by Bronwyn Oatley
Finding the perfect work environment can be a challenge for the self-employed. Some of us are lucky enough to have spaces in our homes that encourage and foster productivity. For others, a home office is a far-fetched reality, either because of financial constraints or personal preference. For those of us who thrive in social gatherings and find inspiration in groups, working from home can often be lonely and dampen creativity.
To combat social isolation, a growing number of freelancers have turned to organizations and ventures that offer co-working spaces. While the amenities vary among organizations, most co-working spaces provide a desk or office for a monthly or annual fee. The arrangement is often flexible and affords plenty of networking opportunities. Freelancers get to work in a shared space with like-minded people — what’s not to love?
To help you navigate the best of the best in Toronto, we’ve selected our top ten co-working spaces. Let us know which one is your favourite in the comments below!
229 Niagara St.
Dedicated Desk: $495/ month (Includes 3h/ month of meeting room access) Part-time: $190/ month Day pass: $25/ day Dedicated offices and suites for teams also available. Meeting rooms also available to book independently.
– Access to network of experts, including lawyers, accountants, marketers, and senior executives available for consultation on an hourly basis. – Receive online access to our library of publications including the Harvard Business Review, Marketing Magazine and others
The hip freelancer looking for a solid work space in the Liberty Village area.
545 King St. West
Dedicated desk: $599/ month (Does not include meeting room space) Part-time not available Day pass: $30/ day Dedicated offices and suites for teams also available (decreasing price with each new team member)
– Directory listing – Entrepreneur chats and business workshops – Craft beer (on Fridays) – Wellness room – Rooftop terrace with BBQ – Neighbourhood discounts – Pet friendly
The entrepreneurial King West freelancer; the kind that dabbles back and forth between opening a business and working for others.
Roncy neighbourhood at 2241 Dundas St. W.
Dedicated Desk: $375/ month for unlimited usage Part-time: $225/ month for 12 days a month Day Pass: desk for $25/ day
– Well-equipped for work and play with board games and board rooms – Intentional community vibe – Members use “Yammer” to connect and chat with one another – Member of co-working visa network – A minimum 2-months in membership fees is due upon signing a membership agreement, which is the first and last month’s fees
West-End Freelancer; for those looking for a place to work for the day with no commitment.
3 Locations: – Annex (720 Bathurst St) – Spadina (215 Spadina Ave) – Regent park (585 Dundas St. East)
Dedicated desk: $400 (Includes 10h/ month of meeting room access) Part-time hot desk: $200 Community membership: $30 *Also includes options for team clusters and private offices
– Access to free 1-hour consultations with lawyers, accountants, designers – Many events and networking opportunities, especially for social entrepreneurs, artists and innovators – Access to CSI All Members mailing list – Weekly ‘salad club’ for members – Unlimited coffee and tea included in membership – 24h access to the building
The impact-oriented freelancer, who’s looking to rustle up a gig or two with an emerging not-for-profit or social business.
376 Bathurst St.
Dedicated desk: $440/ month (Includes unlimited meeting room access) Note: full-time hot desk also available for $290/ month Part-time: $190/ month (Includes unlimited meeting room access) Day pass: $25/ day (Includes 1-hour access to meeting rooms) Private offices also available
– Memberships include access to all Foundery events as well as Creative Blueprint events, a local artist community space – All members are eligible for COHIP Health & Dental Insurance – Rooftop patio – Public art gallery – Cafe
The collaborative annex freelancer looking for full-time access to a reasonably priced hot desk.
Gizmolabs Note: only open to hardware and software tech start-ups
298 Dundas St. W
Dedicated desk: $300/ month (Includes meeting room use) Part-time: $200/ month (Includes meeting room use) Day pass: $30/ day Premium membership with 24/7 access also available
– Free coffee and tea – Space includes a small workbench for electronics assembly, server for hosting and testing, as well as a small 3d printer to help with prototyping
The tech freelancer looking to be surrounded by other folks developing and prototyping online.
45 Roncesvalles Ave
Dedicated desk: $300/ month (Includes 20-hours of meeting room space per month) Part-time: $150/ month
– Flexible hourly use with 24/7 access – Free coffee and tea – Access to meeting space – Free postal service – Optional COHIP insurance – Discounted rates for PhD students
The writer / editors / bloggers, postdoctoral researchers / and PhD students freelancer in need of a productive work environment to meet writing deadlines.
1139 College St.
Dedicated desk: $350/ month (Includes “full board room access” and access to the prototyping and electronics lab) Community membership: $200/ month (Includes 4h/ month of meeting room access as well as access to the prototyping and electronics lab)
– Membership provides access to an electronics and prototyping lab – Workshops onsite include 3D printing, arduino, laser cutting, ceramics, linocutting, stamping and more – Dedicated desk members get access to MakeWorks mentors as well as are included in the bi-weekly MakeWorks newsletter
The maker freelancer with a need to physically test and experiment with new prototypes.
Rhino: King West Owl: Queen West
Dedicated desk: $350/ month Lounge membership: $200/ month Includes high-speed internet; 24/7 access. Virtual office: $50/ month Provides you with an address for your business; will arrange with you for a convenient time for you to pick up your mail.
– Shower usage for monthly members – wood floors, white walls, and a mural creates a fresh “agency” environment – Free tea and coffee for members – Member lounge – Extremely fast internet – Perks: established partnerships with local businesses, including fitness clubs. Members receive discounts on these services
The young freelancer with a need for really fast internet, 24/7 unlimited keycard access, and PBR on tap.
**Note: only available to tangerine bank members
221 Yonge St. (near Dundas Square)
Desker package: $100 (40h / week) Includes 10h/ month of meeting room access.
Day pass: $20.00
– Desk space available 7 days / week – Meeting rooms available – Access to member discounts for networking programs and events – Access to events, workshops, and more via the Network Orange mailing list – 100% of the profits made from the co-working space are donated to charity
The financially-conscious Tangerine bank freelancer.
Note: This is a female-identified only co-working space
2510 Yonge St.
Dedicated desk: $300/ month (Includes unlimited access to meeting rooms)
Part-time: $150 / month Includes 8h / month of meeting room access
Virtual: $25/ month
– All members get some discount on entrepreneurial events – Unlimited coffee, tea and snacks for part-time and dedicated desk members – Site boasts beautiful event space, which is available to members at a reduced rate
The female freelancer looking for an entrepreneurship oriented co-working space in north Toronto
Note: This is a female-identified only co-working space
2111 Dundas St. West
Dedicated desk: $350/ month (Includes 8 hours / month of meeting room access)
Part-time: $150/ month Includes 3 hours/ month of meeting room access
– Members have access to a member-only online group – Members can receive the e-newsletter, Femme and Fortune – Offers all members access to health and dental plan
The west-Toronto female freelancer looking for an entrepreneurially oriented co-working space.
Four locations: King East, King West, Queen West, Kitchener
Private desk: $450/ month Co-working Membership: $225/ month Virtual office: $99/ month Private offices also available. Note: Prices listed for King East Location
– Attended reception area to greet clients and guests – All members have access to meeting room space – Private offices include full use of kitchen area, coffee & espresso bar and craft beer on tap
The high-flying freelancer with a clientele that expects a polished workspace.