Maker spaces in private facilities, libraries, schools, and other locations offer opportunities for intellectual work, project development, and learning. In essence, any facility that allows people to gather and practice their hobby or work on a common project can be considered a maker space. Such collaborative workspaces are Hacklab To, Steamlabs, and Maker Bean where people enjoy a host of activities, from making keychains and coasters to leatherwork and pattern drafting.
The Maker Bean Café is a collaborative workspace café in the Ontario Science Centre that offers plenty of activities. The spot features 3D printing and laser cutting activities, kids camps, and adult workshops. Visitors are welcome to laser cut different designs such as cake topper, luggage tag, nameplate, pin, and coaster designs. Maker Bean also offers adult workshops with a focus on laser cutting and kids tech camps. Camps have been temporarily cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Found in the Centre of Social Innovation in Toronto, Steamlabs is also a collaborative workspace that houses a teen tech incubator and offers a diverse array of activities. The teen tech incubator offers young people the opportunity to learn HTML/CSS coding, robotics, and digital fabrication. They also develop business skills such as marketing, budgeting, and project planning. Participants master technology and design skills such as user experience, user interface, industrial design, and simple circuits. The maker space also offers a variety of youth programs, including workshops, winter and March break programs, and summer camps. There are also activities for educators such as the Maker Educator Boot Camp, educator workshops, and technology training. Workshops incorporate a variety of activities such as laser cutter training, digital fabrication, programming, robotics, and others. Steamlabs also offers consulting services to libraries, schools, and science centres as well as tested programs that can be offered in other maker spaces.
Vancouver Hack Space
A workshop space in Vancouver, VHS offers a membership program that comes with a monthly fee ($60) and no signup fee. Probationary members have access to a woodshop, laser cutter, and other member-only areas as well as access to the workshop space. Members are allowed to vote at society meetings in three months time. Equipment includes programming, machining, and crafting tools and electronics. There is also a coffee machine and coffee shop.
Edmonton New Technology Society
ENTS is a collaborative community that organizes workshops with a focus on repairing, building, designing, and more. The society features different studios such as sewing, 3D printing, pottery, electronics, metal working, and woodworking. ENTS also offers classes and organizes events, including weekly open houses, monthly general meetings, and pottery Mondays. All events have been temporarily cancelled.
A hacker collective in Toronto, Hacklab To is a collaborative space for hardware hackers, web designers, computer programmers, and artists. The maker space hosts a variety of events such as open houses, solar power workshops, members meetings, accelerator mentor meetings, wine and cheese nights, and others.
This is a joint project of the Brampton Library, Sheridan College, and the City of Brampton that is free to join. The goal is to create a learning environment that is safe and easy to access. Visitors are offered the opportunity to use digital creation and maker tools, including equipment such as an electronic cutting machine, 2 +3D printer, mini 3D printer, and video capture device. The drawing tablet can be used for sketching, painting, and digital drawing while the scanner has features for digitizing slides and photo negatives. The maker space also runs a variety of programs and offers learning opportunities with a focus on robotics, web design, coding, modelling, and 3D printing. Repair cafes, tech talks, meetups, and special events are also organized. The maker spaces are found in three library branches – Springdale, Chinguacousy, and Four Corners.
Other maker spaces in Canada that are worth visiting are the Toronto Tool Library, Maker Kids (Toronto), Victoria Maker Space, and Protospace (Calgary).