Back to Life!

On Saturday April 23, the Repair Cafe visited Albert Campbell Library in Scarborough. We were greeted by the librarians, Kat and his colleagues, who helped with the setting up of the room. Once again, we had our first visitors arrive an hour early and a long lineup quickly formed. But our team of 24 fixers and 15 volunteers were well prepared. Every visitor took their turn to meet with a fixer. Four hours later, all our visitors had their items checked. We saw many leave with satisfied smiles. John (below), a visitor who brought in a lamp that has a special meaning for him, sent us this note afterwards.

(Photo below) Visitor John with his lamp fixed:

lamp fixed with visitor John_HeatherPhotograph by Heather Ramsay


John’s note to us:

“I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the entire organization of this event, not to mention the people. Dan in particular was really amazing at diagnosing the problem with my lamp. He was patient, intuitive, skillful and highly efficient. I mentioned to Dan that I felt a little guilty that he had to spend so much time on my lamp. But he graciously said, “Why feel guilty? This is what we do.” It is not a valuable piece, at least not materially, but it is sentimentally. My parents bought that lamp in 1974 and they have been gone for years now, so it is nice to have a few objects that remind me of a moment in time with them.”

(Photo below) John’s lamp back to life at his home:

lamp on_JohnsPhotograph by John


John’s experience is a classic example of the successes we regularly have at our events. We have held 33 cafés across the city to date, and through the skill, hard work and dedication of our volunteers, more than 2,000 items have been brought back to life. And that explains why more visitors continue to come to our events and more fixers continue to sign up to volunteer with us. For three years, the Repair Café has been serving our community, and we are only growing stronger.

(Photo below) Fixer Dan repairs a vacuum cleaner:

IMG_7126_Dan photo

(Photo below) Repair Café co-founder and fixer Paul Magder (left) works with a visitor:

Paul working with visitorPhotographs by Heather Ramsay

We would like to thank all our amazing volunteers for their enthusiasm and generosity. Many thanks to the terrific help of the volunteers from Project 5K. We were also glad to have the reps from Toronto Environmental Alliance joining us for the event and informing people about Toronto’s new long term waste management strategy. Finally, a big thank you to the great support from Albert Campbell Library!

For more event photos, please visit our Facebook page.

The next café May 28 will be our third anniversary! We will be back at Skills for Change. For details, please visit the Upcoming Repair Cafés page. We hope to see you there!

Repair Café Attracts Young Visitors

IMG_1953IMG_1904IMG_1913Photograph by Wai Chu Cheng

We were back at Skills for Change on March 19 and as always had a diverse group of visitors. This time we had more children. They not only brought items to be fixed but also participated actively in the repair process with their fixers. They enjoyed spending time with other fixers too.

We are proud of how knowledgeable and patient our fixers are. In this video, you can see how Paul and Ed come together to help a visitor, Milen, figure out what caused her steamer to stop working. They discover the switch for the thermostat is the cause.

Watch how Paul and Ed work with Milen to think through what to do next. By the end, Milen is ready to finish the job herself.

Video by Lon Appleby

To view the event photos, please visit our Facebook page. We would like to thank Frank’s Pizza House for providing a great lunch for our volunteers. Everyone enjoyed it!

Our next café will be held at Albert Campbell Library in Scarborough on Saturday April 23. Hope to see you there!

Click here to go to our Upcoming Events page.