Makerspace YK’s new building opens its doors, gradually

Last modified: June 6, 2022 at 11:25am


Programs and events have begun at a renovated building that’s now home to Makerspace YK, a skill-building charity that offers tools, workshops and expert assistance.

Makerspace YK welcomed guests to 5001 Forrest Drive for a soft opening on Friday evening last week, almost 18 months after first announcing its acquisition of the premises.

“It’s a little bit surreal,” said Makerspace YK’s Cat McGurk. “It’s been a really long time. But it’s great. It’s really wonderful to be at a point where we can start inviting people into the space.”

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Setting up the facility has been hampered by supply chain delays attributed to Covid-19, meaning various materials and tools have yet to arrive.

McGurk said the facility wouldn’t feel truly open until much more of that equipment arrives, enabling more programming to take place.

Pieces of equipment in place so far include laser cutters and CNC or computer numerical control machines, which use software to automate movements like cutting or milling.

“We do have a decent suite of tools,” said McGurk, “but at this point we’re focusing on one-off programming and ways other organizations can come in and use the space for their needs and bring what they need into the space. It’s a really awesome empty box right now.”

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Information about renting the space will appear on the organization’s website and social media soon, McGurk said.

Already, a bike collective – dubbed BikeSpace – has begun working from the building’s deck, operating weekend repair workshops with a trio of volunteer bike mechanics.

Bikes on the deck of the Makerspace facility
Bikes on the deck of the Makerspace facility. Photo: Rosy Tutton

“It’s a space where people can access tools to work on their bikes and have support in fixing their bikes from people that can help them,” said Rosy Tutton, a BikeSpace volunteer.

Makerspace YK also has a Red Seal carpenter on staff alongside a digital fabricationist, and what McGurk called a “really talented board of directors.”

“At some point we will open things up for membership,” she said, “but we want to be in a position where we’re offering something kind-of fulsome before before we go down that route.”

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