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St. Clair Branch – Become A Founding Member

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

We are super excited to announce our newest location will be launching at 830 St. Clair West. This new community hub will be home to the Toronto Tool Library where you can borrow thousands of hand, power and gardening tools for up to one week. We will also open the Sharing Depot, our second ‘Library of Things’, where you can borrow camping equipment, board games, toys and much more. Even better, we have teamed up with the Repair Cafe folks and will be offering a weekly repair day where you bring your broken appliances, electronics, toys and anything else to be diagnosed and repaired onsite. Please consider supporting our project by purchasing a membership in advance to help with our renovation costs, we’ve got great discounts and benefits but only until opening weekend! You can also donate tools, volunteer or help spread the word by sharing this page. Thanks so much and see you at our Grand Opening in March! All Donors receive 2 tickets to our Donor Recognition Party in April (exact date will be sent out soon!) Lead Contractor & Founding Member ($2500)DIY Professional ($1000)Weekend Warrior ($500)Masterful Maker ($250)Handy Hobbyist ($100) Pay with Card Have questions? Please contact Ryan at ryan@irbe.org for more details. * Memberships upgrade at higher donation levels. Upgraded memberships replace prior lower level membership rewards (both types of memberships are not given). Please note, as a non-profit corporation we are unable to issue charitable tax receipts at this...

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We’re Hiring!

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Slider Home Posts |

The Tool Library is looking for some talented individuals for the following part-time and contract roles, please see descriptions below. Workshop Facilitators The Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot will be looking for experienced facilitators to host workshops at our Makerspace. Hourly rates will be in the range of $18-40 depending on experience and nature of workshop for the following subjects: Sewing machine classes Camping related workshops such as ‘How to Plan your 1st Camping Trip’, ‘Tasty and Easy Cooking Options on a Camping Trip’, ‘Overview of Camping Options in Ontario’, Survivalist Topics and more. Woodworking, Electronics, Laser Cutting and 3D printing classes – wide range of hardware and software topics are welcome! Workshop facilitators will be responsible for purchasing supplies if required however space, marketing, tools, projector and screen will be provided by the Tool Library. Please send resume and cover letter listing some workshop topic ideas to Ryan at ryan@irbe.org.  ...

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An Alternative To Massive Credit Card Bills

Posted by on Nov 29, 2015 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

The Holiday Season has arrived which means lots of parties, Christmas carols and of course, a massive dose of consumerism whose hangover will only be felt in January when your credit card bill arrives. A closer look at this bill will reveal purchases of gifts that George Monbiot describes as “amusing on the first day of Christmas, daft on the second, embarrassing on the third. By the twelfth they’re in landfill. For 30 seconds of dubious entertainment, or a hedonic stimulus that lasts no longer than a nicotine hit, we commission the use of materials whose impacts will ramify for generations.” How often have you received a gift that you didn’t need or didn’t even want? How many plastic trinkets have you found in your stocking that give you a fleeting 3-second laugh only to be discarded and left to decompose over the next 1,000 years? For the past two years the Toronto Tool Library has been proud to host Toronto’s only ‘Alternative Gift Fair’ at our Danforth location. The Fair is a community swap event where anyone can come and swap giftable items with their community rather than buying more stuff that often has no practical purpose whatsoever. Hundreds of lightly used or new items have been exchanged, the media has covered the story and credit card debt has been cut down for those who’ve come out. This event represents a distinct anomaly in our society: money is not permitted and the abundance that already exists in our community is shared. This year’s event will be even bigger. After some fortunate negotiations with our landlord and support from DECA, Woodgreen, community organizer Stephanie Nakitsas and the team at the Tool Library, we are excited to announce Toronto’s first ever ‘Alternative Gift Shop‘. This storefront shop at 1803 Danforth will be the only gift shop in Toronto where money is not accepted; just bring any lightly used or new items, or even an item like a cooking or ukulele lesson and swap up to 10 of these items with others.  The shop will kick off with a Grand Opening on Thursday December 17th from 7-10pm with free beverages provided by Left Field Brewery and snacks from the Toronto Tool Library. The Alternative Gift Shop will also be open to all from Friday-Sunday for the following hours: Friday, December 18th: 12pm-8pm Saturday, December 19th: 10am-5pm Sunday, December 20th: 10am-5pm Come join us this year and instead of purchasing another set of Christmas sunglasses that will never be worn and end up in a landfill, pick a gift with a great story from your community instead. Your loved ones, your wallet and your planet will thank you. Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/521734804643807/...

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Where Do Your Membership Fees Go?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Yesterday the team at the Toronto Tool Library (TTL) announced our new membership options, the first major change we have made since opening our doors two and a half years ago. This decision was a difficult one and the details were fine tuned by our management team and Board of Directors for almost 6 weeks before being implemented. Obviously, despite the care involved in making such a change, reactions have been mixed and therefore this post is meant to offer some clarity and insight into our current situation and financial picture as well as our plans for the future. Current Situation and Financial Picture To run an organization like the Tool Library there are several categories of expenses involved including salaries, rent, insurance and more. We also have several revenue streams including membership fees, grants, workshops and our Laser Cutting / 3D Printing services. We pride ourselves on making the cost of all of our services equal or less expensive than any other provider in Toronto. In terms of tool rentals, most of our tools cannot be borrowed anywhere else and for our heavier power tools, our new pricing structure still represents a savings of well over 99% compared to other service providers ($5 for 3-4 days versus $50+ for 4 hours at other tool rental service providers). Expenses When we started the TTL, we relied exclusively on volunteer labour to get the project off the ground, renovate our spaces and ensure librarians were on duty. Starting in 2014, we started paying minimal salaries to part-time staff to manage the operations and provide workshops for both adults and youth. In 2015, we received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help with these salary costs and grant revenues and workshop fees currently pay the majority of our salary costs throughout the year. The majority of our staff are still unpaid and we have a strong base of over 50 active volunteers who help with the project in multitudes of invaluable ways. Beyond salaries, unavoidable expenses including rent, insurance, tool maintenance and purchases, a website, internet and more make up approximately 36% of our annual expenses. Additional administration including marketing make up the remaining 10% of our expenses. Revenues Our revenues come primarily from our membership fees which we have tried to keep as low as feasibly possible since we started. As can be seen in the chart below, grants currently make up 21% of our revenues and this funding will lower in 2016 and potentially disappear by 2017 (no grants have been confirmed). As a result of this gap, our team has decided to lean more heavily on our members for revenues while we explore additional revenue streams (see below for future...

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New Membership Options at the Toronto Tool Library

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Since opening in March 2013, the Toronto Tool Library started with a simple idea; to share tools together in our communities rather than individually buy, store and secure them. Since then, the TTL has grown into three bustling locations made vibrant by dozens of volunteers and over 2,000 members. We now boast an inventory of over 4,000 tools across our branches and have successfully loaned over 20,000 hand, power and garden tools. Our Makerspace on the Danforth hosts Toronto’s only open-source laser-cutter, free community nights every Wednesday and programs to inspire young makers all year round. We even have our own music video 🙂 From the beginning we have offered membership at a modest rate with thanks to our financial partners including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Alterna Savings and Toronto Acumen. To ensure the TTL is able to continue offering a quality service at an affordable price, we are now introducing a new fee structure. We are happy to continue to offer a $50/year option as well as additional tiers that offer more flexibility.  This change is a big step towards becoming a permanent presence in our city. We are proud of the service we provide and will continue to keep the TTL a unique, affordable and valuable enterprise. New Structure: * PWYC – Pay What You Can memberships are available by request. Please contact us for more details. **Power Tool Fees: Tools with consumable parts, battery powered tools and high-maintenance tools will have a small fee between $2-5 associated with each loan to recoup the cost of replacements and maintenance. Fees also apply to all large table-top tools. Current Members: Your current membership will still entitle you to access all of our locations however we will now start charging Power Tool fees for the tools noted above.  Once your membership expires you can then decide which renewal option suits you best. As a special offer, current members can save $10 on a membership upgrade or renewal using the Discount Code ‘TONSOFTOOLS’ Frequent - UPGRADE ONLYHigh Five - UPGRADE ONLYCasualFrequentHigh Five Have a coupon?Apply (remove)Pay with Card We want to thank you for helping us make community tool libraries a reality in Toronto.We are proud and humbled by Toronto’s generosity and support for this vision of a more shareable city and planet. If you have any questions or comments please contact Ryan (Executive Director) at ryan@irbe.org or Lawrence (President) at...

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