Friday, January 29, 2016


Do you have some fantasy, something you love to daydream about, but don't expect, or even want it to really happen? Maybe its about going on a date with a celebrity crush, or doing some extreme sport or activity, selling all your possessions and travelling around the world...

For me its always been having a restaurant or café.  Since I was a little kid, I've loved this idea.  I used to set up a table for 2 in my bedroom, write up menus (usually crackers and water were the options), and then invite my parents for a meal. 

Because of my love of cooking and baking, this fantasy has stayed with me always...especially since there are so few, if any places serving the kind of food I like to make and eat.

Anytime I see an available piece of real estate, I start to imagine my dream café in that space.  Most recently, its been this empty property, which for years, was a very popular restaurant in Toronto (space with boards out front and missing window panes on second floor):

Its on Baldwin Street, now referred to as Baldwin Village, because it is chock-full of great restaurants and cafes.  Although its just a short, quiet street, its located near the University of Toronto, OCAD University, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, so it gets lots of foot traffic.

Although the building is now in desperate need of repairs, its a lovely old building with great bones.

This is what it used to look like:

John's Italian Caffe
Now apparently opening a restaurant or café is extremely risky and I don't have a super high risk tolerance, not to mention that it is all-consuming, and often not easy or even possible when you have young kids at home, so it is not something I would ever seriously consider doing, unless I won a lottery.  But I girl can fantasize anyways.

Here is my current café fantasy:

Its called the "Rainbow Café" where everyone is welcome and focuses on tolerance and inclusion. The tagline would be: "Feed your body, mind and soul."

The top floor of the building would have drop-in fitness classes, wellness classes, mom and baby classes and support-groups.  It could also be rented out by local community groups as a venue for meetings or events.

The bottom would be the café.  It would have a wall of books that customers could read while on-site, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, hand-picked by myself.

There would be a juice and smoothie bar (even though I hate juice and smoothies), since people love them so much, and they are kid-friendly. 

There would be a whole slew of meal and snack options for babies and kids, that are all healthy (no fried food or sugary treats!).

It would be nut-free to accommodate those with allergies, and lots of vegetarian and vegan options. 

The whole menu would be full of delicious, healthy food items, ranging from baked goods, to soups, stir-fries, pastas, sandwiches and salads.  There would be no refined carbs or sugar used in anything (you can get plenty of that elsewhere), only whole grains and alternative sweeteners.

There would be a gourmet coffee bar too, serving organic, locally sourced coffee beans, espresso drinks, etc.

In warmer months, there would be tables with umbrellas set up out front for people to enjoy the outdoors.  It would have a relaxed, friendly vibe where everyone would feel comfortable and welcome.

Sigh! I build on this fantasy any time I drive to work, as I park on a street about 10 minutes away (which has the cheapest parking in the area) and have to walk down Baldwin Street past this space.  In crap weather when I am loathing every second of that walk, dreaming about my café makes the time fly.

I seriously doubt this café will ever fact, I doubt I will ever open a restaurant or café of any kind, but just daydreaming about it brings me pleasure, so that's really enough.

We have a busy weekend ahead, with me working, the girls' many activities, a birthday party and more, so I won't have much time to plan out my café.  But that's okay, my real life is even better.

What's your far-fetched fantasy?

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