Our Story

Our goal is to foster a welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment. 

We’re passionate about how ideas can build a brighter, more sustainable future. 

Yukonstruct is a non-profit society operating a makerspace and coworking space in downtown Whitehorse. Our 24,000 sq. ft. facility is known collectively as Northlight Innovation. Our members are innovators, freelancers, startups, developers, students, inventors, creatives, and more.

We are creative
innovative
ideas
tech
people. What about you?

Come in for a tour, we’d love to have you join our community.

What we do

Northlight Innovation is the first innovation hub north of 60 in Canada. We offer:

  • Makespace: A community workshop that includes a woodshop, metal shop, digital fabrication, hackerspace, sewing, and more, as well as orientation and teaching nights and mentorship programs.
  • Cospace: A bright and vibrant shared workspace offering hotdesking, dedicated desks, and offices where Wi-Fi, coffee, and break-time conversations are always flowing.
  • Startup Support: Our entrepreneur programming arm offers services and programming to help Yukoners launch and grow their business.

Why we do it

The simple answer: community, collaboration, inspiration, mentorship, ideas, connection, and fun.

Our Values

Yukonstruct is a valued community that helps Yukoners bring their ideas and passions to life. Find out more about our values here!

“I love the community, I love the access to tools, the possibilities…. Bringing ideas and tools together to create new things.”

–Michelle Clusiau, Yukonstruct member

How we got here

“We thought we’d get lucky if 30 people [came out]. I don’t know how many times we had to reorder pizza because I think about 230 people showed up.”

–John Glynn-Morris, Yukonstruct member

Northlight Innovation opened at its current location on Second Avenue in September 2018. While we are extremely proud of our large and modern facility, we stay true to our roots as a community-based initiative, driven by the passion, dedication, and hard work of many. In 2014, a group of folks got together to brainstorm how to go about creating a collaborative workspace. They didn’t know exactly what they were doing but figured they would get a space and work out the rest of the details later. They opened a small makerspace on Industrial Road, across from the Weenie Wagon food stand, and then a few years later came a barebones coworking office on Strickland Avenue downtown. It didn’t take long for membership and ambition to outgrow these spaces.

What if we could come together under one roof?

In 2016, the founders had a vision of bringing the makerspace and the coworking space together, to expand what Yukonstruct could offer to its members and to increase creative collaboration. Through their tenacity, as well as funding support from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Yukon Government, their vision became a reality. Yukonstruct formed a partnership with Northern Vision Development and signed a lease for the old Supervalu Foods building on Jan. 1, 2018. After extensive renovations, Northlight Innovation opened its doors nine months later.

In addition to housing Makespace and Cospace, Northlight Innovation is home to Yukon University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship department, which shares our passion for supporting innovative entrepreneurs.

Since opening the doors of Northlight Innovation in 2018, thousands of Yukon innovators and entrepreneurs have been served, both in Whitehorse and across the Yukon. Businesses have been launched, youth have been inspired to pursue careers in STEAM, and countless connections have sparked magic. We continue to be motivated each and every day to support Yukoners to envision and build a brighter, more thriving future for all of us.

OUR MISSION

Yukonstruct ignites doers and dreamers through shared space, knowledge, and resources.

OUR VISSION

Yukonstruct is a valued community that helps Yukoners bring their ideas and passions to life.

Our Story

September 16, 2014

We are the first Canadian Makerspace North of 60

In September we opened the doors of our 135 Industrial Road location with a full slate of weekly workshops. We quickly built membership to over 80 makers, with over 100 others participating in various workshops. A ‘Core Team’ of over a dozen dedicated volunteers emerged and became the driving force behind YuKonstruct.

November 3, 2015

Yukonstruct Makerspace Society Launched (co)space, a rallying point for growing the Yukon’s entrepreneurial community

The society added a coworking space downtown, in a separate location from our Makerspace. (co)space is the productive, collaborative and community-driven space for members to do their work as freelancers, entrepreneurs or small businesses. Similar to YuKonstruct, a membership to (co)spaceprovides you access to a unique workspace. We offer amenities such as high speed internet, a productive work area, access to meeting rooms, and most importantly a community of awesome people.

October 1, 2016

The community is the heart of Yukonstruct

Staff members and contractors joined the adventure along the road to support the growing operations of both facilities. Staff and volunteers collaborated in programming, providing support, planning events, and general facility operations. In order to allow volunteers to focus on creating, teaching, and learning staff took on most of the administrative, operational, and fiscal responsibilities.

October 20, 2017

Yukonstruct receives the National Startup Canada Entrepreneur Support Award in Ottawa!

This category rewards government organizations, not-for-profits, academic institutions and private for-profit businesses that demonstrate excellence in advancing Canadian entrepreneurship through their leadership, innovation and impact. Honouring this recognition, we continue to strive to foster innovation, creativity, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

August 28, 2018

New home: Northlight Innovation

The makerspace and co-working space moved together into their new home located on 2180 2nd Avenue. On September 4th, 2018 – Yukonstruct Society opened the doors of Northlight Innovation after several months of renovation to the old Super Valu grocery store on Second Avenue. The 24,000 sq ft facility managed and operated by local non-profit Yukonstruct is now the rallying point for all of their members, consolidating their organization and services under one roof along with facility partners Yukon College and Yukon Development Corporation.

September 4, 2019

Yukonstruct launches their first Startup Bootcamp!

Yukonstruct launched our first-ever Startup Bootcamp! We hosted a group of driven entrepreneurs wanting to make positive change in clean tech, software, hardware, tourism, and non-profit industries. Over 12 weeks, we spent time helping these enterprising individuals learn how to identify customers, develop investor-ready pitch decks and a tested elevator pitch, and build relationships with mentors available to help along their business journey. This motivated group learned a lot and helped us learn how to improve the program for Bootcamps to come!

November 20, 2020

The First Annual Innovation Week and Hall of Innovators

In 2020, along with all the changes happening globally, we wanted to honour Yukon innovators across the territory. We hosted the First Annual Yukon Innovation Week with small events in person as well as online events, such as How to Prototype, and created our Hall of Innovators.
We were honoured to have Tlingit artist Mark Preston design the beams and feast dishes for our Hall of Innovators, which were built in our Makespace by cabinetmaker John Quinsey. Annually, we celebrate Yukoners in Innovation by inducting them into the Hall of Innovators.

May 1, 2021

Plan-C: Face Shields

Throughout the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Yukonstruct wanted to get a plan-C started. With supply chains overwhelmed with requests for masks and face shields, Rick Yorgason, our Makespace Director, 3D printed and laser cut face shields using tested designs from Prusa. We wanted to make sure that front-line workers would be able to access them if supply chain issues continued while everyone worked to flatten the curve. This project spanned from April 2020 to spring 2021.

March 23 & 26, 2022

Be Your Own Boss & Maker Academy

Be Your Own Boss & Maker Academy