We just marked our 6th anniversary! On May 25, Repair Café returned to Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church (TCMC). It was our 66th monthly full café. On June 8, we held our annual picnic at Christie Pits Park to celebrate our anniversary. Both events went very well. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for your wonderful contribution this past year. Our success came from the generous support from every volunteer. We would also like to take this opportunity to share the thoughts of one of our longest serving fixers below.
It was a rainy morning when we arrived at Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church on May 25. So we set up all our work stations inside except the bike repair station. Pastor Brian, an experienced bike fixer, and his team were not deterred by the weather. They set up the bike tent outside in front of the church building. And miraculously the rain stopped and the sun came out for the whole event. Inside, we had our clothing and jewellery repair stations set up on the upper floor and the computer and other household repair stations set up on the basement level. Below is a few photos of the event.
Repair Café has grown a lot over the past six years. We have reached out to an increasing number of neighbourhoods. Equally important, our fixers have been telling us that they enjoy the learning and collaborative atmosphere at the Repair Café and they are keen at gaining new knowledge and skills. Our first volunteer fixer, Aaron joined our first Repair Café in 2013 and has been attending a cafe almost every month throughout the last six years. Aaron fixes small appliances and electronic items. He was featured on the front page of the local paper The Grid in 2013, which was the first time that Repair Cafe was covered by the media. You can see his image on The Grid in the photo below. And the following photo was taken with Aaron at Repair Café in Richview Library this March. Aaron reflected on his evolution as a fixer:
When I started volunteering at the Repair Café, I was ready to take on anything. Now, a veteran fixer, my experience has produced a more nuanced approach. I now know what things are fixable and what things are unfixable; what things are easy to fix and what things are hard to fix; what things are quick to fix and what things take a long time. My background as a manufacturing engineer gives me insight into why things are made the way they are, but there is still always something for me to learn with a hands-on approach.
I look forward to many more years of fixing, and to see how changing environmental attitudes and laws alter how things are made, fixed, and disposed of.
Our volunteer team is made up of volunteers taking up different roles during the events. New volunteers are welcome. For more information, please visit our Volunteer page.
The next full Repair Café will be held at Cedarbrae Library on Saturday, June 22. For details, please visit the Upcoming Events page.
Hope to see you there!
Photographs by Julie Trinh