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We are now at 45 West Hastings Street, and VHS is now a 24/7 Hackerspace to serve the needs of the interested hacker/crafter/hobbyist/whatever. We have run out of space and need to find something bigger than our current ~850sf.

The model

We are looking for a large space to grow the hackerspace. We are currently spending $1000 on rent, with our current membership we can afford up to $2800 comfortably, or $3000 with a few more members or with fundraising.

Fundraising ideas may include:

  • Hacker Auction (AKA Mad scientist yard sale)
  • Hacker Craft Fair (AKA MakerFair)
  • Classes
  • Kit Sales


We currently require the following out of our hackerspace:

  • +1500 sq ft (the more square footage, the better)
  • 24 Hour Access
  • M2 or I2 zoning (Need to check with the city, landlords may lie)
  • Ability to control access to the space
  • Bathroom (pref with shower)
  • Close proximity to public transit, especially skytrain
  • Ability to get large items into the space (laser cutter, milling machines, lathes, etc)
  • Ventilation (laser cutter fumes)

Nice to have:

  • Three Phase Power
  • Emergency Safety Shower
  • Rooftop Access (for HAM, and other Radio/Wireless experiments)
  • Lounge
  • Bay door, for large projects.
  • 16“ or larger ceilings for big projects
  • Power, 30+ people with laptops == about ~30 Amp. Preferably across 3 breakers or more.
  • Room for a single long table, 42' x 8'. - One thing that I think is essential for VHS “culture” is the single long table. I love being in a long row of other people working on different projects and I think that should be included in what ever space we end up at.


These current areas are where we are looking:

  • East Vancouver (Strathcona, Hastings-Sunrise, Grandview Woodlands, Mt. Plesant)

We currently would prefer to not go to these places:

  • Surrey
  • Burnaby
  • South Vancouver

Things to ask the landlord

  • How much is the rent? Does that include heating and hydro?
  • Is there a lease? Is it a triple-net lease ? (Most Commercial and Industrial in BC are, but please check)
  • Can we customize the access?
  • Is it possible to get 24 Hour Access to the space?
  • Who were the prior tenants? (Important for BC Hydro, we will be billed based on the last tenants)
  • Who else has looked at the space?
  • Ask about the neighbours? Which businesses/residents are nearby, and what do they do. A good design pattern is to have good neighbors
  • Ask about parking. A lot of VHS members are transit dependent, but a fair number do drive. It's important to have parking where people's windshields won't get smashed in.
  • Ventilation, windows?

Places we looked

  • Empty Lot - It's an empty lot
  • Great Northern Way Campus - No bathroom (might be fixable), not available until summer. Not available any more
1149 Grant St.
  • By Vancouver Community Collage. Just off Clark Drive and 1st Avenue
  • 1820 Sq ft - 1st floor Showroom/Warehouse 1,080 sq. ft. 2nd floor Office 650 sq. ft. + loft area open to wearhouse 90 sq. ft.
  • 2 bathrooms (1 per floor) + kitchen with sink.
  • Rear grade level loading *High ceiling warehouse area
  • 3phase, 100amp electrical service
  • Davis Trading is next door.

How the process works

For those new to VHS since we have been at 45 west, here's how our process goes:

  1. Some VHS members decide to take action to help find a new space
  2. Those VHS members look for spaces, then go meet the manager and preview it. They ask questions from the wiki page [1] to cover the basics. They take video and pictures of the space. They email all the details in a new thread to vhs-members.
  3. The group talks about it, more members go check it out.
  4. If we have one or more strong candidate spaces, we hold a General Meeting to get together in person to find consensus.
  5. Logistics planning, high fives.


quest_for_the_space.1360178767.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/12/12 14:31 (external edit)