There are places that reflect who we are. Places that envelop us so that we wear them like a second skin. Places that become our own. At almost a hundred years old, 711 Queen St East was left barren; leaving an emptiness that had yet to be filled in the midst of a thriving, vibrant community.

Residing at the corner of Queen & Broadview, stoic with its heavy archway and brick façade, two windows prop evenly on each side reflect to passersby its rough edges after years of being passed around from one person to the next. First it was a bank. A fully intact vault remaining still holds the memory. Then it became a grow-up. Then it became nameless.

Until it didn’t.

711 Queen St. East caught the attention of businessman and entrepreneur, Dave Kennedy. Drawn into the possibility of what could be, he took ownership in October 2017, knowing he wanted to do something special with this historical landmark. Armed with a strong belief that every local community should have a gathering place, he set out to transform this beloved building into a local community destination.

A rallying call was put forth for ideas to bring 711 Queen St East back to life.

Amongst the local community word spread and even reached local media. Headlines like Former Toronto Weed Dispensary Wants to Become Something Special and Entrepreneur Open To Suggestions For Former East Toronto Bank Building—all helped build excitement and anticipation of what it would become.

What it would become, came from a by chance introduction from a friend of a friend, and a meeting over a cup of coffee. A conversation ensued and rooted in a shared vision, a partnership was formed. 711 Queen St. East was to become a coffee shop.

A coffee shop with its colourful history needed a name that would bring the community together. A Tertulia is a gathering of friends who come together to talk about things like art, culture, books, life; whatever is of interest. It was a perfect fit for a coffee shop that would become a local community destination.

711 Queen St. East is no longer nameless.

Tertulia opened its doors on September 10, 2018.