The Canvas is London’s first Happy Cafe. Based just off Brick Lane in East London, this not-for-profit vegan social enterprise, offers much more than the typical London café fare. Alongside the freshly homemade breakfasts and lunches, the mouthwatering cakes, the notorious vegan freakshakes and the one-of-a-kind ‘tofish and chips’, the cafe also runs free events and workshops to inspire your creativity and connect with others. Expect all kinds of socially-conscious experiences including storytelling, stand-up comedy, meditation and mindfulness, film screening and talks from . There’s a little garden out the back – perfect for a balmy summer eve – and two lovely event spaces. In January 2018, The Canvas went fully vegan and cruelty-free.
The Canvas describes itself as “a blank canvas for social change”. The cafe runs its own free or low cost events focused on improving wellbeing or inspiring change, as well as hosting and incubating a range of organisations that aim to do similar. Organisations can hire out the community hub for free or the downstairs creative space at rates subsidised by commercial hires.
The cafe also has a pay-it-forward board where you can donate towards free food and drinks at the cafe for those less fortunate. What’s more as a not-for-profit space, so you can be assured that every coffee drunk or cake eaten is going to support The Canvas’s social mission.
Here’s what they said
The Canvas exists to support and enable the launch of new ideas that improve the lives of others, and to provide a clear sense of community through belonging and ownership – just visit us and read the walls to understand how we do that!
Since opening in 2014, we’ve supported the launch of the world’s first Museum of Happiness, supper clubs supporting refugees, doggy day-care feeding the homeless, live performances supporting mental health and workshops promoting positive activism, entrepreneurialism and community cohesion.
That’s why we were named London’s first Happy Cafe in 2015.
What started with a sofa is now a positive force for good in London. Come and see for yourself; we’d love to see you.