White Squirrel Coffee Shop, located conveniently across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, has been a neighbourhood staple since it opened its doors in 2009. Owner Dave Ginsberg, formerly of Aunties & Uncles, wanted to start something that was a reflection of his lifestyle: relaxed and uncomplicated.
Living in the neighbourhood, Ginsberg easily identified the need for a great cafe and ice cream shop and it seemed somewhat serendipitous when the 'for rent' sign went up in the window.
The aesthetic is simple and retro; parquet flooring covers the counter and a vintage sign board hangs above the coffee machine. There’s a small seating area a few steps up that overlooks the action and a small walk-up take away window, marked by a discreet 'order here' decal, to conveniently serve canine-accompanied foot traffic.
The coffee at White Squirrel comes from Mountain View Estates, a local, fair-trade organic roaster that Ginsberg first became acquainted with at Aunties & Uncles. Wanting something different, he worked with Mountain View to create a custom roast and blend unique to the White Squirrel that can also be purchased by the pound.
In addition to coffee and its many variations, White Squirrel serves up an assortment of baked goods, hand-held breakfast, sandwiches, empanadas and Greg’s Ice Cream, Ginsberg’s personal favourite.
As the area grows and cafes and ice cream shops continue to pop up, White Squirrel’s popularity has remained a constant, which prompted Ginsberg to open up a second outpost in Rosedale almost two years ago. You can usually catch him serving behind the counter at least once a week or floating in and out of his shops around the neighbourhood.
White Squirrel is open weekdays at 7:30 a.m., weekends and holidays at 8 a.m., and you can order coffee until 8:30 p.m. and ice cream until 9:30 p.m.
White Squirrel is located at 907 Queen St. West. Visit whitesquirrelcoffee.com for more info.