This year's Mini Maker Faire took place at the Toronto Reference Library.

This year’s Mini Maker Faire took place at the Toronto Reference Library.

On November 22nd & 23rd I spent inspiring weekend at the Toronto Mini Maker Faire. Now in its third year, this was by far the largest with an estimated attendance of approximately 10,000 people. It was hosted at the Toronto Reference Library, home of some neat new Digital Innovation Hubs. The central location near Yonge & Bloor made this Maker Faire accessible to a fantastically broad and diverse audience. And what fun to see Makers showing their stuff between the stacks!

The maker magic began as soon as you stepped in the door. Maker Kids hosted a boat making / boat racing workshop at the Reference Library’s indoor pond. Toronto has a wealth of maker opportunities for kids. Other offerings included a wearables workshop by Kids Learning Code and science experiments and undulating goo from Action Potential Lab. Adult maker & hacker spaces present included InterAccess, Hacklab and Site 3, as well as groups like the Toronto Kite Fliers and the Devil’s Workshop.

There was also a rich assortment of design, art, and engineering projects. Some of my favorites included Little Robot Friends by Aesthetec, Kamiko by Karlen Chang, Blush Wale by Hot Pop Factory, Rainbow Gun 2.0 by Alex Leitch, and the adorable and infamous Hitchbot. Wearables were also well-represented. My own Social Body Lab presented Monarch – our latest muscle-activated kinetic textile. Loretta Faveri demonstrated and spoke about SoMo – a wearable midi controller for dancers.  And Robert Tu showed off his line of MeU garments – wireless wearable LED matrices. Be sure to check out the slideshow below for more projects.

One of the more forward facing experiences was a table where attendees could play a card game called “The Thing From The Future” – a great opportunity for makers to think about what could or should be made next! Overall, this year’s Toronto Mini Maker Faire was a huge success. It really made me think about just how much the maker scene has developed in Toronto since I first arrived here in 2009. Can’t wait to see how it grows over the next 5 years!