Instant Office: Vancouver Hotspots

October 13, 2009

T hese five cafés deliver free Internet in surroundings where you’ll actually be inspired to meet that deadline. Yours for the price of a coffee. (A map is here and a comprehensive list of local wireless cafes is at Vancouver.wifimug.org.)

Raw Canvas

1046 Hamilton St., Yaletown, 604-687-1729. Raw-canvas.com
The go-to for Yaletowners in search of an insta-office has, for years, been the candlelit confines of Subeez. But recently Raw Canvas changed the game. Beautific yogis tap away on plush ottomans, fuelled by charged-up juices and well-made coffees. When the spreadsheet proves tiresome, head to the back for a quick inspiration session—canvases and paints are provided. Hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon. and Tue., 8 a.m.-midnight Wed. and Thur., 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fri., 10 a.m-
1 a.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun.

Prado

1938 Commercial Dr., Commercial Drive, 604-255-5537. Pradocafe.com
Bright young things check Cinémàtheque schedules on their iPhones, fuelled by unsweetened chai and a murmuring electro-pop soundscape. (There’s only one plug-in, though, so come with a fighting attitude or a fully charged laptop.) Can’t cope with the stiffly chic Emeco Navy chairs? Head down the street to the superb Turks Coffee Lounge (1276 Commercial Dr.). Hours 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Melriches

1244 Davie St., West End,  604-689-5282.
Internet at this cozy room is only free after 4 p.m., but there’s no West End café more frequently haunted by designers and writers. Most evenings see Battleship-style laptop pairings on tables. Drinks won’t impress espresso masters, but the staff and music are uniformly entertaining. Hours 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sun.

Calhoun’s

3035 W. Broadway, Kitsilano, 604-731-7062. Calhouns.bc.ca
Table signage asking UBC students to keep other patrons in mind didn’t stop exhausted undergrads from parking for hours on end with fair-trade Americanos and glowing iBooks behind the big red doors of this Kitsilano capacious institution. Hours Open all day, every day.

Salty Tongue

210 Carrall St., Gastown, 604-688-9779 Irishheather.com
Set up your laptop next to groomed designers and keyed-in travellers at the 40-foot Douglas Fir communal table that anchors this brick-lined Carrall Street newbie. Espresso drinks from 49th Parallel beans are top drawer, and we’re happy to be sated by the build-your-own sandwiches. Hours 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

JJ Bean

333 Brooksbank Ave., North Van, 604-984-8630. Jjbeancoffee.com
The city’s favoured indie roaster set up shop on the North Shore last year and fans of its superior coffee have already made it their own. The sleek woodwork at the Park & Tilford location is particularly conducive to crisp thoughts—the Park & Tilford gardens, next door, are ideal for pacing should you hit a wall. Breathe. Refuel.  Hours 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

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