WAFO-14 Get your nose to the Grindstone

I recently started trying out the Grindstone Cafe for coffee, lunch, and snacks in Rock Bay. Nearby is the Club Kwench co-work facility, which also deserves a blog post!

The Grindstone Cafe is a family-run coffee-shop / bistro in Rock Bay, at the foot of Herald Street. I’ve been there for breakfast, lunch, and coffee so far. One day, I decided to check out the upstairs lounge, which is quite funky. WIFI is available, as is power, depending on where you sit. Lots of natural light too. Bathrooms are for customers only.

A very friendly family runs this place, and made me feel quite welcome!

WAFO-13 Working in the Shanzee zone!

In my top-3 spots to work downtown is in Shanzee’s Biscuit Cafe, in Market Square.

I’m usually in there on Friday mornings, as my schedule typically doesn’t have too much Zoom activity in it. I can do a Zoom there, as the Wifi is adequate. However, the country music / classic rock soundtrack can sometimes create a little too much ambient noise. Only recently have I learned that the speaker at the back of the venue can be independently adjusted for volume!

I just love the all-day breakfast menu down here. And the coffee, from DrumRoaster. There is power near 1 of the high-top tables at the rear of the facility. The back-patio is great, although can be a little bright on the laptop screen. One can adjust patio table umbrellas as needed to target a shadow onto the screen.

WAFO 12 – Good working at Good Earth Coffee House

I landed at the Good Earth Coffee House in James Bay unexpectedly the other day. I often relocate from home to downtown in the middle of the day, and this time, I didn’t quite have the 14 minutes needed to get downtown. So, stopped at the Capital Park development at the corner of Menzies and Superior, to take up a seat in this coffee house.

I’ve worked there before, much earlier on in the COVID period, and I must say it does tick all the boxes. Extra points for the power-plugs that are underneath the bench seating in the cafe.

Another nice thing here is all the natural light. All sorts of snacks and meals are available, as well as a full selection of coffee and tea style drinks.

They are currently recommending a 2-hour cap on your stay, so others can enjoy the indoor experience. Makes sense, although I over-stayed my time on this session, as the place was near empty.

Pro-tip – they have WIFI, but it doesn’t work well on the patio seating just outside the front door.

WAFO 11 – Steamer’s Pub lives on at Leopold’s Tavern

Just had a thought – I could make this blog even more useful by posting the WIFI network name (SSID) and password along with each post! In most cases though, it’s only my computer that has remembered the network username / password.

Of interest at Leopold’s Tavern is their WIFI network name “STEAMERS”, which reminds some of us of the pub that used to be at this location!

Turns out that Leopold’s is a great place to work, if you’re OK with working in a sports-bar like settings. It’s very dark inside, which is great for screen viewing. Probably way too loud here to host a Zoom call. Strong WIFI signals available. You can get a coffee, and any number of other alc or non-alc beverages. The Mac & Cheese is very yummy. Pile on the add-ons and make it your own. If you happen to be working on Wedneday afternoon, then you’ll be in a great position for Wednesday Wings, before the crowds arrive!

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 bring my own chair to use this space, as the public seating was removed a while ago, to discourage gatherings. Pictured to the left is the Martin chair, by IKEA. 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.