Handy people and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) fanatics will soon have a east-end location to borrow equipment when Toronto’s latest Tool Library opens in September.
This will be the second library, with the first opening in Parkdale on March 24. The east-end location, at 1803 Danforth Ave., will lend out more than $30,000 worth of equipment to members. Ninety per cent of equipment has been donated by community members.
A launch event was held at Sarah’s Café and Bar Wednesday, June 26 in order to sell memberships and celebrate the new location.
“You can’t work every weekend, on all of your tools,” said Ryan Dyment, an east-end resident and executive director of the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy (IRBE), a non-profit that runs the tool library as part of their mandate to foster a more sustainable economy.
“Nobody wants to spend $150 on a chop saw,” Dyment said.
Memberships, alternatively, are $50.
The Parkdale Tool Library at Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC), 1499 Queen St. W., currently has more than 130 members. Dyment is hoping to make it to 500 by the end of the year.
The new east-end library will also include a Maker Space — essentially a workshop for those who don’t have space themselves. It will also be used for workshops and summer camps.
One of the camps for kids will include a two-day crash course on how to make a 3D printer out of another 3D printer that was made by a board member Adam Edwards.
“Once you have one made, you can make as many as you want,” said Edwards, who demonstrated the machine by creating a business card at the event.
Joe Regan from Willow Avenue signed up as a founding member of the library for $500. With it, he will have a six-month membership to the Maker Space, as well as his name on a plaque on the wall and some other goodies given out at the event.
“I’m very much into woodworking. I’d like to build a guitar,” said Regan, who donated a wood lathe to the library. “My workshop has become overcrowded and I need to thin it out, but I love everything in it so I didn’t know how to get rid of anything.”
“I can adopt my lathe out, other people can use it, I’ll have room to work in my own little shop and use the big shop for the big machines when I need to. It works out very well,” Regan said.
Volunteers are welcome to join Dyment and his team in renovating the basement beginning July 6. They are also hoping to get a spot near Jane Street and Finch Avenue soon.
“We get pizza and refreshments for the volunteers,” Dyment said. “They get to learn a lot of new skills and take direction of some very experienced contractors who are working for us.”
“These are practical skills that you want to know if you own a home, or live in a home. It’s basically free training, and you get to help out and use the tools.”