smock cafe and wonder workshop

What happens when you throw three creative forces behind a new business? You get Smock Cafe and Wonder Workshop! A whimsical, new cafe and arts and crafts oasis for parents and their children situated in our lovely neighbourhood of Roncesvalles. I have an exclusive, first look at this enchanting new place.

Sara Wood, the owner and creative power behind Smock Cafe, started looking for a multifunctional space where parents and their children could unwind and connect with others after she found herself sitting on the floor of one too many gymnasiums with her own daughter. Together with graphic designer Courtney Wotherspoon and interior designer Sarah Keenleyside she set about to devise a space that would provide a meeting spot for parents, nutritious and seasonal food, crafts and activities for a wide age range of children and a place for regularly scheduled classes and camps.

Owner of Smock Cafe, Sara Wood.

Entrance to Smock Cafe (with beautiful encaustic tiles from Granada Tiles that Sara installed herself!)

Marble run wall and stowaway reading nook just for kids.

There is definitely a Do-It-Yourself aesthetic behind everything at Smock Cafe. Sara, Courtney, and Sarah threw themselves completely behind this project and did most of the work themselves from installing all the tile work (Sara), to making the Tom Dixon like black lights from Ikea bowls (Sarah), to creating craft boxes that you can do in the cafe or take home and try (Courtney). In addition, Sara's father-in-law, put in 12 hour days  from the moment they  took possession to opening night.

Courtney Wotherspoon, Sarah Keenelyside and Sara Wood.

Matryoshka Doll craft box created by Courtney.

Vintage sink for washing up after crafts in the Wonder Workshop.

DIY craft boxes and tubes available for purchase.

Smock will be serving up delicious, homemade food that is seasonal, organic and local whenever possible. All of the baked goods will be made fresh daily and on the premises. The Wonder Workshop at the back of the space has a magical artist's apothecary where children can purchase small items like feathers, pom poms, bark, ribbon, and buttons to make crafts on the spot. A facilitator will always be there to lend guidance and encouragement. In the lower room of the cafe, is a space for ongoing classes and summer camps as well as for special events and even children's birthday parties.

The apothecary in the Wonder Workshop.

Fresh baked goods in the cafe.

Lower level room for classes and events.

This whimsical new cafe couldn't have opened at a better time for me! Don't be surprised if you find me there on a daily basis in the coming months. Congratulations to Sara, Courtney and Sarah and everyone behind Smock Cafe on their new venture. It's clearly a labour of love!

For more information on Smock Cafe and Wonder Workshop and to register for classes head to their website or if you live in the neighbourhood drop in! They are officially open starting today.

287 Roncesvalles Avenue - info@smockcafe.com - 416-530-0888

{By the way, if you like those DIY Tom Dixon like pendant lights that Sarah invented come back in the next couple of weeks and I'll fill you in on how she made them!}

All photographs by Sian Richards for The Marion House Book.