By Isaac Olson
As co-working spaces continue to pop up across the island year after year, autonomous workers from around NDG came together on February 9 to discuss the possibility of establishing such a space in the area.
It has been discussed in the past, but interest is growing as autonomous workers search for a place to earn their daily bread outside of coffee shops and home offices.
In the publicity leading up to the event, it states, “NDG is home to many who work outside traditional office settings, yet the neighbourhood is lacking in welcoming, creative, efficient spaces for individuals to work on their own and/or collaborate with others. Currently, independent workers, freelancers and small businesses must leave NDG in order to access co-working environments. Perhaps 2017 is the year for change.”
Held in the Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi NDG on Sherbrooke St. and organized by the NDG Community Council’s Steve Charters, about 20 people came together to hear presentations by founders and leaders of co-working spaces such as The Food Room (55 de Louvain West St.) and Temps libre Mile-End (5605 de Gaspé Ave.). The Food Room is a fully-equipped commercial kitchen and co-working space for food entrepreneurs.
Temps libre offers people a fully functioning office space, complete with meeting rooms, desks and more, in a co-op style setting that attracts students, artists, business people and others in search of a place to work outside of their home. In this case, explained Ariane Careau, there are financial partners and the users pay on a sliding scale depending how much time they need in the co-working space. It’s a co-working space that is used to subsidize a public meeting and gathering place.
“But the question is, if one wanted to make a co-working space, you need money to build it and you need a network of people that you can invite easily once you put it up,” said Charters in a phone interview before the February 9 meeting. “The purpose of this meeting is to bring together all the different people that have been talking about creating a co-working space in NDG for a number of years and to link them all together so that we can actually find out and demonstrate that there is a market for this kind of initiative.”
Charters is a community organizer with the NDG Community Council. One of his roles is leading the Local Economy Coalition that brings together all organizations interested in local economic development in NDG from both an entrepreneurial and employment perspective.
|Non-profit organization leaders and autonomous workers come together to discuss the possibility of establishing a co-working space in NDG on February 9. Photo: Isaac Olson|