A look inside WeWork’s chic new co-working space in the Financial District

A look inside WeWork’s chic new co-working space in the Financial District

The city's stylish new co-working spaces are tempting workers out of coffee shops

WeWork

1 University Ave. (near Front)

Rent: From $530 per month for shared space; $4,000 for a five-person office
Number of members: Approximately 500
Best perk: Free beer on tap

Anyone who visits WeWork’s brand-new University Avenue offices will have to admit: co-working isn’t just for hipster freelancers or tiny tech start-ups anymore. The global brand’s third Toronto location opened this summer and is still partially under construction. When it’s finished, it will have room for as many as 1,500 workers. RBC is already a tenant, and employees of Pinterest’s Toronto outpost are moving in soon.

The space takes up five floors of an Oxford Properties tower near Union Station. The downtown location and big-name membership roster make this office a bit less casual than other co-working spots. Tailored clothes are prevalent here—though denim and plaid wouldn’t be out of place. The decor, done by WeWork’s in-house design team, is clean and polished, with an abundance of tan leather armchairs, long wooden tables and minimalist cacti and houseplants.

There are plenty of trendy touches to make corporate types feel cool: LaCroix is on hand at the mini-market, and guests are welcomed by a neon Toronto sign that looks like it belongs in a nightclub. WeWork’s special events provide tips and information on practical job stuff and current events: for instance, how to get funding for your start-up, and how best to take advantage of America’s ever-tightening immigration laws.

The design team sourced much of the furniture from Hay Design and Normann Copenhagen:

 

Plush banquettes make for a comfy alternative to standard office chairs:

 

Members get access to unlimited fruit water, tea, coffee and beer:

 

The poured concrete flooring is new. The renovation took about six months:

 

The black-and-white Toronto photos were taken by photographer Jamal Burger, a.k.a. “Jayscale”:

 

Who works here?


Paul Arora, 39
Lighthouse Outcomes Inc.
“We’re a research consulting shop. We do statistics for health care–related companies.”

 
 
 


Krystyn Harrison, 28
Prosper
“We’re the first mobile coaching platform for job-seekers to transform their interviewing skills.”

 
 
 


Salomeh Ahmadi, 30
Lift Philanthropy Partners
“We provide social-purpose organizations with capacity building and pro bono business expertise.”