The Repair Café Effect


The Repair Café on September 13 brought many first time and returning visitors despite the drizzling weather. The first visitor, Tony Chug, showed up an hour early. When he saw us setting up, he enthusiastically lent us his helping hand, and an hour and a half later, he left smiling with his lamp fixed and offered to volunteer when we return to Skills for Change November 22.

Tony’s response was one of the many moments that encourage us to keep growing the Repair Café in Toronto. We feel the tremendous support from the people who have experienced “the repair café effect”, and through our volunteer work in the last year or so, we are more certain than ever that our core value of “neighbours helping neighbours” is shared by many in the city. Repair Café Toronto’s main goals of preventing needless waste, sharing repair skills, and bringing our diverse community together, are being realized in more repair cafés throughout the city!

Here’s an article, for example, that recently appeared in The Varsity, the University of Toronto campus newspaper. It was written by a visitor to September’s repair café, Joseph Ianni, and explains well what we mean by the repair café effect.  Below is an excerpt from his piece.

“… as the morning carried on, I noticed how diverse the group became. Experts on items varied in age and background, and so did those coming with broken items to be mended. As I waited for an expert of my own, I watched as Sam, a young boy, helped a middle-aged man repair his old radio, while an elderly man assisted a young Russian woman with her laptop.”

Click here for the full article.

We would like to thank the generous contributions of our event sponsors Skills for Change, Frank’s Pizza House and Noir Coffee and Tea. As well, a sincere thanks to the terrific volunteers for their wonderful support. Event photos will be posted on our Facebook page.

Our next Repair Café on October 18 will be held at the Cedarbrae Branch of the Toronto Public Library in Scarborough. If you are a fixer and would like to help out, we’d love to hear from you. If you have a broken household item, you are very welcome to bring it to Cedarbrae Public Library on October 18. We will be open from 12 to 4 p.m. For details, please go to the Upcoming Events page.

Are you interested in starting a repair café in your neighbourhood? Don’t miss this free workshop “How to Start a Repair Café” on October 25. Repair Café Toronto will share our experience with you and break it down on what it involves. The workshop will be held at Skills for Change from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Please sign up on our home page.