The second incarnation of The Common – located on Bloor at Rusholme – was created in the same spirit as its predecessor on College Street. After researching storefronts across the city in search of more square footage this time around, co-owners Ed and Anna eventually settled on a space mere blocks away. Anna says that “Dufferin Grove just felt like home.”
The 'work/chill’ café was curated with the same sensibilities that original Common has become known for: no set menu, $2 Americanos, and plenty of room for loungers with laptops. Their strategy is clever, as it creates a great blank slate for social engagement. Here customers can gather, have great coffee and a bite, and feel comfortable without feeling cut-off from the real world. The style is spare and unadorned – a spattering of oak barrels, old tin pails, and vintage watering cans – with painted brick walls, weathered floors, and old tables, chairs and church pews. It's old school and entirely pretense-free.
The reverence for vintage is further apparent in the classic ceiling fans, incandescent pendant lamps, and unique seating options. We love the re-appropriated church pews set along the edges of the café. We also love the large open space in the middle that allows patrons to move tables around for impromptu meetings or gatherings, and how there's room for strollers. The patrons range from students to professionals, the stylish to the dishevelled, and it all works in a wonderful collision of everyday life. Loads of people are on their laptops writing screenplays (I'm guessing) – or doing their accounting – but it's not cold or alienating. You can look up and make eye contact with anyone and they'll smile back, which is as much a testament to the neighbourhood as the space.
Image courtesy of blogTO
The barista on hand serves up the same blends customers came to expect at the College Street location: Rufino Super Bar and a custom blend by Mountain View. They also have a modest spread of baked goods on hand, all locally sourced, including croissants from Pain Perdu. One little detail I adored… every patron heading out the door delivered their dirty dishes to the counter to clear the way for the next guest and make it easier on the staff. How civilized is that?
As a review in the National Post so aptly put it: “The Common on Bloor Street West does more as an independent café by doing less.” If you’re looking for the laid-back vibe of the original Common on College Street, but with a lot more elbow room, then this is the spot for you! The Common on Bloor is open daily from 7am to 6pm.
The Common II
1028 Bloor Street W
Toronto, ON M6H 1M4
Can you imagine having this sweet little java stop replete with such delicious treats and opportunity for repose and reflection only steps from your home? This is a much-desired neighbourhood right now; this fall we SOLD three fantastic properties in Dufferin Grove: An Edwardian Manse that was offered for $839,000 (and sold for over asking), A Bespoke Triplex that was offered for $1,249,000 (and sold for over asking), as well as A Prized Victorian Legal Fourplex that was offered for $1,499,000 (and sold for over asking)! But wait! You still have an opportunity to secure a spot in this fab 'hood with this Elegant Edwardian Home Sweet Home, offered for sale for $1,349,000!
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
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