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Collected here.


  • FreeGeek Vancouver: 1820 Pandora street - Nonprofit that recycles old computers and electronics. Go volunteer sometime.
  • Lee's Electronics: Fraser and King Edward - 4131 Fraser St
  • Main Electronics: Main and 29th - 4554 Main Street
  • RP Electronics: Close to Gilmore Ave and Lougheed Hwy - 4181 Dawson Street
  • MRO Electronics: Boundary and 1st - 1745 Boundary Road
  • Interior Electronics: Boundary and 1st - 1520 Boundary Road
  • SMI Electronics: Near Willowbrook Mall - #109 20120 64 Ave, Langley
  • Lin Haw: Marine Drive (wholesale commercial/IT supplies. Will only sell to businesses, so just say you're from VHS and they'll let you buy stuff.)
  • The Hackery: Franklin and Victoria, used computers and parts

Art Supplies

  • Opus Art Supplies: Cambie & Hastings downtown or Granville Island
  • Michaels: Alberni Street near Burrard Street and Broadway near Cambie. Has almost everything craft-related, but is expensive.
  • DeSerres: Broadway near Granville
  • Rath Art Supplies: Main near Kingsway
  • Urban Source: Collects materials from local industries, diverting safe, useable off-cuts, discards, misprints and over-stock from the land fill. Main and 16th.

Craft Supplies

  • Maiwa Dyes and Textiles: 1310 Odlum Drive for workshop, Granville Island for full store - Natural dyes, printing supplies, natural fibres
  • Our Social Fabric: 270-1275 Venables Street - Non-profit that seeks to divert textiles and sewing supplies from landfills. Extremely cheap and huge selection, but only open a few times a month.
  • Fabrictime Solutions: 1325 E. Pender st. (Please note this is a fabric wholesaler and there is a large minimum for cheap prices)
  • Urban Source: Main Street between 15th and 16th Ave. All kinds of recycled craft materials - everything is cheap!
  • Dressew: 337 W Hastings St, near Cambie - Sewing/fabric/knitting/etc. Huge selection, dirt cheap!
  • Yoko YaYa: Tinseltown Mall, 1st floor. Japanese dollar store with all kinds of neat stuff.
  • Daiso: Aberdeen Mall in Richmond. Same as Yoko Yaya, but about 5 times more stuff.
  • Michaels: Alberni Street near Burrard Street and Broadway near Cambie. Has almost everything craft-related, but is expensive.
  • DeSerres: Broadway near Granville


  • Greenline - 1521 Venables Street - plumbing, fitting and hose (note: tell them you're from VHS and you'll get a 30% discount!)
  • Castertown - 1075 Clark Drive - wheels and hardware
  • Home Hardware - 1575 Commercial Drive
  • Home Depot - Terminal Ave (about 1km east of Science World)
  • Home Depot - Cambie & 8th
  • Canadian Tire - Cambie & 7th
  • Army and Navy - Hastings Street downtown or 8th St in New Westminster.

Screws, Fasteners




  • McMaster Carr: Massive catalogue of engineering components. Not the cheapest, but the only source for many things. (Note: we have a paper copy of the 2019 catalogue floating around if you're looking for a good read.)
  • Misumi USA: Another massive catalog of engineering components.


  • Metal Supermarket: Two locations: close to Lake City Way skytrain station in Burnaby AND just East of the Knight St Bridge (close to the IKEA) in Richmond. Good source for metal rods, beams, angled, etc. in stainless steel, aluminum and more. Burnaby location supplies the Richmond location apparently.
  • North Star Metal: Metal recycling (wander around; just stay clear of the forklifts). Powell & Clark in Vancouver.
  • Capital Salvage: Metal recycling. Triumph & Victoria in Vancouver.
  • P N J Metals Inc: No. 5 Rd and Bridgeport Rd in Richmond
  • Complete Metal Markets: No. 5 Rd and Bridgeport Rd in Richmond
  • MB Superior Metals: Metal recycling (good for wire; ask them to see it). Grant St and Clark Dr, just north of 1st Ave.
  • Esthers Sheet Metal: 3890 East First Ave. Next to Pacific Fasteners. Is a trade supplier that mostly does made to measure flashings for construction. Will cut metal sheet to size and bend as per spec.
  • ABC Metal Recycling: 192 St and 56 Ave in Surrey
  • Purity Casting Alloys: Pewter alloy ingots for casting. 97 Ave and Golden Ears Way in Surrey
  • Capilano Rock & Gem: Near Capilano Mall in North Van (copper, brass, sterling silver, gold, etc)


Machining and Metalworking


Fabricators and Machine Shops

  • Industrial Laser Cutting: Laser cutting of mild and stainless steel, aluminium, acrylic, and wood for low/medium production runs and prototyping, and also have a CNC press brake. No 2 Road in Richmond.



Casting and Mould Making

Costuming and Makeup FX

  • Fiber-tek: Boundary Rd at 1st Ave. Sell Worbla and casting supplies.
  • HollyNorth Production Supply: 1st Ave at Boundary, kind of hard to find. Large range of makeup FX and production supplies.
  • Studio F/X: Georgia St at Hornby St downtown. Enter via the side door, not via the Cathedral Place mall/lobby as it's locked outside regular business hours. Good selection of makeup FX products, but not as general a product range as HollyNorth.
  • Thomas FX: North Vancouver, just over the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge. Large range of makeup FX and production supplies.


Tags: plastic, acrylic, plexiglas

3D-Printing Filament

  • Free shipping over $125. VHS Affiliation link.


Thrift and Second-Hand Stores

  • Value Village East Van: 1820 E Hastings St - Large section of second-hand electronics
  • Miscellany: 1029 Commercial Drive OR 2615 E Hastings St - Lots of cool retro items for costumes or props, some old electronics
  • Little Miss Vintage: 931 Commercial Drive - Actual vintage items for decent price. Great for costumes
  • VGH Thrift Store: 2535 E Hastings St
  • St Vincent de Paul Thrift store: 1738 East Hastings Street @ Commercial Dr - clothing, furniture, electronics and misc
  • Still Fabulous: 1124 Commercial Dr - Well-curated fashion store with very cheap prices, not vintage
  • Union Gospel Mission Thrift: 671 E Hastings Street - clothing, furniture, household, etc

Hobby and Radio Control

Computers & etc

  • Linhaw: Cables, racks, etc (Need an account ahead of time, sells to businesses only, or just say you're from VHS; we have a cash account with them)
  • Mike's Computer Shop: Kingsway & Fraser. Good stock of regular computer parts.

Online Retailers

Electronic Components

  • Digikey: They've got pretty much anything, and they ship overnight from Canada.
  • Mouser: Similar to Digikey, but ship from the US (taking an extra day usually).
  • Arrow: Similar to Digikey, but ship from the US (taking an extra few days usually).
  • Newark element14: Similar to Digikey and Mouser, but slower and more expensive shipping.
  • SparkFun: Awesome site with tutorials and lots of breakout boards and rad parts.
  • Adafruit: Good starter kits, mostly revolve around Arduino.
  • Seeed Studio: Similar to SparkFun, located in China. Offers services such as PCB manufacturing and laser cutting also.
  • ITead Studio: Similar to Seeed Studio, and also located in China.
  • Modtronics Australia: Very Niche store - great for hobbyist wireless modules.
  • Buy a PI: Ontario based seller of Raspberry Pis and electronic modules.

Free samples

Many semiconductor manufacturers run sample programs that let you get small quantities of chips for very cheap or free. Some programs require a registered business contact. See this wiki page for more information.


  • Solarbotics: Robotics related parts (motors, electronics, gears, sensors, etc).
  • RobotShop: Robots and related parts.

Machining and Metalworking

  • Travers Tool Co: Very large selection of machining parts, tooling, and accessories.
  • Little Machine Shop: Specializing in smaller hobby and bench-top machines, parts, tooling, and accessories.
  • Atlas Machinery: Located in Toronto. Wide variety of tools, machinery, and accessories.
  • 4GT: Located in Nanaimo. Sells ER20/ER32 collets and collet holders compatible with the Tormach Tooling System (not Tormach products however).

Aluminum Extrusion

Importing aluminum extrusion can be difficult due to restrictions. See


  • Inventables: Acrylic sheets, woods and vaneers, moulding materials, etc.
  • RepRaper: Cheap ABS and PLA filament, parts, and electronics for 3D printers.
  • OpenBeam USA: An online retail store that sells mechanical bits and pieces for your projects.
  • McMaster Carr: Massive catalog of engineering components. Not the cheapest, but the only source for many things.
  • Misumi USA: Another massive catalog of engineering components.
  • Ontario based seller of various cables.

Industrial Controls and Parts

  • Automation Direct: Huge selection of parts for automation, controls, and building machines.
  • McMaster Carr: Massive catalog of engineering components. Not the cheapest, but the only source for many things.
  • Misumi USA: Another massive catalog of engineering components.

China Online Shopping

English Language

  • Ali Express: Sort of Amazon meets eBay in China - and almost everything that is manufactured in or for China is available here (i.e. almost everything).
  • Deal Extreme: Almost anything is available here from electronics dev boards to clothing. Chinese, very cheap price & quality, free slow shipping.
  • Bang Good: Very similar to Deal Extreme in every way, but often cheaper.
  • Alibaba: Manufacturer-direct sales for larger order volumes.
  • Hobby King: Hobby parts, kits, and products for RC cars, multicopters, etc.

Chinese Language

Google Translate does a decent job. Refine searches by extracting keywords from the best results and running them through Google Translate again.

  • Taobao: Like Ali Express but in Chinese with a larger selection and lower prices. You may have to use shipping agents.
  • T-Mall: Similar to Taobao but aimed at brands and larger/more reputable businesses. Far less selection or niche products.



  • Apex Jr: Surplus gear at good prices, lots of audio amplifier bits including toroids. Will ship a 4 lb bag for US$13.
  • Electronic Goldmine: Surplus electronics parts, lots of unique stuff.

Cross Border Shopping

In general Point Roberts is closer and easier on Transit/Bike. Blaine is further but offers the chance to pick up a parcel as part of another trip. Tax info at CBSA.


Equipment and Tools


suppliers.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/15 22:30 by rsim