CSI spaces: What’s changed? What’s the same?

When we closed our spaces in March, it was hard to feel like anything would be the same ever again. But after four anxious (and lonely!) months, we were finally able to re-open our spaces to members at the beginning of August.

Which isn’t to say that everything is back to normal! Or even to say that we know what “normal” really means anymore. So we checked in with the Community Managers of each of our spaces to get a sense of how things have changed at CSI, at what has stayed the same.

Quote from Stefan Hostettor, CSI Spadina Community Manager: "The coffee is still fresh, as is the oat milk, and the joy of a quick run-in with a member continues to be day-brightening."

Stefan: CSI Spadina
How is it different being at CSI Spadina?
Well it’s much, much quieter. Everything’s become a little more wide open space wise, but we do have a brand new beautiful and fully accessible ramp being completed in the next week or two on our ground floor! So that is exciting. We also have a bunch of beautiful stickers, hanging barriers, specially designed study carrels made in-house by the Toronto Tool Library Maker Space.

How is it the same?
We kept the plants alive! Despite the pandemic, the plants have made it through so the space remains bright and green. The coffee is still fresh, as is the oat milk, and the joy of a quick run-in with a member continues to be day brightening.

Quote from Gonzalo Duarte, CSI Annex Community Manager: "CSI Annex smells of anticipation and opportunities. We are ready for members to come back, and for new ones to join."

Gonzalo: CSI Annex
How is it different being at CSI Annex?
CSI Annex is more spacious, very clean, and less cluttered. It’s more focused. We are ready for members to come back, and for new ones to join. Our new air conditioning system is purring. The space is safer and healthier with barriers, sanitation stations and public health posters everywhere. We have two new Ideation Areas, a new Reflection Room, and a new kitchen going in on the third floor. CSI Annex smells of anticipation and opportunities.

How is it the same?
CSI Annex is still comfortable and productive. Tara, Deenie, Thom and I are able and willing to work with you. Familiar faces are around, and new ones are joining. Meeting rooms are equipped. Members are returning to Hot Desks, Dedicated Desks, Team Tables, and Offices. The coffee is brewing. All the greenery and plant life stands guard gently and fearlessly.

Quote from Denise Soueidan-O' Leary, CSI Regent Park Community Manager: "The warmth of the community is still strong in the space. Even with reduced occupancy, there's always a friendly face."

Denise: CSI Regent Park
How is it different being at CSI Regent Park?
We have hired a fantastic member of the RP community named Ibrahim Afrah as our Community Coordinator. He is super helpful, and diligent, and has been extremely on top of ensuring that the whole space is sanitized, clean, and safe for our members return. We are missing having the community flow through in our space; it’s a bit quiet. There isn’t nearly the volume of food and snacks that CSI Regent Park is known for.

How is it the same?
Green Thumbs Growing Kids have filled our space with plants, and candula oil, and the general hubbub of garden season and farmers market preparations. The warmth of the community is still strong in the space. Even with much reduced occupancy, there’s always a friendly face.


If your new normal maybe requires a new space to work, we’d love to hear from you! While we are still not yet able to open to the public, we have a few spots for new members! If you are looking for a safe and welcoming place to work outside of your home, email join@socialinnovation.ca

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