Being self-employed in a city like Vancouver makes you fortunate: with good transit, good people and good cafes, the only real challenge in this city is actually doing a good job. But since we know you’ve already got that covered…what you really need is a place to have client meetings.
1. Try the library
With 22 branches strategically placed in the most convenient locations all across Vancouver, the library is the most obvious (and yet the most surprising) choice for a business meeting. Vancouver has committed to providing free wireless internet in every location, and if you don’t mind embracing the “community” feel, nothing beats a library as a quiet space for smart people.
2. Do coffee
Your favourite local coffee shop is moonlighting as a prime location for your next meeting. Here in Vancouver, it’s almost harder to find a coffee shop that doesn’t have wireless: every Waves location will hook you up for free, and most Blenz, Wired Monk and Bread Garden Urban Cafe locations will, too. Even at Starbucks, all it takes for free wi-fi is a registered Starbucks card – I carry an empty one around in my wallet for just that purpose.
3. Join the club
Your meeting could be happening in a Gastown loft with view of the Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains, in a comfortable-yet-stylish space with exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows and ready access to the city’s best coffee. Yeah, it’ll set you back a monthly membership fee, but you’ll also be part of Workspace, one of North America’s pioneers in shared spaces. The meetings might just be worth it. (You can also try The Network Hub on Richards Street, available at $20/hour for our kind of meetings)
4. Chow down
The breakfast meeting is a classic, and if you’ve got a client you’re comfortable enough with to eat pancakes and talk business at the same time, then Vancouver has a couple options. Every De Dutch location has free wireless. All Cactus Club shops (for a lunch or dinner option) can feed you broadband and beefsteak, and The End Café on Commercial can give you coffee, food and internet (and big tables).
5. Centre yourself
In January of 2009 Vancouver City Council passed a motion to start rolling out wireless for all Community Centres in Vancouver. It’s not ready yet, but most of the Centres have a good amount of tables and chairs ready to be inhabited by entrepreneurs like you.
Tools & Resources
- Find a wifi-enabled coffee shop in your neighbourhood
- Read some tips on coffee shop working from Vancouver’s most notable mobile meeter