I enjoy meetings at the Code Factory. Partly this is because it attracts interesting technical groups. Partly this is because the space is very welcoming, despite some small issues.
I am reviewing it separately from the meetings that are held there, to avoid repeating myself. I am using the same criteria that I apply to the “About the meeting space” sectioon in group reviews.
About the meeting space
The address is easy to find on Google. However, when you get to Queen St, you would do well to remember that the Green Papaya restaurant is in the same building. There is a small sign visible coming from the east, but I found it less obvious coming from the west.
When you get to the building, the elevator and stairs are locked so that you must push the pager button for the Code Factory (2nd floor) and tell them you are there for “XXX” meeting and they will release the elevator for you.
There is paid parking in the area. I don’t think there is any free parking nearby.
Be aware: The building next door has underground parking, but they close at 9pm, so if you are late, you will have to leave your car until the next morning.
There is excellent bus access a two or three blocks away at the Transitway downtown stops. The nearest is Bank, but the Kent stop is also not far.
I have only been to meetings on the 2nd floor in their ‘Event Space’, so I can’t comment on their 4th floor ‘meeting space’ yet.
I said earlier that the space is welcoming. As you come in, there is a small waiting area. Some groups stop there to chat before the meeting. This is great for small groups or if someone is setting up and wants to avoid moving people while they are moving tables and chairs in the event space.
The event space itself has a very lived in living room quality to it, like a downtown coffee bar ins some ways. The seating is primarily a scattering of tables with chairs around them, plus some bar stools. There is a pop fridge and a coffee maker or cappuccino maker.
The washrooms are off the hall between the front desk and the event space. They are small but serviceable.
The room is advertised in some places as having room for 35. It might have if set up carefully, but the two columns cut off some areas at the back (south) from seeing the screen on the north wall. Normally, this is not a problem for under 20 people. For 25 people, there is some movement of chairs and leaning of heads. Putting ‘bar stool’ size chairs near the front also makes this worse, so you should move them if you see that they are becoming a problem.
The space is rented out to groups. Some groups have a sponsor who will pay for it, but if not, a contribution of $5 per person is requested.
There is food and coffee there, which is offered with the expectation that you will contribute some money. I think it’s 50 cents for coke, but I haven’t seen a sign for the coffee price. For environmental reasons, you could consider bringing your own mug.
The chairs are comfortable and generally are next to tables, which people in many groups use for laptops.
There is a projector and a white wall for presentations. A standard VGA cable is provided. On one occasion it was failing and had to be in absolutely the correct position to work. It was fine at the next meeting, so I think ian replaced it promptly. There is no sound system, but it is not needed.
About the meetings
Many of the evening meetings start at 6:00pm. If they say 6:30, it may mean there is a networking time from 6:00pm to 6:30pm (as for instance, Ruby Tuesday), or it may actually mean there is nothing happening until 6:30pm.
After the meeting gatherings
The Glue Pot is a block or two west on Queen. It has lots of room and experienced staff but is a bit loud for those of us with imperfect hearing. The kitchen was open when I was there.
There are several bars to the east, mostly on the Sparks Street pedestrian mall. On Monday to Wednesday or even Thursday, these are very quiet and their kitchen may close by 10pm or earlier. It’s best to phone first if you are organizing an event.