The Toronto Writers' Centre is a 3,200-square-foot, air-conditioned writing haven, divided into a quiet room, lounge, kitchen, and boardroom.
The quiet room features 28 work spaces, each of which contains a desk, chair, lamp and electrical outlets—the perfect distraction-free writing area. All mobile phone sounds must be switched off. Text messages are allowed but no voice calls. You're welcome to use your MP3 player and other music sources provided that other writers cannot hear them. Unless you have purchased a reserved desk, work spaces cannot be reserved and are available on a first come, first served basis. The quiet room is well stocked with dictionaries, thesauruses and style manuals.
Clear your mind and relax in our warm, inviting lounge while you print off your work from our laser printer. Browse through our selection of newspapers and magazines, or pour a coffee and chat with other writers.
Store your lunch or snacks in the refrigerator or heat them up in our microwave and toaster oven. Mugs, dishes and cutlery are also available — but please place them in our dishwasher after use! Large recycle bins are also available for your rough drafts.
Lockers are also located in the kitchen and are available at an additional cost of $15.00 plus GST per month. They are big enough for those writers wishing to leave their materials on-site, but smaller than a large dog. Sorry, TWC cannot accept responsibility for lost or stolen items.
Need a place to conduct interviews, client meetings or collaborate with other writers? TWC members may use our spacious board-room with its two white-boards, when it has not been rented out. Here you can "talk story" to your heart's content.
What does it cost?
A basic membership costs $135 plus GST per month. Lockers, when available, can be rented for an additional $15.00 plus GST per month. We are phasing out permanent desks, so they are no longer on offer.
How do I get there?
The TWC is located at 627 Bloor Street W. between Euclid and Palmerston. It’s close to both Bathurst and Christie stops on the Bloor subway line.
How secure is the TWC?
The premises are protected by a security company with a burglar alarm system and high-grade locks with keys that cannot be copied.
Will I always be able to get a desk?
Yes. Since we opened in 2006, there have only been two occasions when a writer had to wait for a desk — and it wasn't for very long.
Can I bring a guest?
You’re welcome to have the occasional friend visit you at the centre for coffee or lunch, or to discuss your work. Writers often make use of the boardroom for this purpose (if it hasn’t been rented out.) This can be especially useful if you are collaborating on a project. But generally the TWC is a private space for its members only.
I need serious quiet when I write. Will I be happy?
The quiet room is the most important place at the centre. No talking, no music, no cell phone sounds are allowed. It is located at the back of the building, away from the street side. It’s seriously quiet.
What are the networking opportunities?
The main focus is on work, of course, but writers engage in lively discussions at the lunch table and in the lounge. It’s a great place to make business contacts, get referrals, and make friends. Everyone is welcome to post news of upcoming events—readings, book launches, films etc.—on the bulletin boards and to send announcements to the entire membership.
Will I be able to get in very early in the morning or late at night?
Yes. Membership gets you a key, and access to the centre twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. All you have to do is remember your key (and the code for the burglar alarm).
Is there a printer I can use?
We have a small printer for very limited use.
Can I rent a locker?
We do have lockers, but there is currently a waiting list. There is a closet where you can store books and papers and less valuable materials. We advise all writers to take their laptops and other electronics home with them.
What about food?
Coffee and milk are provided, along with cupboards full of dishes, cups, glasses and utensils. There’s a large fridge for people who want to bring lunch and snacks. If you choose to eat out, there are a wide variety of very affordable restaurants in the immediate area.
I’m a writer. Where can I drink?
There are many pubs nearby. Standouts are The Victory Café, Paupers, The Brunswick Ave. Pump, and Clinton’s.
Can I suspend my membership and resume it if I'm away for a month or more?
Memberships may be suspended for one or more calendar months at a time with advance written notice.
The Toronto Writers' Centre was founded by Mitch Kowalski of MEK Inc. in Toronto's Yorkville neighborhood in 2006. Inspired by the success of the New York Writers Room and other organizations like it in the United States, TWC is the first of its kind in Canada.
Today TWC is located in the Annex and it continues to be managed by Mitch Kowalski. A writer at heart, Mitch is a former product director for the largest title insurer in Canada. Before that, he was a practicing lawyer in Toronto for 14 years. He received a B.A. (Honours) in Political Science, a M.A. in Political Science and an LL.B., all from the University of Western Ontario. Later he also received an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. He is a freelance writer and has authored a legal text as well as a number of articles for legal journals, magazines and national newspapers. Mitch is passionate about writing, and his recent book, Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century, is a best selling legal text.