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Small World Cafe closing

Apparently Small World Cafe, where I spent much of my maternity leave, is closing and is for sale. Just wondering if anyone has heard anything. It was a great place for parents to meet up and for the little ones to play in the area.

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  1. That is too bad... Hubbie, the coffee addict of the two of us, really liked the coffee there. Unfortunately, we don't have children, and we found the number of little ones in the café every time we stopped in made our time there less than peaceful; don't get me wrong, we love children, just not so many of them when we're trying to enjoy a quiet coffee. Sometimes I felt like I was in the middle of a playroom or children's birthday party. Small World seemed to have a great customer base with the moms and their little sprites, and I hoped that this would be enough to keep them afloat... I guess not.

    1. Did you get this info from someone at the cafe itself, or is it just a rumour?

      I ask because the website has a "YES WE ARE STILL OPEN" banner splashed across the top of the page. Could be out of date, I suppose... either way, maybe calling them would be the best way to confirm.

      1. I heard that while they did well on weekends the weekday traffic was low.

        It was still open despite the for sale/for rent sign when I walked by today.

        1. JamieK mentioned in another thread that they sold the place to new owners. But if there is a for sale sign I guess that fell through? I'd love to have frequented it more with my kid but it's just too long of a walk for us to do regularly.

          1. As far as I know, the sale is going through or going down that road, but they are still open for business. Besides the sign, they also had it up on Craigslist.

            I heard a rumour that Starbucks had been sniffing around but I hardly think the neighbourhood could support a Starbucks, not at least until that new condo goes up at the big hole by Woodbine.

            18 Replies
            1. re: JamieK

              You're kidding about the neighbourhood not being able to support a Starbucks right? It's the wet dream of many members of DECA. I'm not a huge Starbucks fan but I'd take it any day over the Tim Hortons cubby in the Shopper's Drug Mart.
              A coffee shop open later than 5:00 would be a welcome addition in the neighbourhood. True Brew Cafe is charming and Small World is great for the kids but they both close early.

              1. re: hoagy294

                What? You don't go to Coffeetime? It's open all night! Now, I'm kidding.

                Starbucks would have a better chance by the park and closer to the subway station. They like corner locations in any event. Can you imagine a Starbucks, or any good cafe for that matter, overlooking East Lynn from one of the south corners on Danforth. With a patio of course. Or, maybe Starbucks will be interested in a spot on the ground floor retail level of that new condo when it goes in.

                1. re: JamieK

                  The chiropractor's office at the corner of East Lynn and Danforth is for rent....

                  Plus a bakery is supposedly going in across from Better Bulk in one of the former framing shops.

                  1. re: hoagy294

                    A bakery, really? This is exciting news!

                    1. re: hoagy294

                      A bakery???? Please let it be good.

                      On the topic of late-night cafés, I wish Tango Palace (or a copycat) would open a second location closer to Woodbine Danforth. Not that they're perfect, but the hours and coffee are good.

                      1. re: Full tummy

                        that's the rumour. If you look in the window of the former Syllogy there is a work permit and work happening, it looked like baskets were on the wall a couple of days ago.

                        1. re: hoagy294

                          Really exciting news - fingers crossed.

                          1. re: hoagy294

                            I walked by there yesterday - it looks like a framing store, not a bakery :(

                              1. re: mariecollins

                                Now, a bakery/café would be ideal, so long as it's good...

                                  1. re: hoagy294

                                    Sweet! Any idea what kind of a bakery it'll be? ...Hopefully not the kind where strange men are sitting around with nothing to eat or drink front of them. We have enough of those in the area!

                        2. re: hoagy294

                          Hoagy, meant to mention above that I am not a Starbucks fan, period. I never never buy their coffee. But I can understand how they would be welcome in the neighbourhood for sure.

                          1. re: JamieK

                            I like Seb's myself, but what's it called - the Venti effect - that property values increase when Starbucks arrives?

                            1. re: hoagy294

                              Seb's is great for takeout or a quick standup espresso at the bar, but I've never been inclined to linger there.

                      2. re: hoagy294

                        This infuriates me. DECA is not aspiring to have a Starbucks open in our neighbourhood. Wherever you heard that, it's ridiculous. DECA is all about supporting small business owners and small coffee shops. In fact, I think most people on Danforth East are probably happy we don't have a Starbucks. I frequent Last Drop, Three's Company Too, Seb's, Tru Brew and Small World all the time and those are enough for a coffee fix anywhere on the Danforth East strip.

                        Three's Company
                        673 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

                        Last Drop
                        549 Sammon Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

                        Small World Cafe
                        1775 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

                        1. re: eastendpioneer

                          Except none are open late (except maybe Seb's, but like I said, it's not the kind of place I feel like I can sit down and type on a laptop at). When they are open, they are great coffee house.

                          1. re: Pincus

                            I wonder what would happen if a few of us showed up with our laptops and worked at the long bar along the side wall. ;)

                    2. New intel --- apparently, the new owners are planning to turn the cafe into an Ethiopian restaurant.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: JamieK

                        So, JamieK, how many Ethiopian restaurants do you think the nabe can support? There's another one going in at the top of Moberly (north side of Danforth just west of Woodbine), called Hirut, that's labelled itself as "Fine Ethiopian Cuisine", if I remember correctly. Windows still papered over, but work actively happening in there.

                        1. re: Full tummy

                          I was thinking the same thing. I guess we're on the way to becoming Toronto's Ethiopia Town... or Little Ethiopia.....

                          1. re: JamieK

                            Another Ethiopian restaurant?! I wonder what their business plan looked like...

                            All I want is a coffee spot nearby with decent coffee, WiFi, and closing hours around 9 pm. That isn't Starbucks because I find their roasting way too bitter.

                            1. re: Pincus

                              My husband is with you on the too bitter (burnt) taste of Starbucks' coffee. All I want is a coffee spot nearby with decent coffee, WiFi, and closing hours around 11 pm. Oh, and comfy chairs.

                              1. re: Pincus


                                Also - I would be eternally grateful for scumptious & wonderful baked goods (scones!) Is that asking for too much?

                                1. re: Apple

                                  Oh, me too. My kingdom for a f*$#ing butter croissant in the area.

                                  Three's Company Too (formerly Niche, Danforth at Monarch Park) has baked items that are decent, but I'm looking for FANTASTIC: you know, the kind that you buy the whole basket of because they're so good?

                                  When I win the lottery, I'll open something for us, okay?

                                  1. re: Olivia

                                    OMG, please do!!! Seriously. Small World was only going for 30K. It felt really attainable. If I was in a different situation......(sigh).

                                    1. re: eastendpioneer

                                      Does anyone know what will be opening in place of Small World Cafe?

                                      1. re: boobahcyrus

                                        Signage up for the Lazy Hour Cafe where Small World used to be.

                        2. if all the people that really lamented the closing of this place really, i mean really, supported it...i wonder why it closed

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ingloriouseater

                            I can only speak for myself, but after I stopped being on maternity leave the place didn't really suit my needs. Their early closing time of 5 pm meant that on days where I didn't want to go home right away after work, I would take my son elsewhere to hang out. It also meant that getting together with friends for a chat after the kids were asleep would have to take place elsewhere, such as further west on the Danforth. Small World was great while on mat leave, but the key to a successful business is repeat customers. Li'l Bean and Green on Queen has the same idea, but it's done so much better. Even though it's a jaunt for us, we go there occasionally and the vibe is totally different.

                            1. re: ingloriouseater

                              It was the hours for me as well. I could get there for the occasional breakfast bagel and coffee, but that was it.

                              1. re: ingloriouseater

                                Really? Well, a dozen customers can't sustain a coffee shop. And, believe me, they had plenty more regulars who aren't posting here, and that still didn't make it work. It ain't that easy.

                              2. Now known as 'Lazy Hour Cafe' -

                                Hours? M-F, 11:30AM to 2AM.

                                Maybe this is our neighbourhood's salvation for late night lattes?

                                Haven't been in yet - will hit it this afternoon and post a fuller review - though looking in they have nice comfy looking leather seats and a huge banquetted area at the front.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Teddar

                                  Ohhhhh! Sounds promising. Passed by the other night, late-ish, and saw people inside. Do let us know what you think.

                                  Edit: Just thinking it might be good to start a new thread about Lazy Hour Café, for simplicity's sake.

                                  1. re: Teddar

                                    So has anyone been to the "Lazy Hour Cafe" - everytime I walk by I see people inside smoking hookah pipes....Just curious about reviews