An Ode to Coffee Time

Parkdale’s Coffee Time is closing this week. While it may seem strange to have an emotional attachment to a B-list coffee franchise location… I do. It’s not just that Coffee Time’s closure smacks of gentrification (the pricing-out of affordable food/drink options, along with affordable housing options), which it does. Coffee Time was more than just a divey coffee shop. Here are a few reasons why:

Because it was a second (often only) living room for many Parkdalians.

Because it still had a glassed-walled section that used to be a smoker’s room, a good twenty years after smoking in public places was banned.

Because The Dale was allowed to host its (sometimes rowdy) Tuesday night Bible study in the aforementioned smoker’s room for a couple of years (until it was finally renovated).

Because The Dale was always allowed to sing Christmas carols (sometimes quite off-key) inside the store, during our annual carolling-around-Parkdale night.

Because the staff let us play Pictionary, Hangman, Charades, and/or Twenty Questions on the third Tuesday of every month, during our “taking a break from Bible study to just hang out” night.

Because it was a regular stop on our Wednesday night outreach walks, because we knew that our folks from The Dale found it to be a welcoming and non-judgemental space to spend a few hours out of the cold.

Thanks for everything, Coffee Time. You’ll be missed.

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 10.52.27 AM

By joannacatherinemoon

I am the Lead Community Worker at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale, Toronto, ON. The Dale seeks to create safe welcoming spaces in which all people, particularly those on the margins, are encouraged to participate fully, to the best of their abilities and journey together toward a deeper experience of the life God has given us. This blog is meant to help keep my supporters connected with life at The Dale.


  1. Just opened the curtains to greet the day for my prayer time and was reminded that I used to have a little prayer that went with this ritual. I couldn’t quite remember it so googled ‘the day rises to meet the sun’. Google led me to your blog! Ah yes – it was Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals.

    Then I took a look at your most recent post – and there was Padraig’s book being quoted! I’m reading it right now after listening to his beautiful interview on Nomad Podcast.

    It sounds as though you’re across The Pond perhaps – I’m in the beautiful south west of England. It’s so good to be reminded that our days and nights, stories and connections are woven together across the planet.

    God is with us … and with all creation ❤️

    1. Hi Angie! Thanks so much for this lovely little note 🙂 I am indeed across the pond from you — in Toronto, Canada. Padraig was here briefly and spoke at a church nearby, so I went to hear him. What a treat!
      I hope and pray that you have a wonderful rest of your day. Thanks again for reaching out. ❤

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