A maker's guide to Toronto

There’s no need to fake it ‘til you make it in the DIY realm anymore. Whether it’s time to sew together the pieces of an abandoned dress-making project, create a one-of-a kind birthday gift or spin your next masterpiece out of a mound of clay, we’ve compiled the top Toronto studios to learn how to do it all. [Feature image: The Make Den]

The Shop

1139 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1B5

Located inside the MakeWorks roomy co-working space, The Shop offers an open woodworking and ceramics studio to “make, learn and sell” your wares. With workshops galore, you can learn how to make mini-ceramic pots to hold succulents or a sleek cutting board (perfect for a unique wedding gift). But it’s not just about saws and throwing pottery wheels. Classes on how to make a personalized set of notecards, natural skin balms and batik fabric dyeing are also offered.

The Workroom

1340 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L4

Exposed brick walls and a bright, minimalist space create a soothing backdrop to get your sew on at this Parkdale DIY favourite. Here, you can rent the tools you need to start or finish off a sewing project – rent a machine by the hour and use the studio’s large tables, scissors and top-notch tools. Plus classes abound; check out easy alterations (who doesn’t need to learn how to hem a pair of pants?), sewing machine essentials, quilting, and dyeing. The downside? You may want to sign up for everything on the roster.

The Devil's Workshop

890 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3

Because no one wants a one-size-fits-all ring on their wedding day, this Queen West silversmithing studio will teach you how to make one from scratch in a six-hour workshop – so you can produce a literal labour for love (pretty damn romantic). Bonus: think of all the money you’ll save for a kick-ass honeymoon. If weddings aren’t top of mind but creating some statement bling is, workshops are aplenty. Choose from basic or advanced silversmithing, and wire- or bead-making. Or, try your hand at the lost art of wax casting – sculpting 3D shapes and transforming them into super cool charms or statement necklaces.

The Knit Cafe

1350 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1Y2

Amp up your scarf, sweater and shawl stash at this cozy Roncesvalles knitting and crocheting studio. Knitting classes here run the full gamut – from absolute newbie to advanced, plus a ton of specialized workshops. Prep for the chill of #the6ix by making a chic headband, drapey shawl or an on-so-comfy cowl-neck scarf. Hot tip: make some new friends or spur some creative juices and head down to the space on Tuesday for social night. For more than a decade, knitters have been meeting, hanging out and sharing ideas.

nanopod: Hybrid Studio

322 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M6G 1H1

This Harbord Street gem offers metal masonry 101 and glass-making classes for all levels. How fun would it be to throw on a pair of safety goggles and learn how to fire and mould a super-chic embellished cuff? At nanopod, you can learn how to “form, fabricate, cast and fuse” a range of glass and metal objects: make a simple band ring, create a unique glass pendant or craft a beautiful handmade chain. So long generic gifting!

Paperhouse Studio

102-180 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

This bright, airy studio offers classes galore in printmaking, paper making and book arts. Here you can learn Japanese stab binding -- a gorgeous bookbinding technique for binding loose sheets of paper. Or, try your hand at making your own paper in Introduction Paper Making (perfect for creating unique, personalized writing paper). Other classes on the roster include buttonhole binding, monoprinting and pamphlet binding.

Are you ready to sweat your way down Yonge Street? Choose from physically challenging or restorative yoga, ballet-inspired fusion classes with a kick, Brazilian jiu jitsu, body firming group classes, or a good old treadmill and free weight workout. From Lawrence to King, these gyms also boast serious convenience since all are mere steps away from subway stations along Toronto’s Yonge line. [Image courtesy of Barreworks] 
Whether you’re looking to decompress, bring some more calm into your day or enhance your creative juices, meditation classes in a group sitting may offer the perfect recipe. From a mindfulness centre, a group meditation circle, hybrid classes to the traditional, these are some of the best spots in Toronto to go within.
Now that the signs of spring are in the air, and maybe you’ve spent more time watching Netflix and ordering in than you’d like to admit, it’s time to spring forward and give your body and mind a boost. Here are some of the top spots in Toronto to reboot, restore, replenish and reset.
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