Workspace is Closed. Thanks for the Memories.

Comments 9 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Workspace, shared work environment in Gastown, has officially closed its doors for good. The sudden move has left many flabbergasted as Workspace had become an institution of sharing, learning, networking, and to-die-for coffee over the years.

Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr

The concept was simple, create a big open membership-based space with optional offices where those without actual office space could conduct meetings or do work in a professional setting. It was the brainchild of Bill McEwen who has since moved on, leaving the reigns in Dane Brown‘s hands. “It definitely hurts to have to close the doors,” he told me. “We had an amazing 3 year run. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Bill MacEwen and I were pulling all-nighters, trying to make sure everything was ready for the opening party.”

Photo credit: FormulaPhoto on Flickr

My first social media event was BarCamp at Workspace in 2006 and since that time I’ve had the pleasure of participating in and hosting events in this unique atmosphere. Dane’s sentiments regarding the connections and relationships formed at Workspace probably hit close to home for many. “I can’t count the number of true friends I’ve made working here or the number of friendships between others I’ve seen form over coffee or good-hearted debate. My favourite part of all this has always been the people and how they connect with one another.”

Workspace View

Greg Andrews, one of Workspace’s recent acquisitions, first learned of Workspace while living in Alberta. “I likely read [about] it on a chunky CRT in a windowless office deep inside an Edmonton office park that wasn’t within walking distance of anything meaningful except a smelly meat processing plant.” He moved to Vancouver and became of a part of the community almost instantly, thanks to DemoCamp which was being held at Workspace. “Not only [was I] amazed by the environment of an open concept minimalist loft, I was also amazed by the community and the event, that they would really just let some nobody kid who just moved here stand up and speak in front of the room. Met a handful of people that night and at following WorkSpace events that I’m pleased to still be acquainted with to this day.”

To many, Workspace has always stood out. If not due to its amazing office space, artwork, and panoramic views, but for the people. “There are many options for shared offices in the city, but the key feature they successfully cultivated (and even advertised on our cards) was community,” said Greg. “That was a bigger perk than the coffee.”

Who knows what the future will hold, as many businesses and individuals take on “virtual” office spaces but this is truly the end of an era in Vancouver.

Blogathon Vancouver participants at Workspace (6am)

“While the physical space will cease to exist, the community that made WorkSpace great is going stronger than ever,” said Dane. “I look forward to seeing members, friends, family, and anyone else who cares to celebrate at the party we’re planning next month. Details will be released in the coming weeks. It was an absolute pleasure to be of service.”

Update December 11, 2009: In a tweet from Greg Andrews: “In case you missed the subtle mention yesterday, the space formerly known as Workspace has a worthy new tenant: Pixar.”

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9 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. MelMonday, August 24th, 2009 — 5:47pm PDT

    That’s unfortunate but it is a beautiful concept while it lasted.

  2. DaveOMonday, August 24th, 2009 — 5:51pm PDT

    Workspace was a catalyst in so many ways – was always a welcoming place which was great for events, meetings or just getting out of the office to get some un-interrupted work done. The art, ambiance and coffee were always top-notch. Thanks for buzzing me up.

  3. Robert DallMonday, August 24th, 2009 — 6:31pm PDT

    Sadly I could never experience what workspace is although I though it was always a great idea.

  4. JenMonday, August 24th, 2009 — 8:32pm PDT

    Like Robert, I really liked the idea but could never participate..Why did they close anyways, anyone know?

  5. Eve SandersSunday, August 30th, 2009 — 1:06am PDT

    Sad news. I think it’s a big loss. We need spaces like these – just to be able to bounce off ideas with like minded individuals is priceless.

  6. DanielleTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 4:25pm PDT

    Any news on why it closed?

  7. MuskieFriday, October 2nd, 2009 — 2:08pm PDT

    Even before Workspace’s unexpected demise people have being working on colocation and shared office environment. Recollective is hosting a meeting on October 8th at their offices on Pender and Carral I believe.


  8. ColetteFriday, December 11th, 2009 — 3:06pm PST

    Sad to hear. It was a beautiful space with exceptional coffee.

  9. RasWednesday, February 3rd, 2010 — 5:14pm PST

    I went there for a meeting once. Very cool place.

    Why did it close?

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