WAFO-10 beating the heat in Oaklands, remotely

working outside in Oaklands

Here we are on one of the hottest days of the year in YYJ, and I took up an invite from a Workmate to stop by his front-yard for a working sesh. Not one to miss a chance to try out a new remote WAFO space, I biked over!

This front yard must be among the finest remote office spaces around! I took up a comfy patio seat underneath a lush fig tree, and was able to put my feet up on yonder tree branch to make a very effective lap-desk for the laptop! The WIFIs were plenty strong enough for a Zoom call, which is what you need when you’re in a virtual-team setting with everyone going WAFO, one way or the other!

As a guest, I was able to enjoy a cool beverage, and use the in-house facilities as needed! I eventually had to break out a battery pack to power through the end of the sesh, but all in all, a very unique WAFO time under the Summer 2021 #YYJ heat-dome!

WAFO-9 working close to office

1515 Douglas Street - public rotunda

I’ve spent a bunch of the last year, since 2020-June anyways, working in this space. The public atrium at 1515 Douglas Street. Workday has an office suite in this building, but as you know, it has been closed due to COVID since 2020-March.

Jawl has permitted tenants to use the building, so I’ve leveraged the opportunity to make this 1st floor space a very effective workspace. It basically ticks all the boxes:

  • bathrooms nearby
  • plenty of coffee nearby
  • power outlets, if needed
  • WIFI – from several sources

This site gets bonus marks for the great natural light!

I’ve had to furnish my own chair to use this space, as the public seating was removed a while ago, to discourage gatherings. I have storage space in the building to stow the chair. Also access to a storage locker, for day-use only. And a shower. And secure bike-storage. Tick more boxes.

Nice space, and a quick bike commute from James Bay!

WAFO-8 Upper deck at home

At home, there is a nice upper deck that is useable as office space in the summer months. It ticks all the boxes for power, Wifi, bathrooms, access to coffee, etc.

In this shot, you can see that I have the Macbook set up on a bistro table. I’ve got a plank of wood acting as a desk-surface that levels out the bumps on the tabletop, and also provides a bit more elbow room for the coffee thermos.

I decided to bring out the whiteboard, and set it up on a wooden table that’s handy up there.

WAFO-7 1021 Fort Street

The site of Picnic Coffee, near the corner of Fort & Vancouver streets. The owners run a catering outfit out back, and a coffee shop out front. Great eats to be had here, and on the day this shot was taken, I was enjoying the June Macro Bowl – which got my 3 noms for YYJ Macro Bowl of the Year – #nomnomnom.

So yah, my WAFO experiences here include a camp-chair outing in spring of last year, just out front on the sidewalk shown. Too bad I didn’t get a picture of that scene for this series!

Jon had the patio built onto curbside parking out front sometime in summer 2020. Flip back to WAFO-4 to see another work space.

Again, all the boxes here are ticked:

  • coffee / eats
  • bathroom
  • power, if you’re sitting in this seat
  • WIFI

WAFO-6 Market Square Balcony

Market Square Balcony

After grabbing a pizzolo from Mosi across the street, I came over onto the 2nd floor balcony of Market Square to work.

This bench is under overhead cover, so provides cover from the rain, and some glare. It is still pretty bright in this location, but at full-screen brightness I’m working in a focused fashion. At the cost of some battery though.

There is #TELUS wifi in this location, and I’ve got at least 2 bars. An OOKLA speedtest shows me 9.26 Mbps Down, and only 2.84 Mbps Up, so likely a little choked for Zoom, but this afternoon I have no meetings!

Plenty of coffee and snack solutions are nearby, but what about bathroom access? Hmmm, not yet sure if the business owners in the Square allow customer-access to the loo, but I am packing my building pass, so can easily hop up Pandora Street if needed.

WAFO-5 Imagine Ice Cream @ Breakwater

On Thursday morning, I wound up working just outside the Imagine Ice Cream shop, which is below the Breakwater Cafe.

While there may be Wifi available here, I chose to tether with my iPhone so I could get decent enough bandwidth to spend 90 minutes on Zoom. I had the umbrella out to take some glare off the screen.

The Breakwater Cafe is open for coffee at 9 AM, Wednesday through Sunday. Customers can use their washroom.

WAFO-4 Picnic Coffee

Among my favourite patio spaces in the downtown core, at 1021 Fort Street.

Great eats and coffee beverages, plus much more if you check out the menu! A very creative gang is at work in the kitchen. Have you tried the charcuterie boxes? I digress….!

This space has WIFI from the Picnic coffee shop, #TELUS wifi, and various other networks seem to be around here. If you’re a Shaw customer, then I gather you would have plenty of WIFI access all over the downtown core, so keep that in mind.

The bathroom is available to customers only.

Note the portable umbrella I’ve got popped up, that cuts down glare on the screen. The umbrella is in my portable kit, for situations just like this.

The location in the patio is basically right on Fort Street, so there is quite a bit of traffic noise. If you’re having a busy day of Zoom meetings, you might want to pick a quieter spot, depending on the quality of your mobile audio headphones / microphone / noise-cancellation setup.

WAFO-3 Home patio

All the convenience of home, in this location on the back patio!

This is a fair-weather location only, as there is no overhead canopy to keep the rain off. I use the portable umbrella on the table to keep the glare off the screen.

I’ve got a WIFI network in the back half of the property, that works really well back here. I also have a power-outlet just next to the sliding door, so no worries about packing battery banks to this location.


WAFO-2 Macchiato Café

The café is located at the corner of Blanshard and Johnson in downtown Victoria. I came over for a late lunch, and grabbed a seat out on the Johnson Street side of the patio. The WIFI network called “Mac Guest” is available out on the patio.

Working outside is often a challenge due to the glare on the laptop screen. This seat was next to a planter that has a ledge that cast a shadow at the time I day I was there (between 2:30 and 3 PM Pacific).

The coffee, sandwiches, salads, and snacks are all good – and competitively priced. The washroom is available to use for customers. I don’t believe there is a power outlet on this patio, so keep that in mind.

Patio table at the Macchiato Cafe in downtown Victoria.

WAFO-1 Market Square courtyard

I came downtown on a rainy afternoon to grab a coffee at MOSI on Lower Johnson, then park somewhere out of doors and undercover to avoid the raindrops.

This bench is down on the courtyard level of Market Square. I grabbed WiFI from #TELUS, although there are many WIFI networks down here that you (or your laptop) may already know.

Many coffee options are nearby, including Hey Happy, and Shanzee’s Biscuit Cafe (serving Drumroaster Coffee at time of writing).

Yah, ergonomics of sitting on a bench for a while aren’t the best, but I like to do a change of scenery to re-charge the brain-waves, and to support my own notion of flow. I eventually finished the coffee, and got chilly on this rainy afternoon, so headed away after a couple of hours of work.