The other day we had a Skype conversation with two people in Israel who are considering building a mobile makerspace. They asked us if there were many mobile makerspaces in Canada and we realized that we didn’t actually know the answer.
This post is our attempt to answer that question by creating a complete list of all the mobile makerspaces in Canada. If you know of any we’ve missed, leave a comment on this blog post.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MOBILE MAKERSPACES IN CANADA
When we founded the MakerBus in London Ontario nearly six years ago we weren’t aware of any other mobile makerspaces in the country. While we knew of a mobile makerspace in the United States and one in Australia, our research couldn’t find any other examples in Canada.
Many years later we discovered that the team at Vancouver British Columbia’s Maker Mobile were founding their mobile makerspaces at nearly the exact same time as we were founding ours – great minds #MAKE alike.
While you can find examples of mobile classrooms throughout Canada’s history (check out these really cool classrooms inside of trains), mobile makerspaces have become increasing popular since around 2012. We’ve scoured the internet and believe we have found every mobile makerspace currently on the road in Canada – if you know of any mobile makerspaces we’ve missed, please let us know!
Please note that this list only is taking mobile platforms that identify themselves as “makerspaces” into consideration. Mobile art studios (like Creative Cube in Surrey BC) and mobile media labs (like Near North Mobile Media Lab in Northern Ontario) are totally awesome, but will not be included on the list below.
MAKER MOBILE – Vancouver, British Columbia
One of the oldest mobile makerspaces in Canada, Vancouver’s Maker Mobile is housed inside of a cube truck and promotes maker education across British Columbia.
THE CALGARY MAKER BUS – Calgary, Alberta
Founded in 2015, the Calgary Maker Bus has transformed a decommissioned mini-bus into a mobile makerspace.
MOBILE MAKERSPACE @ LAMBTON COUNTY – Lambton County, Ontario
Unlike the other mobile makerspaces on this list, the Mobile Makerspace @ Lambton County is not housed inside of a vehicle, it is a rotating collection of maker tools that travels throughout the Lambton County library system. We’ve included the Mobile Makerspace @ Lambton County on this list, for two reasons: first, the library chose to identification this tool collection as a “mobile makerspace,” and second, you don’t need a vehicle to be mobile. Mobile makerspaces are about making the maker movement more accessible to communities, this can be done in a vehicle, on a bike, or in a mobile collection of tools.
TINKER TRUCK – Kitchener, Ontario
While primarily based out of Kitchener, Ontario the Tinker Tuck can be found popping up at events, schools, and festivals across Southern Ontario.
THE MAKERBUS – London, Ontario
Housed inside of a 1989 school bus, the MakerBus team has been promoting access to technology and education in Southwestern Ontario for nearly 6 years. The MakerBus team is working to take the concept of “mobile” to new levels, creating new partnerships in the United States and across Canada.
ACTUA MAKER MOBILE – Ottawa, Ontario
Created as a Canada 150 project, the Actua Maker Mobile travelled Canada in 2017 promoting maker education across the country.
uOTTAWA MAKER MOBILE – Ottawa, Ontario
An outreach program of the University of Ottawa’s Engineering Department, the uOttawa Maker Mobile has transformed a converted cube truck into a mobile makerspace.
Did we miss any mobile makerspaces in Canada? Help us compile a complete list of these creative cars and tremendous trucks by leaving a comment on this blog post.