Inside The Station, where artsy freelancers enjoy natural light, potluck socials and life-drawing classes

Inside The Station, where artsy freelancers enjoy natural light, potluck socials and life-drawing classes

What: The Station
Where: 401 Richmond St. W.
How big: 1,400 square feet
How much:A private desk costs $480 a month, a shared desk is $250, and the use of a desk for eight days a month is $140
Notable tenants: Design agency Crrumb, which did the branding for the first-ever Toronto Vegan Oktoberfest
Perks: After three months, members can opt into The Station’s health plan

Before co-founding The Station, illustrators Gracia Lam, Hugh Langis and Kassem Ahmed were sharing a small workspace on the third floor of 401 Richmond, a former factory that’s been split into studios and retail spaces. Their unofficial arrangement inspired them to set up a permanent, legitimate co-working space. When the building’s owners began restoring its long-decommissioned basement, the trio jumped at the opportunity to lease 1,400 square feet and turn them into The Station. During the four-month reno, they met with their future tenants, and some ponied up cash, Kickstarter-style, to help fund construction. The space, designed by Joyce Mou, has minimalist furniture that mirrors the building’s wood-and-white colour scheme. After-hours events for The Station’s tenants include portfolio critiques and life-drawing classes. There’s plenty of natural light, which pours in through mammoth street-level windows that were boarded up for more than two decades. A glassed-in meeting room and two phone nooks are currently in the works; they’ll create a buffer between the workspace and common area without blocking a single ray of sunshine.

Contrast Living built the maple desks, which have smooth tops that are ideal for drawing or sketching:

The small kitchen comes in handy when The Station hosts its potluck socials. It’s also a great place to enjoy a coffee from Dark Horse Espresso Bar, which occupies the main floor:

Members have 24/7 access to the office, which is staffed by security around the clock:

Tenants are encouraged to host events in the space. Right now, illustrator Dmitry Bondarenko teaches a life-drawing class every other week, which costs $5 for members and $10 for the public:

The Station’s branding reflects its clientele, which largely consists of creative types:

Each new tenant’s orientation includes learning how to make a latte on the Breville espresso machine: