The one that's all about family

This Scarborough co-working space is bringing start-up energy to the east end’s underserved entrepreneurial community

Name: Huddle Sharespace
Neighbourhood: Scarborough
Rent: From $250 to $2,500 a month per company
Number of members: 45
Best perk: An on-site gym

More than anything, the founders of Huddle want their co-working office to reflect their love for Scarborough. In the summer of 2018, Carlo Molle and his four business partners—who are also family members—bought a building at Crockford Boulevard and Lawrence East and decided to convert it into an office for the east end’s underserved entrepreneurial community, with sleek monochromatic interiors and exposed concrete floors. “We wanted to bring something to Scarborough,” says community manager Aleema Khan, “so local businesses could say, ‘Hey, we don’t need to go downtown because we’ve got a cool space right here.’ ”

When Huddle opened its doors in October of 2019, there was a brief period where young entrepreneurs and local incubators moved in, but after the pandemic hit, the space became the de facto office for a number of essential services in the area, including food packaging businesses, as well as financial advisors and realtors.

Now, the young entrepreneurs have returned and often pop over the dividers to seek out advice and mentorship from their more established peers. “What sets us apart is that we’re family-run,” Molle says. “And we’re all connected to Scarborough. We’ve established a caring community of members who are here to help and support each other. It’s so encouraging.”

Who works here: Bien Pham, founder, Tokyo Plays Inc., a kids’ video game builder

“Prior to the pandemic, I mostly worked from home. But when business picked up because kids had more free time at home, it was difficult for our employees to communicate effectively with everyone working remotely.”

Melissa Fasolino, insurance and finance professional, World Financial Group Canada

“It’s a strong community environment. There have been networking events here, which don’t often happen in the east end of the city. With my business, I want to help individuals and communities in the Scarborough area with their finances, and it’s a perfect place to do that.”

This mural, by Scarborough artist Durothethird, features inspiring words and phrases chosen by Huddle members:

Lengthy planters serve as dividers for Huddle’s dedicated desks, providing leafy privacy:

The second-floor gym has sound-absorbing cork floors and a change room with a stand-up shower. Members can bring personal trainers to the space for workout sessions:

Here’s the phone booth:

Matte black lockers are on hand for members to securely store their belongings while they work:

Executive office suites are kitted out with their own wet bars, private washrooms and built-in storage. Bonus: they also come with a reserved parking spot:

The kitchen is equipped with two fridges, a commercial-grade Keurig and a Nespresso machine, filtered reverse-osmosis water, an ice maker, and a mini convection oven:

Huddle’s outdoor patio is available to members, but there’s a catch: it’s WiFi-free by design, giving workers a place to truly disconnect and get some fresh air: