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!

Don’t miss the Repair Café on Oct 19!

The Repair Café will be back at Skills for Change this coming Saturday. If you have anything broken at home that needs fixing, bring it to our fixers on Saturday October 19. We will have fixers available for computers, electronic devices, small appliances, lamps and clothes, among other items. They will help you fix it for free and you will also learn from them how to do the repair yourself. For details about the Café, please go to the Upcoming Events page. Hope to see you there!

Would you like to see our fixers at work? Click here for VIDEOS!

 

 

Repair Café at Wychwood Barns

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday on September 14. The Repair Café had its first outdoor event at Wychwood Barns! This time, we joined other community groups in the St Clair West neighbourhood to reach out to the local residents. Once again, our wonderful volunteers helped many visitors fix a variety of broken household items. The visitors told us that they were impressed by the skills of our friendly fixers and that they had learned how to do the repairs themselves. Everyone enjoyed the pizzas provided by Frank’s Pizza House and we would like to thank them for their continued support.

To see more photos from this Repair Café, please visit our Facebook page.

If you would like to visit the next Repair Café, we will return on Saturday, October 19 at Skills for Change. We will have fixers available for computers, small appliances, lamps, clothes and jewellery. Hope to see you there!

Come Join the Repair Café on Sept 14!

 

This time, we are doing it outdoor! If you have anything broken at home that needs fixing, bring it to our fixers next Saturday September 14. They will help you fix it for free. And on top of that, they will show you how you can repair it yourself if it is broken again in the future. We hope to see you there. For details about the Café, please go to the Upcoming Events page.

You can see a photo slideshow of our August 10 Café by clicking here.

The image above is an art piece “Repair Café” created by Anne Winter, an award-winning artist from Toronto. She was inspired by the repair movement that began in Amsterdam and has been spreading across the cities in Europe and the Americas, including Toronto!

To take a closer look at the “nuts and bolts”, go to Winter’s website to learn more about her works (www.annewinter.ca).