As our 6th anniversary approaches, our growth is stronger than ever, in large part led by the increasing engagement of all generations in the repair movement.
Repair Café Toronto has been growing steadily since we launched our first café in May of 2013. In particular, we offered many more repair cafés this past year compared to our first year. In our first year, we offered 10 full cafés in 4 locations. This past year, we offered a total of 84 cafés in 37 various locations, including 11 full cafés, 29 mini cafés and 44 Sunday events at our storefront location. These numbers do not include the locations we visited outside the City of Toronto. In the past few years, we have been actively supporting other organizations outside Toronto to start a Repair Cafe: Brampton, Guelph, Hamilton, Oshawa, York Region, Victoria. Our latest outreach event was the first Repair Café held at Oakville Central Library on May 5 where a few fixers and volunteers from Toronto joined in to support. The launch café was well received by the local community.
One of the reasons why Repair Café has been growing strong is that doing repairs at our events is inter-generational. Volunteer and visitors of different ages work together at the café. We are seeing more young people joining Repair Café. They have the opportunity to work alongside other volunteers and learn from them or share their knowledge with them. More experienced volunteers are happy to share with other volunteers and the visitors their expertise.
This past year, the repair movement continues to grow in Canada and around the world. In Ontario, the right to repair bill, the first of its kind in Canada, was introduced in February which allows consumers to repair their devices themselves or at a repair shop of their own choice rather than returning them to the product’s manufacturer. This proposed bill and the media reports around it are spotlighting our current situation where in many cases, consumers are forced to pay high fees to the brand manufacturers to repair their broken devices or to give up their old devices for new ones. We will continue to support the push for consumers’ right to repair.
We hope to see you there on Saturday!
Photographs by Julie Trinh