ING DIRECT Canada has opened a stunning, three-story flagship café in downtown Toronto. Set in a historic building that has been fully restored and renovated, the open-concept space is something the bank claims is the first of its kind in Canada’s largest city. The space boasts a unique, post-industrial loft aesthetic that can clearly be traced back to the previous tenant, Pier One.
The first floor houses the café where people can hang out and enjoy free WiFi along with Peet’s coffee and other refreshments — all at discounted prices. A team of ING employees are on hand to answer questions about the bank’s products and services, but have no access to customer data so no transactions can occur. But you can ask staff to provide you with an iPad so that you can use ING DIRECT’s website to bank online.
The café even touts a vertical garden, something The Financial Brand first saw in a bank branch only a month ago.
Also within the first floor, ING DIRECT will feature a different local partner each month and provide great savings on one feature product. 100% of the proceeds from these items is given to local charities.
The second floor, called Network Orange, is a high-tech shared-office space for independent businesspeople. The Network Orange floor includes three high-tech meeting spaces with LED displays, webinar-ready video systems and digital whiteboards. There is also a large meeting space for up to 40 people — free for Toronto community groups, student organizations, non-profit groups, brainstorms, book clubs and “entrepreneur’s meetings.” Space can be booked online.
Network Orange members can chose from packages with different combinations of meeting room and workspace time. There is also a daily drop-in rate for the occasional worker that needs a flexible and creative space. All proceeds donated to local charities.
The third floor is off limits to the public, functioning as a satellite location for the bank’s Toronto call center.
“Like the direct banking model we pioneered 14 years ago, the ING DIRECT cafés challenge conventions of banking, redefine the role of banks and acknowledge shifts in technology and attitudes in our society,” said Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING DIRECT Canada. “We are thrilled to continue to break the bank branch model with this unique, community-oriented space in the heart of downtown Toronto.
To promote the café, ING DIRECT hosted a ‘7 Days of Saving’ promotion during the grand opening week of May 2-8. The bank partnered with local retailers to offer discounts and free information sessions on everyday ways to save including how to sew buttons, tips for taking better photos and more.
The downtown Toronto café is the fifth ING DIRECT has opened in Canada. The online bank also has cafés in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and North Toronto. You can see the other four Canadian and seven US locations in The Financial Brand’s photo tour.
ING DIRECT will be opening another café in San Francisco, its eighth location in the US, in September 2011.
ING DIRECT – Toronto (Downtown)
221 Yonge Street
ING DIRECT – Toronto (Downtown)
Café phone number (direct)
Hours of operation
Monday-Friday: 8 am – 8 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm
Via Justin Robinson at blogTO