Innovation Explodes in Toronto Shared Workspaces

With the rising cost of rent in Toronto’s downtown core, small businesses and entrepreneurs struggle city-wide to find affordable office space. With a growing need for office space in prime downtown core locations, the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) and other shared workspaces began popping up in the mid 2000’s.

Centre for Social Innovation Annex, 2016

The CSI has grown to become an established innovation hub, being the startup location for many succesful Toronto startups including: Rainbow Railroad, THINX, and ZooShare. The CSI has three different locations throughout Toronto, New York, and looking into more spaces for the future.

CSI Common Space, 2016

The success of the CSI deals largely with the attributes the spaces themselves have, enabling creatives to innovate and succeed. All CSI spaces include a multitude of different lighting: natural light from large windows, LED white light, Edison style orange vintage lighting, and dim lighting. Research shows that lighting can have incredible and detrimental effects on work ethic varying by the individual. Natural lighting is proven to improve mood, and behaviour, creating increases in productivity for those utilizing the workspace to innovate. Edison style orange vintage lighting has proven factors to increase creative thoughts and anti-anxiety effects. The space also includes closed offices, group work spaces, and overall open spaces for a variety of noise levels and privacy for every individual. This space utilizes a multiple identity approach, attracting different personality types with all of the different attributes the space offers.

The space is incredibly effective for innovators because it offers different types of spaces, for various creative innovator mind sets. The space can be replicated in areas that offer similair natural lighting and architecture. The amenities and environment are able to be recreated based on past design concepts and cater to the creators wishing to sign up in the area. CSI will continue to thrive as it caters to creatives needs, and follows a set of values to present its ideas and recreate similar spaces.