See inside VerkSpace, a Nordic-inspired co-working office in Moss Park
The city’s stylish new co-working spaces are tempting workers out of coffee shops
32 Britain St. (near Queen and Sherbourne)
Rent: From $295 per month for shared space; $495 for a dedicated desk
Number of members: Approximately 100
Best perk: Discounts at local restaurants
Four years ago, housemates Edward Wensing and Logan Prong were freelancers working out of their Moss Park living room. Prong was doing consulting for the hospitality industry, and Wensing worked in web development. They hated the lack of space and the fact that all the nearby cafés closed early.
“I’m a late-night worker, and there were no workspaces that offered 24-7 availability,” Prong says. Figuring they weren’t the only ones with this problem, they decided to open a co-working space in the neighbourhood. Eventually, they found the perfect place: a brick-and-beam building on Britain Street. They moved in two years ago and currently occupy four floors. The minimalist interior design is inspired by Wensing and Prong’s trips to Iceland and other Nordic countries. Even their slogan, “On with the butter,” comes from the literal translation of an Icelandic saying that means, “Get back to work.”
The experience is more like hanging out at a boutique hotel than hiding away in a cubicle. There’s a front desk manager who doubles as a greeter for guests. Inviting lounge spaces resemble trendy lobbies. At 9,000 square feet, the member-to-square-foot ratio is low, meaning there’s ample space for workers to spread out. Every first Wednesday of each month is a party, during which new recruits can introduce themselves.
The lounge spaces are decorated with furniture inspired by Wensing and Prong’s trips to Nordic countries:
The desks and kitchen island are custom built, with walnut tops that give them a warm, homey feel:
All the desk chairs are from Herman Miller. “We made a substantial investment in them, but they were definitely worth it,” Prong says:
The building is relatively new, but it looks like an old factory:
Who works here?
Justin Wood, 33
“We’re a digital design and marketing agency with a focus on helping people grow their online businesses.”
Brenda Ngina Kahura, 33
“We provide free, unlimited photo backup, with a focus on helping users relive their best moments.”
Ingrid Fung, 33
“We invest in agricultural start-ups that help feed the world more sustainably.”