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Toronto cafes start to adopt no laptop policies


Walk to your local coffee shop and there is a big chance that the place is full of laptops, iPhones and headphones.

Gone is the era in which these common areas were reserved for conversations with friends over a cup of Joe: nowadays cafes are synonymous with working – mostly alone.

Although no one says it's a mortal sin to break out your laptop at the local Starbucks, there's a clear difference between today's coffee shop culture and pre-technology.

To remedy this inequality, some cafes in Toronto have taken it upon themselves to ban or discourage the use of laptops – often during specific hours – in an effort to return to the old ways of café communication.

 hot black coffee

Hotblack Coffee has not banned laptops, but you will not find a WiFi signal here. Photo by Hector Vasquez

HotBlack Coffee the freshly packed space on Queen West has courageously chosen not to offer WiFi to its guests since the opening end of 2016. The same applies to Baddies in Lansdowne, or the big brand coffee magnate Nespresso in Yorkville.

Cafe Pamenar in Kensington has been playing a similar game for years by maintaining his no-laptop rule after 8 pm – a necessary tactic for the café that turns into a bar hangout in the dark.

Although not all-encompassing, Early Bird on Queen West maneuvers around antisocial laptop users with small plates indicating certain tables as laptop-free zones.

The newest part of the computer-free front Neo – the favorite cafe of King East and the Japanese bakery – has started placing a plate with its own informing customers that laptops on the weekend between 12 and 12 no longer welcome pm and 4:00 pm

"Take part in creating a community that encourages social interaction and makes new friends," says the board.

According to the founder Masashi Nakagome, the efforts were surprisingly well received by customers.

"Ninety percent of the people who see this sign say," That's great, we have to do this, "" he says.

 no laptop café toronto

The new laptop-free hours of Neo. Photo via Insagram.

Masashi says that the decision to adopt this new policy came after receiving several comments about a lack of space at Neo – odd, since the café has a capacity of 40 people.

He realized that the problem was the abundance of laptop users who would often take a whole section of a table, a habit he first tried to remedy with a polite memory to share the room.

"We had a note asking people to share the table," he says, but the request was ignored. "Most people have not done that."

After working in Little Man's Manic Coffee for nearly six years, Masashi recalls how easy it is to make new friends and start conversations with strangers in an open coffee shop environment.

His current rule without a laptop, but only on weekends, is a way to bring that feeling back to life at Neo.

"The coffee shop we started is more about community, it is not an office", he says, adding that this new rule has made room for customers who visit Neo to enjoy coffee and pastries, not to to work.

"Weekends [are more] for friends meeting and families. & # 39;

So far, the move brought about only one negative reaction: despite the fact that it was said twice that laptops were not allowed, a customer remained Using Mac until he finally demanded his money back – a request to which Neo obeyed, in the interests of brevity.

"I welcome people who come with their laptops," says Masashi, stating that four hours a day on weekends do not At the end of the day, Neo still offers Wi-Fi every day, so anyone who is in urgent need of interweb communication can log in with his phone.

As to whether the café will benefit less from customers streaming to cafes with WiFi , it seems that Neo is willing to take the loss.

"We can lose money, but I love that people come for coffee," he says. "I want to continue doing this completely." [19659027] window.blogTO.facebookPromise = new promise (function (solve, refuse) {
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