VERK SPACE

Toronto Life - - Navigator -

32 BRI­TAIN ST. (NEAR QUEEN ST. E. AND SHER­BOURNE)

RENT:

From $295 per month for shared space; $495 for a ded­i­cated desk

NUM­BER OF MEM­BERS:

Ap­prox­i­mately 100

BEST PERK:

Dis­counts at lo­cal res­tau­rants

Four years ago, house­mates Ed­ward Wens­ing and Lo­gan Prong were free­lancers work­ing out of their Moss Park liv­ing room. Prong was do­ing con­sult­ing for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, and Wens­ing worked in web de­vel­op­ment. They hated the lack of space and the fact that all the nearby cafés closed early. “I’m a late-night worker, and there were no workspaces that of­fered 24-7 avail­abil­ity,” Prong says. Fig­ur­ing they weren’t the only ones with this prob­lem, they de­cided to open a co-work­ing space in the neigh­bour­hood.

Even­tu­ally, they found the per­fect place: a brick-and-beam build­ing on Bri­tain Street. They moved in two years ago and cur­rently oc­cupy four floors. The min­i­mal­ist in­te­rior de­sign is in­spired by Wens­ing and Prong’s trips to Ice­land and other Nordic coun­tries. Even their slo­gan, “On with the but­ter,” comes from the lit­eral trans­la­tion of an Ice­landic say­ing that means, “Get back to work.”

The ex­pe­ri­ence is more like hang­ing out at a bou­tique ho­tel than hid­ing away in a cu­bi­cle. There’s a front desk man­ager who dou­bles as a greeter for guests. Invit­ing lounge spa­ces re­sem­ble trendy lob­bies. At 9,000 square feet, the mem­ber-to-square-foot ra­tio is low, mean­ing there’s am­ple space for work­ers to spread out. Ev­ery first Wed­nes­day of each month is a party, dur­ing which new re­cruits can in­tro­duce them­selves.

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