Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

New St. Clair Branch!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in 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 with a donation below. 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 Grand Opening Party on Friday, March 24th. 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...

Read More

The Basic Income Debate

Posted by on Feb 11, 2017 in Tool Blog |

Conversations about Universal Basic Income (UBI) are heating up as Prince Edward Island passed its first motion to participate in a pilot project with the federal government. However, plans are far from final, and as the Ontario Liberals consider their own model, it is imperative to really dissect what benefits or dangers UBI could bring, particularly as it is being constructed from within the very neoliberal structures which have shaped our current economic strategies. Today’s employment landscape is one marred by seriously defunct socio-economic systems and an overburdened and failing welfare strategy. Since the 1970s, national economic policies have focused more on GDP growth than on full employment, with noticeable repercussions: increased disparity, low job security, fewer benefits and slashes in social safety nets. All of this combined with the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the workplace, we’ve created what Guy Standing refers to as the “Precariat” class: those who live in a constant state of precariousness and insecurity. “The Precarity Penalty”, released in 2015 by PEPSO (a joint effort between McMaster University and the United Way) found that an astounding 44% of working Canadian adults fall into this category. They were further found to live in households whose overall income was less than 38% than those in “stable” employment, and represented high rates of mental and physical stress, community and family tension and difficulty securing childcare and job training. What has been trying to respond to all of these market failures is an overstressed and poorly managed welfare system – one that, as a result, is invasive, rigid and all too often misses the mark. There is ample criticism that UBI is not the solution to this dire climate. Groups like The Fraser Institute point to the high costs associated with its implementation, and claim it will actually discourage people to work. The economics indeed play a dangerous balancing act. If the basic income is set too low, no real impact can be made. Some argue that Ontario’s projected $1320/month (as reported by Hugh Segal’s “Finding Better Way”) falls into this category. If set too high, the project’s sustainability is threatened – not to mention that recipients can “coast” on the base provision and lose motivation to work. Or so the argument goes. To engage in a debate regarding numbers that have yet to be finalized seems moot in comparison to the less discussed issue at hand: can UBI be constructed in a way that is truly progressive and enabling, or is it doomed to be a devastating capitalization of social welfare, incapable of detangling itself from its neoliberal culture? Well-intentioned support for UBI often highlights the autonomy and agency that the model could bring....

Read More

Top 5 Reasons Every Child Should Be A Maker

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Tinkering, making, creating and playing. These activities are finally being recognized for what they are – an essential part of a child’s education and development. The Maker Education Revolution that began in Makerspaces across the world over 10 years ago is finally breaking down the barriers into the mainstream – and into our classrooms. And that is a very good thing for our communities and our planet. March Break Maker Camp A Maker Education:   1) Promotes a ‘Growth Mindset’ Author and psychologist Carol Dweck proposes two mindsets that the growing brain can take on – one is called the fixed mindset and one is called the growth mindset. When children take on a fixed mindset, they believe that they are good at some things and not others and that their skills just come to them naturally. With a growth mindset, the learner believes that they can become good at something through doing, learning, experience, etc. Learning and development is something you work at, not something that just happens. Children who have developed a growth mindset tend to be more resilient, handling challenges better and pushing themselves passed obstacles. Maker education fosters this Growth Mindset because of it’s emphasis on not knowing the solution to a problem and then developing and learning through the process:  “It’s not just a matter of what you know, it’s a matter of taking risks and perhaps failing and learning from those failures.” Learning how to fail – and subsequently picking yourself up, reflecting and trying again – is a crucial skill for navigating our constantly changing world. 2) Develops Character and Purpose Learning-by-doing not only helps children become resilient in the face of challenges, it also works to develop character and a sense of purpose: “That is one of the most important outcomes a maker educator sees…Learning how to make things, being involved in maker-centered education, helps young people develop a sense of agency in the world, a sense that they can change the world.” At the heart of making is the concept that all students are creators. Rather than memorizing facts to regurgitate on a test, young makers are encouraged to bring what they know to a problem in order to solve it or to use their skills to design and build a project. Whether it’s hacking stuffed animals to incorporate LED lights or designing laser cut cars to race, these activities are important precisely for the reason that they instil a sense of confidence in the child’s ability to act on their environment. 3) Deepens Social and Emotional Skills Not only does making help children learn to effectively problem-solve, it teaches them to effectively problem-solve TOGETHER. Maker education places a big emphasis on collaboration. Children are encouraged to work together to improve their...

Read More

It’s About A Lot More Than Borrowing Tools

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Almost four years ago now, before ‘the sharing economy’ was a buzz word, our small band of friends came together in Toronto when we met at a meeting for those concerned about the state of the world – poverty, the environment, mental health, discrimination, war, debt. We wanted to solve ALL the problems. Not long after meeting, we learned about a Tool Lending Library in Vancouver and thought that maybe this would be a good place to start for Toronto as well. If we could inspire people to share tools, could the sharing movement expand in a way that would make a real difference in reducing over-consumption of goods while increasing access to what people need? The Sharing Economy has since exploded into the mainstream in a big way. Many more people are now participating, while media and news outlets passionately discuss the economic and social impacts of ‘sharing’ on a regular basis – and indeed, the very definition of sharing itself in this new economy. Running a non-profit tool library is no easy task – it’s certainly not as glamorous as Uber or Airbnb. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we put our blood, sweat and tears into encouraging Torontonians to borrow instead of buy: ENVIRONMENT Obviously buying less things means we can reduce the amount of stuff we are dumping into our landfills. In fact, Canada is now producing so much waste efforts are being made to focus on the first of the three Rs: REDUCE. Sharing items with your neighbours is a great way to reduce unnecessary consumption. If you imagine the amount of energy and materials that go into making and distributing a single tool (the oil and rare metals used to create it, the gas used to ship it all over the world, the packaging it comes in, etc.) you can imagine how effective it would be if one drill was being used by a community rather than sitting in every household’s basement. The mass, private ownership of tools makes little social sense when we consider that most domestic power tools are used for just 10% of the time they are designed to last and spend the rest of their lives depreciating in basements and storage units. The devil’s advocate might ask: but if so many people are using a single tool, won’t that wear the tool out faster rendering it useless and in need of quicker replacement? Well, yes and no. Because so many people are sharing these items together, they can afford to buy more expensive, good quality tools that won’t wear out as quickly. AND at the Toronto Tool Library we have a tool hospital: experts who volunteer their time and skills to fix ‘sick tools.’...

Read More

March Break Maker Camp with TTLkids!

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

We are thrilled to be offering an exciting array of workshops for Young Makers this March Break with TTLkids! We’ve got all the basic covered: electronics, 3D printing, laser cutting, woodworking and robotics. Register your Young Maker for the whole week OR choose workshops individually. Keep those creative minds engaged over the break and give your kids something to show and tell when they get back to school!      See The Programs Register...

Read More

Going Zero Waste – A Guide For Toronto

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Following Bulk Barn’s recent announcement last week that they will now be making their reusable container program company policy across all locations (YAAS!), it seems the zero waste train in Canada is more than ready to leave the station. There are even rumours that Toronto will (finally) be getting the zero waste grocery store we’ve all been dreaming about for years (I mean come on Toronto, Montreal already has zero waste grocery stores and so does Vancouver). The zero waste movement is the answer we’ve been looking for in Canada for our serious (and embarrassing) waste problem. For those of you considering putting your garbage can on a diet and jumping aboard that zero waste train, here’s a handy list from someone who has been easing her way into a zero waste lifestyle (slowly) for a few years now. These are 11 things I recommend for those first staring out:   1) Don’t Start With A Jar Challenge  The zero waste movement was really launched into the mainstream a few years back with several flashy stories about bloggers who were taking the ‘jar challenge’ – they would only make enough trash to fill a single mason jar over the course of a year (Lauren Singer of Trash Is For Tossers can now boast TWO years of trash in a single jar). I considered starting my zero waste journey like this, but began having panic attacks and feared I would fill the jar only with tears of failure if I tried this now. After speaking with several Toronto bloggers, it seems the main barrier for starting a zero waste journey is the sense that it will be difficult. If this is how you feel, my advice is to find a place from which to launch and take baby steps. My launching place was the birth of my daughter 3 years ago. I made the conscious choice to use cloth diapers, which I purchased second hand on Kijiji. Pick one for yourself and see where it takes you.   2) Remember ‘The Five PillaRs’ Every movement needs a mantra and zero wasters are no exception to this rule. Pare Down, the Toronto-based family blazing the zero waste trail in this city, recommends keeping these five Rs close to your heart – and I agree. These will help keep you on track as you start transitioning your way into a zero waste lifestyle: The Five PillaRs Refuse what you do not need. Reduce what you do need. Reuse everything you can. Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse. Rot the rest.   3) Never Leave The House Unprepared In the beginning, I found a lot of my slip ups happened because I was not prepared – I would forget my reusable bag, my glass jars, my coffee cup. Now when...

Read More

Powered by

Brought to you by the Institute for Resource Based Economy