Major European centres such as Vienna, Paris or Prague are well known for their café culture. In their heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the elegant cafés in Europe are not only places to be seen but also where one can have a carefree afternoon chat. In the 1920s, philosophers laid claim to many of the cafés for pondering and debating the anxieties of the day.
Time-starved North Americans have turned most coffee spaces into places to order their “grande’s” or “double-double’s” to go, which resulted in the popularity of take-out coffee chains. In spite of this, a number of independent cafés have sprung up around Toronto wherein one is welcome to linger and enjoy an espresso with just the right amount of crema. And surprisingly, many of these cafés are packed in the middle of a weekday afternoon – which begs the question many North Americans would likely ask – don’t people work?