March 5, 2013 | Greg Astill

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This blog post is dedicated to one of the greatest and best kept secrets in Toronto.  For those who don’t know, right in the middle of Kensington Market there is a physical space where people can go to converse, socialize and collaborate together on computers, technology, science, digital art and electronic art.

Toronto Public Library Staff getting a tour of Hacklab.

That space is known as HackLab.  Hacklab is a community space with a diverse membership, including artists, computer programmers, web designers, and hardware hackers.  The lab is open 24/7 for members who pay their $50 a month, which gets them the workspace, tools, diagnostic electronics, Internet access, and the expertise of knowledgeable peers. The space is highlighted of course by some nice equipment that really sets the space apart from any other.  Access to a laser, a 3D printer, professional soldering tools to name a few make the space that creative hub you might be looking for.

3D Printer at work.

Completed projects/art by HackLab members

Hacklab, also referred to as a hackerspace, makerspace, and hackspace to name a few can be seen as a  open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.

Eric Boyd, President of HackLab showing how the 3D printer works to TPL Staff.

The Toronto Public Library was able to send a few staff there recently for a tour of the space, and immediately we were blown away by the creativity and openness that is part of the space.  Being a member has its benefits and full members have access to a great deal of tools and technology that can help with any project.  We were able to catch a glimpse on how a 3D Printer works in the process and see some member working on projects of their own.

Completed project/art by a HackLab member

Here are a few tools that are in the space.

Electronic Tools:
Edsyn LONER 951SX soldering station
Circuit Specialists CSI9000 Hot Air SMT Rework station
Pyramid 5A 12V Power Supply
Tektronix TDS2012B Digital Storage Oscilliscope
PICKit3 PIC Development Kit
Large supply of common electronics components, including common resistors and capacitors
and more.


Craft Tools:
ULS 25-Watt Laser Cutter controlled by EMC2 Software
MakerBot Industries CupCake CNC with Heated Build Platform and MakerGear Extruder
Singer 128-13 Sewing Machine
X-Acto Knives, Cutting Mat, Rotary Paper Cutter
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Large selection of Hand Tools
and more.


Multimedia Tools:
Canon compact digital camera
3-LCD video projector and projector screen
Sound system with excellent amp and speakers

Feel free to drop in and have a look yourself, visitors are welcome every Tuesday night at “Unpatched Tuesdays”, where they open their doors to the public.  From 6pm until late, you can get a chance to take a look at all the tech, the toys, and meet members and have a peek at some of the projects they are working on.   Be warned, it can get quite busy, but it’s awesome opportunity to get a front row seat at some of the latest and newest technology and meet some of the coolest people in Toronto.

HackLab is located at 170a Baldwin Street.

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Have fun!!