Repair Café – 1,200 Visitors Later

2014 year end team photoPhotograph by Heather Ramsay

November 22 was our last Repair Café of the year. We had one of the highest turnouts of both volunteers and visitors, and once again our terrific volunteers made it another successful event. Thank you for a great 2014!

Above is our team photo taken after the November event. More event photos have been posted on our Facebook page and you can really feel the “Repair Café energy” that people tell us they love about the events. As well, a new Video section has just been added to our website. You can meet a few of our fixers and learn about the experiences of our visitors.

When a small group of us started the first repair café in Toronto a year and a half ago, we asked ourselves: Will we be able to find enough volunteers to spend their weekend helping others fix broken items? Will people be interested in repairing? Will the initial enthusiasm die down?

Well, a year and a half later, any doubts we had are now replaced by a growing certainty that we have launched something very special and important for the city. We have achieved some significant results we can all be proud of:

  • Established a team of volunteers with 52 active members
  • Offered 17 monthly repair cafes in 5 various neighbourhoods
  • Delivered 3 repair workshops in different locations
  • Extended the life of more than 1,000 household items, diverting them from landfill
  • Taught more than 1,200 people to repair their broken items
  • Gained support from 13 community organizations and businesses
  • Offered the first “How to Start a Repair Café” workshop
  • Helped launch repair cafés in four other locations in Canada

The facts speak for themselves. There is a proven desire in our city to change the throwaway mindset. We are helping to build Toronto as a sustainable city by reducing needless waste, empowering people to learn and use repair skills, and fostering a caring community through personal actions.

We have been delighted to collaborate with many local organizations and businesses, and we thank our volunteers for their kindness, generosity and professionalism.  We are grateful to all our sponsors: Skills for Change, Toronto Public Library, Frank’s Pizza House, Noir Coffee and Tea, Toronto Tool Library, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, Circles and Squares Bakery, Pizza Pizza, So Much Into Cup Cakes, Leah’s, Toronto Clothing Repairathon, and Danforth East Community Association.

A big thanks to other supporting organizations and individuals for their help in spreading the word! And of course we thank all the visitors who brought us their repair challenges and filled our donation box.

In this new year, the Repair Café is looking forward to reaching out to more neighbourhoods, and we are planning other events as well. To receive news on the latest events, you are welcome to join our mailing list by entering your name and email address in the form on the right of the home page. You can also become part of the repair café movement by joining our volunteer team or sponsoring our cafés. We can be reached by email at Our next café is on January 17 at Skills for Change. Hope to see you there.

Happy New Year!