Toronto Made Summer Meetup!

Toronto MADE presents the first of three 2015 meetups! 

This event is a networking opportunity for a wide range of small and medium-scale manufacturers from Toronto, urbanists, and those looking to learn more about what's being made in the city. The topic for the June meetup will be space - land-use challenges, the costs, and opportunities for collaboration.

Kim Storey and James Brown
Brown and Storey Architects

Other guests to be announced soon.



What is Fare Made?

Fare Made stands for fabricated realities. All of us are architects, which is where we were first exposed to maker culture, DIY, digital tools and design. Our business involves helping a lot of creative people get their designs off the ground, mainly through our laser cutting machine.

What inspired you to open Fare Made?

We were very inspired by Bauhaus. The idea is that there were different skills that revolved around architecture. It was an institution. Under the umbrella of architecture, design, planning, art, even things like theatre. This collaborative spirit existed - and this is why we do what we do. So many great architects from Bauhaus were designing pieces of furniture and other kinds of products. For us, the design world is inter-connected.

What are some of the typical products you make?

We make functional prototypes, architectural models, and other goods. We offer architectural services ranging from house renovations to small businesses/spaces. We're redesigning a warehouse and storefront right now. We also have another company called Mode, which is our fashion brand. 

What do you like about manufacturing in Toronto?

We definitely think that it's important to empower the local economy. The benefit is that we get to work with people who produce locally as well - we're developing our own network. For example, the felt company that we buy from is from Toronto, it's made here. We don't see a downside - it's great to have accessibility, you have more interaction with designers, especially with our design concepts. 

Have you encountered any barriers to the manufacturing you do in the city?

We use an expensive filter for our machine that allows for a lot of flexibility. Eventually, though, we'd like to have a larger space. We looked into grants when we started out but didn't find anything that applied to us.

Do you if small manufacturers are looking to scale up, they could tap into existing manufacturers?

I think it's already happening, especially with medium-scale manufacturing, though sometimes they operate on different networks. That's why it's essential for makers to have a network of 3D printing, laser printing, Computerized Numerical Control (CNC). It's part of the same category.

You can check out FareMade's website here

2015 Canadian Urban Manufacturing Summit

The Canadian Urban Manufacturing Summit addressed a wide variety of challenges and opportunities facing urban manufacturing in the 21st century. Idea Engine, a group that focuses on planning and policy-related meetings, held the conference on May 6 and 7 at the Regency Hyatt in Toronto. Presenters and panelists varied from government agencies, the private sector, start-ups, and small-scale manufacturers. 

The conference pointed to some major gaps between planning and economic development initiatives. Some of these gaps are related to the lack of support and guidance for manufacturers attempting to navigate the planning processes. Many participants also identified an overarching mismatch between the policy goals of economic development and those of land-use planning. There was significant discussion of industrially serviced land and its importance to the province’s certified site selection program. 

Some major themes throughout the conference were:

•    Manufacturing is still a valuable part of local economies, but it is changing.
•    There is a need to protect employment lands and a need for greater flexibility in zoning to allow for emerging types of manufacturing, particularly with regards to multiple manufacturers operating in the same space. 
•    The trend toward buying local is still growing, and has the opportunity to build communities in areas where certain industries have left.
•    Industrial retention is as important as industrial attraction.
•    Different levels of government have begun to collaborate on new strategies to allow for manufacturing to thrive in Canadian cities.

Below are some photos from our site visit to 3DPhacktory