New York’s women-only workspace is taking flight in Toronto

Photo: Chelsea Jackson

Where once women feared the competitiveness of a women-only workspace, a new culture of female empowerment is flipping the script, with The Wing leading the flock.

The Wing, the gals-only co-working club that exploded into New York’s Flatiron district in 2016, is coming to Toronto. Founded by Lauren Kassan and business partner Audrey Gelman (a one-time press aide to Hillary Clinton and social maven.) Despite rather ludicrous accusations of gender-based discrimination in New York, rapidly expanding The Wing is out to resurrect women-only social clubs of the early 20th century. The mandate? To create living room-like spaces where women can get shit done and make meaningful connections in the process.

The thousand person wait lists and cult-like Instagram following—not to mention the endorsement from Gelman’s gal pal Lena Dunham and members like rapper Remy Ma—confirms a keen desire for their design-y brand of single-gender workspaces, female empowerment, and the perks that come with it.

So when The Wing announced a major expansion to six new locations, including Toronto (its first entry into Canada), it was less like a surprise and more like an answered prayer. Set to open its doors at an undisclosed location in early 2019, hopefuls can expect all the regular perks of a traditional co-working space (coffee, WIFI, by-the-hour boardrooms) paired with The Wing’s unique fixtures: a lactation room (complete with breast pumps), a feminist-leaning library, curated food and beverages by female chefs and mixologists, and beauty freshen-up rooms, with upscale products sponsored by Chanel.

And if their history of guest panelists (Hillary Clinton) or uplifting events (a screening of the RBG documentary on badass Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; body confidence talks; and buses to Washington to attend the Women’s March) are any indication, the women of Toronto will have much more than just a Kelly Wearstler-esque work environment to conquer their career from. (No stepping on each other on one’s way up the ladder here.)

Much ado has been made of The Wing being elite, but with memberships starting at $2,300 USD annually (that’s about $250 Canadian per month), the rate seems not bad to us considering comparables. Toronto’s ladies-only Verity club, established in 2004, has packages starting from $2,000 annually, with access to a spa, pool and gym—though the vibe is definitely more… er, traditional. Shecosystem (from $2,760 annually), offers all the expected amenities, plus a massage/therapy room, with a shabby-chic aesthetic slightly reminiscent of the girls’ apartment on Friends. The closest next-best-option would have to be Make Lemonade (from $3,600 annually), with its all-white, Ikea-inspired interior, brightened by splashes of millennial pink and lemonade-yellow on select walls—Instagram’s “We Can Do It!” slogans writ large.

More like the sophisticate culture of Soho House, The Wing is no doubt leading the charge on professional women who seriously got it going on coming together, in a modern mood. And based on the waitlist, a room full of #girlbosses is finally on many a grown-up woman’s wish list.

Like this article? Check out this article on the equally chic and hard-to-get-in Toronto spot to get your hair did by the hairstyling elite.