$10 suggested donation, register below

14 January 2017, 9:00am 6:00pm, schedule below

Brought to you by Toronto Mesh, ‘State of our Networks’ is a one-day, hands-on conference about the past, present, and future of building our own network infrastructures to communicate and access the internet in our city. Join us for:

  • hands-on workshops* to build mesh nodes and learn about low-power networks
  • talks about a history of Toronto’s internet
  • planning how to build resilient and accessible communications networks and connections to the internet

Please see our schedule below for more details.

*Note: Workshops require a laptop (any operating system), but attendees are also welcome to bring a Raspberry Pi (pre-flashed with Raspbian Jessie Lite) or other single-board computers (pre-flashed with some Debian-based distro).

We are also hosting a social at A3 Napoli on January 13, 2017, all are welcome to attend and get to know the members of Toronto Mesh!

Toronto Mesh welcomes people from all backgrounds and technical skill levels and aims to provide a harassment-free environment. This event has a Code of Conduct.


Register by email, $10 suggested donation at the door, no one turned away for lack of funds.

 Register Now


Event and registration will be in the Semaphore Demo Room, BL 417 on the fourth floor of the Claude T. Bissell building, 140 St. George St.

The closest TTC Subway stop is St. George (at Bloor Street and St. George Street) and Streetcar stop is Spadina Ave at Sussex Street.

The venue is an accessible space, for more details please see the building information sheet.


Start Time Session
9:15 – 9:45 Introduction to mesh and community wireless
Intro led by Dawn Walker
9:45 – 11:00 DIY Low Power Networks
Workshop led by Udit Vira
11:00 – 12:30 Build a Mesh Node
Workshop led by ansuz
12:30 – 13:00 MeshISP
Demo led by Ethan Wilding
13:00 LUNCH
14:00 – 15:30 A History of Toronto’s Networks
Panel Session with Dr. Catherine Middleton, Dr. Karen Louise Smith,
Lee MacNeill, Dr. Zbigniew Stachniak, and members of the
TAO Collective. Moderated by Garry Ing
16:00 – 17:30 Building the Networks We Want
Interactive Discussion with Toronto Community Networks, Toronto Mesh,
and MeshISP
17:30 – 18:00 Wrap Up and Moving Forward


ansuz is a Toronto-based hacker temporarily stuck in Paris.

Catherine Middleton is a Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management. Dr. Middleton holds a Canada Research Chair in Communication Technologies in the Information Society and was named to the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2014. Her research focuses on the development and use of new communication technologies, with specific interests in mobile devices and fixed and wireless broadband networks. She is also interested in how Canadians use (or don’t use) the internet in their daily lives.

Dawn Walker is a PhD student at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on participatory design of civic environmental technologies. A keen gardener, Dawn has spent time building community gardens and urban agriculture projects.

Ethan Wilding is a co-founder of Ledger Labs, the leading Canadian blockchain-focused firm. He has been working in the blockchain space since late 2012, held a foundational role with the Ethereum project and worked within the Ethereum Foundation intensely during its formative first year. Ethan is also the Chair of the Certified Bitcoin Professional exam, one of the first not-for-profit programs of its kind in the field of blockchain technologies. In addition to Ledger Labs, Ethan is working with experts on international affairs and humanitarian organizations to build a blockchain-based incentivized task management and campaign creation system that connects people with important causes. In 2010, Ethan earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy and taught philosophy at the Balsille School of International Affairs before leaving academia to focus on blockchain startups.

Garry Ing is a designer and technologist residing in Toronto, contributing to Toronto Mesh. His previous work and collaborations has been with the Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University, the Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab at the University of Toronto, and Normative. He is a graduate of OCAD University, with a background in graphic design.

Karen Louise Smith is an Assistant Professor in Communication, Popular Culture & Film at Brock University. Her research explores the tensions between openness, privacy, and participation in technologically mediated culture.

Lee MacNeill is the President of Toronto Free-Net. He has been involved in computers and networking for 25 years as programmer, network administrator, support technician, and evangelist. His work has ranged from telecommunications to wearable computers—their practical applications, as well as their impact on democracy, culture, and freedom.

MeshISP wants to bridge the digital divide by building the tools that will enable an easily deployable wireless internet sharing economy. Combining Ethereum smart contracts to automate many of the functions of a traditional ISP (access and payment) and an encrypted mesh routing protocol that can be run on low-cost wireless hardware, they seek to empower entrepreneurs worldwide to deploy affordable internet options in their communities.

Conceived in 1996, TAO Collective, or OAT (“Organizing Autonomous Telecomms”), is a Canada-based organization founded on anarchist principles of self-determination, cooperation, and liberty, values expressed by the empowerment of everyday activists in possessing non-corporate and non-state-controlled Internet tools. The scope of the project has changed over the years, once servicing radicals around the world and operating several geographical collectives, it now maintains resources for largely Toronto based activists and a small tech collective interested in security and activism.

Toronto Community Networks is a not-for-profit, grassroots organization that creates local networks in order to increase access to technology and information for communities across the GTHA. These networks provide a platform for communities to generate and share knowledge collaboratively, identify and address local problems, and increase economic well-being. TCN aspires to build the capacity of community members, so that they have the literacies required to maintain and scale their local networks, and succeed in the 21st century. We believe in building relationships and creating engagement through efforts that utilize research, co-creation, and empathy building to reach out to disengaged youth.

Toronto Mesh is a grassroots and decentralized group of volunteers who started Toronto Mesh at CivicTechTO in early 2016. Through building community-owned infrastructure using off-the-shelf hardware and open-source technology, we are hoping to address barriers to internet access in our city.

Udit Vira is an engineer and maker living in Toronto where he contributes to Steam Link Toronto and the Toronto Mesh project.

Zbigniew Stachniak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University, Toronto. His main research areas are artificial intelligence, history of computing, and history of mathematics. He has published extensively in these fields. He is the founder and the curator of York University Computer Museum (YUCoM).