I don’t know about y’all, but personally, I’m a big fan of coffee shops. I love going out to eat (not just for the food, but for the atmosphere and experience) but restaurant dinners can add up quickly. Going for coffee is a nice way to enjoy the experience of “going out” at a significantly lower price tag. And with the countless cute cafés to explore in Toronto and beyond, you could visit a new one every weekend and still never run out of spots to visit. It seems like every time I scroll through Instagram, I see someone posting about a great new local coffee shop that just opened up…and I just keep adding them to my never-ending list!
Today I wanted to shout out one of my favourite local cafés: Hale Coffee. Hale is an independent coffee roaster that sources their beans from ethical, direct trade relationships with farmers, and roasts them right here in Toronto – so you can feel good about where your coffee is coming from! Hale offers a delicious variety of roasts that you can purchase directly through their online store. If you’d like to try before you buy, pop into any one of their five locations throughout the GTA. Hale’s flagship café in The Junction is my favourite!
Located in the historic Clock Factory Building at Dupont and Campbell, Hale is unusually large for a coffee shop – at least by Toronto standards! It boasts a bright and airy interior, thanks to its high ceilings and a garage door that lets in tons of natural light. The industrial-chic space was designed by [R]ed[U]x Lab, a collective of talented digital fabricators from Ryerson’s Department of Architectural Science. They created a striking ceiling installation of interlocking wooden cubes, which instantly catches your eye when you enter the space. Art-adorned brick walls, leather banquettes and Tolix chairs complement Hale’s homey – yet distinctly urban – vibe.
My favourite element of the space is this stunning mural of a humpback whale by artist Tim Jeffs, paired with text educating patrons about the detrimental impact of single-use plastics on our oceans. Hale Coffee is proud to be an environmentally sustainable business, and part of that includes offering reusable straws and cups.
Another favourite interior detail has to be the disco ball hanging from the ceiling – because come on, who doesn’t love a disco ball!?
It’s timely that I’m writing this post in the month of February, because another one of my favourite décor details at Hale is this giant red lips installation, made entirely out of red roses. While it’s there all year round, it’s perfectly on-theme for Valentine’s Day and makes a fun background for your Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day selfies!
Each February, Hale serves up some limited-edition, seasonally appropriate brews and treats that are perfect for a coffee date with your valentine. The pink almond croissants are not only delicious, but look especially pretty on a plate – these would be the perfect treat to pick up for a Galentine’s party! Last February I fell in love with their rose latte, which has distinct (but not overpowering) floral notes, thanks to rose syrup that they make in house. This year, they’ve introduced a new ‘Heart Beat Latte’, which pairs espresso with red velvet and chocolate notes.
Hale will be serving their special Valentine’s treats – including their specialty lattes, pink croissants and these cute cookies – at all locations for a limited time, so be sure to stop by and grab some while you can! Or, simply stop by anytime – I happen to think they’re a pretty great spot all year round.
What are some of your favourite coffee shops in Toronto?
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