maker spaces toronto

The top 5 maker spaces in Toronto

Maker spaces in Toronto allow local creators of all kinds -- artists, woodworkers, metalsmiths, programmers, designers, robotics experts -- to turn their ideas into something finished and fully-realized. If you've got a project you want to build, these spots provide all the training, support and equipment you might need (and if you have no idea what you're doing, there are often plenty of on-site classes that will help you figure things out).

Here are the top 5 makerspaces in Toronto.

This sprawling multi-use facility on College, once a shoe factory, now encompasses a shared office space and the tech-focused MakeLab, which features 3D printers, a laser cutter and prototyping equipment. Around back, there's The Shop, a hands-on workshop for metalworkers, woodworkers, and crafters of all kinds.

Toronto Tool Library
Though they sprang to local fame as a spot where Torontonians could borrow everything from hacksaws to hammers, they've since expanded into a full-fledged maker space in the East Danforth area, with 3D printers, a laser cutter and a full workshop (in addition to access to 2,000 tools). As a bonus, members can get 24/7 access.

Located in Parkdale, Hacklab.TO is the hub for Toronto's hacker community. (They use the term, the group explains, in the MIT sense: "We make things, repurpose things, program things, invent things, and make lights blink." They host hackathons, meetups and programming classes and workshops (recent topics include Arduino and CADsoft Eagle).

Site 3
This Bloor and Ossington workshop, open since 2010, predates the mini-boom in co-working and maker spaces in Toronto. The 2,000 square foot spot features a workroom downstairs, featuring everything you need for electronics and woodworking projects, and a rotating selection of classes, including lampworking and metal milling. (They also do 24/7 access for members.)

Icewire Makerspace
A newcomer to the maker community in Toronto, Icewire occupies a second-floor spot near Bayview and Davisville. Their focus is on tech, with electronic and robotics components, soldering equipment, and three 3D printers all available for use. They offer numerous beginner/level workshops, including some that cater to middle schoolers and teens.

Did I miss any? Leave your picks for Toronto-based maker spaces in the comments.

Photo of The Shop at MakeWorks by James C. Lee.

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