I’m lucky to live within walking distance of one of the best roasters in the city – Hale Coffee. This Junction Roaster x Coffee Shop is located at 300 Campbell Ave (Unit #103), in the Clock Factory building. They are open daily from 9am-5pm*.
If you live in Toronto, you’ve probably had Hale at one time or another at one of the multitude of cafés that serve their coffee, like Daily Grind. Hale Coffee is easily recognizable by its simplistic white packaging with a colour blocked centre, and adjourned with bold black text.
Their coffee is delicious (especially their espresso), and if you can’t remember trying it in the past, let this post act as a sign! I believe the best place to do so would be at Hale’s Junction storefront.
Its unassuming location (located on a side street across from a large construction site) actually benefits the experience you have when visiting. Hale’s massive space is not only ideal for the roasting, shipping, barista training, events, and full-service café it operates – it’s also incredibly stunning.
The revamped industrial building with high ceilings and concrete/dark wood accents, also houses hanging geometric light fixtures that fill anyone who enters the shop with wonder. Other details I love: their whale mural and secretive looking bend past the barista counter (used for training/events/additional seating).
Obviously, its space would be best enjoyed if we could sit inside the café, but even the few minutes I spent inside waiting for my drink transported me from the outside world. Plus, the coffee is worth the visit even if I have to walk back home with my drink.
Hoping for a social distance coffee date? Hale sports two picnic tables and a semi-shady stump for anyone looking to sit & enjoy their coffee.
My recommendation: literally anything espresso based. I made the mistake of ordering a hot chocolate at the café before, and if I’m being honest, it was just eh. Hale blows their caffeinated beverages out of the water, so stick to those when visiting. I typically go for their lattes or flat whites. For the summer months, I’d recommend their iced latte – cold with the perfect balance of milk & espresso… it hits the spot every time.
Beside coffee, Hale also sells a small selection of pastries (availability varies). Recently, they have also carried Saving Mondays cookie dough tubs and ice cream sandwiches. I got the ice cream sandwich on my last visit and OMG. The sandwich uses brownie cookies, and they were probably the fudgiest cookies I’ve ever had. In hindsight, I realize the mistake I made in not purchasing a tub.
Along with drinks and food, the coffee shop also sells coffee equipment (ex. V60 filters) and artisan goods from local artists (ex. tapestry).
HOW TO SUPPORT THEM
You can support Hale during this time by purchasing their drinks to-go or to brew at home. Their bags of coffee range from $16-$20 each, and can be purchased in-store or online (with free shipping for purchases over $50). If you’re an avid coffee drinker, Hale also offers two different coffee subscriptions – one geared towards large families/companies and one for everyday coffee lovers. You can shop & find out more here.
Hale believes in “good coffee, more often” – and that’s what you can expect when drinking their brew, either from their café or at home. They continue to innovate and be a prominent figure in Toronto’s coffee scene, and I’m proud that they do. I can never stress enough how important it is to continue supporting local businesses during these times; I will continue supporting Hale and I hope you will too.
*Given the COVID-19 pandemic, hours depicted in this post may be skewed as businesses adapt to better serve its staff, customers, and community.