Thank You for a Strong Year

team photo 2015Photograph by Emily Jasper

2015 has been a year of growth for Repair Cafe Toronto and we would like to take a few moments to show you how we are expanding and most importantly how we continue to meet the mission we set for ourselves two and a half years ago when we launched this new concept for the city.

We had our final café for 2015 on Saturday November 21 and once again our two repair rooms at Skills for Change were filled with greeters and fixers working with diverse visitors throughout the four hours. At this 29th café, we received 102 visitors who brought in a total of 149 items, the highest number in one cafe we have received since our launch in 2013! Check out event photos on our facebook page. You can also watch our latest video in which our fixer Michael talks about his favourite tool.

Mike fixing green toyPhotograph by Wai Chu Cheng

This past year, Repair Café visited new neighbourhoods in Toronto, from Rexdale in the west and Scarborough in the east to the south of the city in Cabbagetown. We can proud of the results we have achieved:

  • established a team of 72 active volunteers
  • offered 12 large repair café events
  • taught 1,007 visitors to repair their broken items
  • fixed 866 items and diverted a total of 1058 items from going into the landfill (a total of 2075 items diverted since 2013)
  • consistently received “4 out of 4” rating by visitors on their experience at the Repair Café; some rated even at 4+ or 5
  • supported two Repair Café events at Sheridan College, including the Oakville and Brampton locations
  • provided two trouble-shooting workshops
  • worked with Keilhauer, the furniture manufacturer, to help them divert 35 industrial sewing machines
  • were invited to speak at several conferences, meetings and environmental events around repair, sustainability and the circular economy
  • presented a deputation to the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to add “repair” to their long term waste management strategy

The Repair Café was launched in 2013 with the mission to change our society’s throwaway mindset and help people reduce needless waste.  When we look at our achievements to date, we are confident that we are on our way to fulfilling the Repair Cafe’s mission. Our events have been attracting more visitors and volunteers, and the growing support shows that the Repair Café model is resonating with our community. Our success comes from the Repair Cafe’s core values, which can be summarized as follows:

(1) create a free, safe and welcoming atmosphere accessible to the community where visitors may engage with fellow community members and learn about repair

(2) come together with volunteers and visitors in an open, generous and kind manner, where everyone is valued

(3) work collaboratively and partner with a diverse range of community groups to promote sustainability in a fun and inclusive manner

Dare to repair sign
Photograph by Lon Appleby

In the coming year, we will provide repair cafés in more library branches and develop more partnerships with local community groups across the city. Our 2016 event calendar is already getting full. In addition to the monthly large cafe events, we will be offering small cafes and repair workshops, and we are also working to recruit more volunteers as well as support local organizations to organize their own repair cafés.

Our Organizing Team is grateful for the commitment and generosity of our outstanding volunteer team. A big thank-you to our long time sponsors and community partners, Skills for Change, Toronto Public Library and Frank’s Pizza House, for supporting our mission and values!

If you are interested in joining the Repair Cafe movement by volunteering or sponsoring Repair Cafe Toronto, please email us at To learn about our latest events and news, feel free to subscribe to our email list by simply entering your name and email address in the form on the right bar of our home page.

Our first event in the new year is on Saturday January 23. It will be held at STEAMSLab. For more information, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

See you in 2016!