Repair Café continues to reach out to different neighbourhoods

On Saturday, June 14, the Repair Café visited a new neighbourhood – North York. Our team of volunteers, who travelled from different parts of Toronto and outside the city, gathered at the North York Central Library with their toolkits to help the visitors fix their household items, including computers and electronics, small appliances, clothes, jewellery and books. We also had a new 3D printing fixer joining us this month. Once again, there was a great turnout of visitors!

We would like to thank our volunteers for their enthusiastic support, and a huge thank you to our partner Toronto Reference Library – North York Branch and to Starbucks for providing coffee for the day.

We were asked by many when and where the next Repair Café would be. The times and locations of the upcoming monthly repair cafés are now listed on the right column of our home page. This year, we have been offering the Repair Café once every two months at our base, Skills for Change, in the St. Clair West neighbourhood, and in every other month a different area of the city. The neighbourhoods we have visited so far include Yonge and Bloor, Danforth East and North York, and in October, Scarborough!

Repair Café Toronto is offering a Repair Café Startup Workshop in the Fall to share our experience on organizing repair cafés. We have been receiving a lot of positive response and we hope to see new repair cafés being set up by local groups in different neighbourhoods. If you are interested in starting one, please fill in the simple form to the right and we will be in touch.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Repair Café or sponsoring the Repair Café, please Contact us or email us at info@repaircafetoronto.ca.

Don’t miss our latest photo albums of the portraits of visitors and fixers with their “Fixed” items. They are available on our Facebook page. Many thanks to our photographer Heather!

Why don’t you have a go at it?

 

On a sunny Saturday May 10, the Repair Café held its first anniversary event at Skills for Change in the St. Clair West neighbourhood. At its 11th monthly gathering, our volunteer fixers once again helped fix all kinds of household items: computers and electronics, small appliances and furniture, clothes, jewellery, books, gardening tools and bikes …

This time, we had one of our volunteer fixers, Mase, talk about why everyone should try doing repairs. Have a listen to his video above! The event photos will be available at our Facebook page soon.

The Repair Café is thankful to our team of volunteers, including everyone from the fixers to the event volunteers who have been supporting the Repair Café month after month since they joined the team. Their expertise, dedication and enthusiasm are why so many people have been returning and also spreading the word about the Repair Café.

We would like to give our special thanks to our long-time community sponsors who have given us their generous support – Skills for Change, Noir Coffee and Tea and Frank’s Pizza House.

Our next Repair Café is on Saturday June 14 at North York Central Library. For more info, please visit Upcoming Events.

Repair Café Toronto aims to reduce needless waste and build a repair culture in Toronto. We are offering the Repair Café in different neighbourhoods this year and we need your support. If you are interested in sponsoring the Repair Café or joining our volunteer team, please contact us at info@repaircafetoronto.ca.

We are planning to provide a workshop in the fall on how to organize a repair café. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please sign up on the home page of our website and we will contact you for further details.

Repair Café on the Danforth

The Repair Café had another terrific event with lots of fun fixing things and meeting new people on April 12. This month, we joined the Toronto Tool Library on the Danforth and participated in the Danforth East Community Association’s Dreams event. We enjoyed very much the hospitality of our east-end friends and are full of thanks to Mr. Haig Baronikian for giving us the space to hold the event! A big thanks to all the volunteers for their super enthusiasm and generous support.

With the help of our fixers, many broken items such as lamp, radio, clock, blender, dehumidifier, bag, were diagnosed. Some were fixed while others required special parts or were not repairable. Regardless of the results, their owners were happy, as the fixers had taken the time to look at their items and made their best efforts to help them.

The next Repair Café is our first anniversary! We hope you can join us at Skills for Change on May 10. For more details, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

Repair Café at March Break

Thanks to all the volunteers and visitors who joined the Repair Café on March 8! This time, we have our youngest visitor, Simon, telling us what he has learned on fixing his backgammon board! Watch the video above.

 
Two of our volunteer fixers, Renae and Phil, who are specialized in 3D printing, teamed up to fix a motorized pencil sharpener. Here’s how Phil described it:
“This was a broken gear from a lady’s motorized pencil sharpener. It’s an unusual gear that would be difficult to find a replacement – so we measured out the dimensions, number of teeth, angles of the teeth, etc. It was NEARLY a success! I accidentally reversed one part of the gear, and the fit could be improved. But hopefully with one more print it will do the trick.”
If you would like to get help fixing a broken household item or learn how to do it yourself, don’t miss the next Repair Café on Saturday, April 12 at Toronto Tool Library. Everyone is welcome to participate for free! For more info, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

Repair Café at Toronto Reference Library

We had the 8th monthly Repair Café held at the Toronto Reference Library on February 8th. This was the first time the Repair Café reached out to the neighbourhood in the downtown core.

If you had happened to pass by the Café, you would have been drawn into the energy that filled the room, with fixers and visitors talking to each other while they repaired various broken items together.

With the terrific support from our dedicated team of volunteers, we had a delightful success with a great turnout of visitors. Once again we are grateful to our partners: Toronto Public Library, Frank’s Pizza House, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters and Circles and Squares Bakery.

If you need help fixing a broken item, don’t miss our next Repair Café on March 8 at Skills for Change. We will have fixers available for computers, small appliances, lamps, small furniture, clothes, jewellery and books, among other household items. You will also have a chance to see a 3D printer at work creating parts for repair replacement. For details, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

Repair is Better than Recycling – Join the Repair Café Feb 8!

Have a broken computer or electronics item at home? Bring it to the Repair Café at the Toronto Reference Library this coming Saturday. Not only can you save money from buying a new one, but you can also learn how to fix it yourself.

Repair is better than recycling. A significant amount of raw materials, fresh water and energy is required to manufacture the electronics that many of us use for a short period of time, and a lot of carbon dioxide is emitted during the production process. Also, the many types of metals used are hard to recover from the recycling the electronics. Therefore the best way to minimize the impact of our electronics on the environment is to get the most out of them before discarding them.

Recycling isn’t the answer; it’s the last resort. Repair is the step to take to prevent any needless waste. Come to the Repair Café this Saturday (February 8) at the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Bloor and meet our team of 20 fixers who can help you with fixing your broken electronics, small appliances, lamps, small furniture, clothes and jewellery. You can also see demonstrations on how a 3D printer can produce parts for repairs. By the way, the newest addition to our team of fixers is someone who is specialized in binding books!

If you would like to learn more about why recycling electronics is a waste of energy and what is in your cell phone and you can’t wait till this Saturday, here’s a great site to visit in the meantime: ifixit.org.

 

Get Unique Learning Experience at the Repair Café!

Last Saturday, The Repair Café returned as the first one in 2014. Many thanks to the volunteers and the visitors, it was once again a successful event! The fixers were happily busy with helping visitors fix the items they brought and the visitors enjoyed learning how to do the repairs themselves. If you would like to be part of this experience, have a cup of coffee while meeting some friendly people, don’t miss the next Repair Café on February 8 at the Toronto Reference Library. It is all free! For more info, please refer to the Upcoming Events page.

 

The Repair Café returning on January 11!

If you have anything at home that needs fixing, bring it to our fixers this Saturday January 11. They will work with you to fix it for free. And even better, you will learn how to do it yourself if it is broken again in the future. Our fixer team have the expertise on computers, small appliances, lamps, furniture, clothes and lamps. A 3D printing fixer is also on the team.

We will be at Skills for Change, 791 St. Clair West. For details about visiting the café, please go to the Upcoming Events page. Hope to see you there!

 

The Best Yet!

The Repair Café was once again offered at Skills for Change on November 16. This was the sixth one since our launch in May 2013.

The first visitors arrived 40 minutes before the 10 am start. By 10 am, there was already a small queue. Both our team of fixers and greeters were well prepared. The visitors were generally able to meet with their fixers and received help within a reasonable time.  It was nice to see both new and familiar faces  among the visitors.

The room filled up steadily with visitors and was completely full by noon.  We also had visitors from St. Catherines, Bolton and East Gwillimbury, as they are thinking to start up a repair café in their own community. They witnessed a vibrant repair café in action!

Our fixers do not just work on their own but often work together to solve problems. As  clothing fixer Jung-Hee was working away with her sewing machine, it broke down suddenly. Appliance fixer Ernst checked it and decided that its cable needed to be replaced. Other fixers Josie and Paul Taylor jumped in and lent their hands. Through joint effort, the machine was up and running again.

Over the course of four hours, more than 50 items got fixed. Every visitor left happily after receiving the friendly help from their fixers. This repair café had one of the highest turnouts from both volunteer fixers and visitors. Everything ran smoothly. After it was over, all the volunteers gathered to take a group shot. And one of our fixers Tim summed it up well: The Best Yet!”

We would like to thank our wonderful volunteers for their dedication and enthusiasm. Also, we are grateful to our sponsors, Skills for Change, Noir Coffee & Tea and Frank’s Pizza House for their continued support.

If you need help fixing a broken item, don’t miss our next Repair Café on January 11! We will have fixers available for computers, small appliances, lamps, small furniture, clothes and jewellery, among others. You will also have a chance to see a 3D printer at work fixing household items. For details, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

If you would like to join us as a volunteer or provide support, please email us at info@repaircafetoronto.ca.

To receive news about our upcoming events,  just sign up for our mailing list. We are also on Facebook.

Hope to see you at the Repair Café on January 11!

“Fantastic Experience!”

On October 19, the Repair Café returned to Skills for Change on the second floor of the centre from morning to early afternoon. Once again our fixers applied their magic and brought many items back to life, such as lamps, laptops, printers, chairs, coat, jeans, grinder, toaster, meat thermometer, dust buster, umbrella, fan, kettle, blow dryer, and more!

Many  visitors told us they had a  great experience fixing their broken items and learning about how they work and getting tips to prevent similar problems in the future. One visitor, Cindy Dias, summarized her experience in two words in her survey form: “Fantastic Experience!” She brought in a broken chair and our fixer Bernie repaired it. Two other visitors rated their experience as “4+++” (out of 4) with comments, “Good, friendly people” and “Glad that it got fixed!”  Others  were fascinated by the process even though their items were beyond repair.

We would like to thank our wonderful volunteers for their dedication and enthusiasm. Also, we are grateful  to our sponsors,  Skills for Change, Noir Coffee & Tea and Frank’s Pizza House for their continued support.

If you need help fixing a broken item, don’t miss our next Repair Café on November 16! We will have fixers available for computers, small appliances, lamps, small furniture, clothes and jewellery, among others. You will also have a chance to see a 3D printer at work fixing household items. For details, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

If you would like to join us as a volunteer or provide support, please email us at info@repaircafetoronto.ca.

To receive news about our upcoming events,  just sign up for our mailing list. We are also on Facebook.

Hope to see you at the Repair Café on November 16!