An Ode to Coffee Time

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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

3 responses »

  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 ❤️

    • 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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