If you have kids in your life, and haven’t ventured over to Roncesvalles to check out Smock yet, mark your calendar. I mentioned Smock in an earlier post (My Faves – Toronto Coffee culture) but this is such a unique place I felt it needed its very own shout out. I first learned of Smock via one of my favourite Toronto based design blogs, TheMarionhousebook. The moment I saw the post about this wonderful new shop on the ever growing, ever evolving Roncesvalles strip, I planned to head over with my nieces and one of their friends to check it out.
Espresso bar, cafe, and most importantly kid’s workshop, Smock is a coffee shop with a twist. It was opened last year by 3 moms who saw the need for a kid (and parent) friendly coffee shop in the neighbourhood, where parents could take their kids and have a bit of time to themselves to have a coffee, a snack, and maybe even read a book. And here’s the twist: you can unload your little one at the craft table, where a facilitator will help them create the craft of the day, while you quietly enjoy your coffee and your kids have a blast. Brilliant.
It’s not easy to find something that will please a 3 year old and two 9 year olds for any length of time, but Smock came through for me. We arrived one sunny afternoon to a crowded, yet controlled, kid packed space. We got some snacks, and headed back to the workshop area, where the kids quickly picked their toy of choice, and the facilitator helped them with their plan of attack. And not once did I hear ‘I’m bored’, or ‘Can I play with your iPhone’?
The kids can colour and paint to their hearts content, or for a small fee ($8) you can pick from a selection of small wooden toys, and they can use any of the huge selection of knick-knacks in the nicely displayed jars on the wall to decorate their toy. They also have a good selection of healthy kid friendly snacks like hummus, carrot sticks and cheese cubes, along with more adult appropriate fare and all the standard caffeine fixes. What’s not to love? The kids only complaint…’Why can’t we come here every day?’
All images by Laura Burke