photography by Michael Graydon
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