A lovely article came out a few days ago about coffee shops and their role in fostering a creative class in a neighbourhood. There are two main types: large franchises and locally-owned coffee shops. The former includes Starbucks, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s McCafe, Second Cup, etc, and the latter, Bulldog’s (Toronto) and CoverNotes (Richmond Hill). Of course there are some mid-sized franchises like Aroma Espresso Bar which are scattered in malls and plazas.
Large or small, they serve as a gathering area for communities. Especially in the 905 suburbs, you may have to pay $3.50 for it, but it’s still as close as you’ll get to “public space“.
Nowadays, with Wi-Fi being an increasingly popular staple of coffee shops, people are inclined to stay longer, provided that they have a laptop. These people are typically students and professionals between ages 20-50. This is the creative class.
“The fusion of professional and personal lives are related to the fact that businesses and individual professionals are becoming more and more footloose”
The article goes on to say that coffee shops revitalize and shape our city by bringing the community together. It becomes a meeting place for professionals, students, and retired seniors. It brings people out of their homes and gathers a (local) “public”.
Hitting it Home
The article came on my twitter feed on the same day that I found out our local Williams Coffee Pub had closed down. Alas, irony is a cruel mother.