What a Blast!

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Video and photograph by Lon Appleby

On Saturday April 18, Repair Café returned to one of our favourite locations, the Toronto Reference Library (TRL). We arrived early in the morning to set up with Dawn at TRL and it wasn’t long before Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium was transformed into a Repair Café space functioning as a repair workshop that offered a variety of repair stations as well as a cafe for people to relax with a coffee and chat with each other.

An hour before we opened, a lineup of people with items to repair had already formed. Our team of general volunteers were busy receiving the visitors and directing them to their fixers. A big shout out to our general volunteers who helped make every visitor feel welcome and kept the flow of visitors in good order! They serve as the “needles” that weave the “threads” of the Café’s fabric together. They include the “greeters” at Registration, the “guides” who put visitors into queues and bring them to their fixers, as well as the photographers and social media volunteers who capture the happy moments when the items are fixed and promote the event through social media. The general volunteers also include those who set up and look after the snack table and deliver the pizza lunch.

Over the course of four hours, our team of 30 dedicated fixers met with a constant stream of visitors who brought in a variety of household items, from laptops and lamps to jeans and necklaces. Our book fixers repaired a few books, including a 1951 atlas. You can see the video above to learn about how our Andy and Faith mended the special book. More event photos will be available on our Facebook page soon.

This April Café was a blast. You could feel the positive energy from everyone. We had an excellent turnout of visitors who came from local neighbourhoods and outside the City of Toronto. To our terrific team of fixers and general volunteers, we cannot thank them enough for their enthusiasm, generosity and professionalism!

We would like to thank the Toronto Reference Library for their continued support in providing us with an uplifting space where broken items have been given new lives and diverted from landfill. Through our collaboration, we have shown our shared commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community.

And of course we thank our sponsors, Balzac’s Coffee and Frank’s Pizza, for their longstanding support. And a special thank you to Humewood Coffee Group and the volunteers and visitors who donated the delicious snacks.

Next month will be our second anniversary! We will be back at Skills for Change on May 23 for the 22nd monthly Café. This special Café will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be followed by a BBQ celebration party with our volunteers and guests. For details, please refer to the Upcoming Events page.

We are looking for volunteers of all kinds, including general volunteers, graphic designers and fixers. We are also looking for sponsors. If you are interested, please contact us at info@repaircafeotonronto.ca.