IRBE Board July 2015 (2)

The Toronto Tool Library is a community-driven project!

The Institute for a Resource Based Economy (IRBE)
 is a registered non-profit organization that runs the operations of the Toronto Tool Library. IRBE has six Board of Directors that meet often to launch new projects, make connections,  execute events and speaking engagements. We are a community of innovators, activists, journalists and skilled-trades people – all motivated to make a difference in the city.

If you have any questions about the organization, please contact us at

Scroll down to meet our board and read our stories:



TORONTOTOOL1 copyLawrence Alvarez

Chairman of the Board & President, IRBE

Lawrence is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy (IRBE) and co-founder of the Toronto Tool Library. Lawrence is an energetic speaker, delivering talks on 3D printing, education, and the sharing economy. Growing up in Zimbabwe, he has lived in Botswana, Canada, South Africa and Argentina. His passion lies in exploring human relationships and our shared experience, and finding the connections between us. 


Sheetal 2Sheetal Lodhia 


Sheetal Lodhia is a freelance writer, researcher and producer.  A recent doctoral graduate in English literature, she has researched and taught in various areas of interest including the Renaissance, history of medicine, colonialism and cultural studies. She has also produced radio documentaries, managed art installations, and recently founded Black Leg Productions. Her work has appeared in BlogTO and Broken Pencil and her radio work aired on the CBC, CFRC and CKLN. In 2013, she joined the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy as a member of the Board of Directors for the operations of the Toronto Tool Library.


GrahamGraham Green

Treasurer, Director

Graham is a small business manager, with 15 years of experience in the retail sector. He brings his experience in retail design, sales, marketing, project management and his love of tools to IRBE’s flagship project, the Toronto Tool Library. His passion lies in connecting with people and projects, creating valuable and innovative partnerships.
A graduate of the University of Manitoba in Religious Studies and Microbiology, Graham is a life-long learner. You can find him at the Royal Ontario Museum where he volunteers, teaching children about history, paleontology and cultural archaeology. When not working with Makers, artists and students, Graham dabbles in electronics, 3D printing and gaming.

VictoriaVictoria Buchy 


Victoria is passionate about finding innovative ways to challenge perspectives on resource management, ownership and consumption. Victoria actively volunteers at the Tool Library and provides strategic planning for its operations and more.  She is a professional arts administrator with a degree in Music Administration and a Certificate in Writing from Western University.  Her new goal is to learn how to use the Makerspace laser cutter for woodworking projects.


Emily CharlesEmily Charles-Donelson


Emily is the social media coordinator for the Toronto Tool Library and sits on the Board of Directors for IRBE. Her interest lies in the Sharing Economy and the Maker Movement as solutions for global crises, with a passion for utilizing social media to communicate these issues. A graduate from Carleton University, she received her double Honours degree in Psychology and Film Studies and is currently working towards her Masters at York University. Plus, last year she became a new mom!


CharmaineCharmaine Noronha


Charmaine has been a journalist with The Associated Press for the past eight years, covering Canadian news for an international readership. She also freelances for various publications including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Flare magazine, WestJet magazine and more. She is passionate about social justice issues and has been a member of Journalists for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch. She’s interested in promoting the sharing economy in the hopes of challenging overly consumptive behaviours to lessen our impact on the environment and to foster a greater sense of community.


GregGreg Smith

Secretary, Director

Greg is a librarian working in the public sector with an interest in fostering innovative non-bibliographic resource-sharing models. He seeks to empower communities through collective access to energy- and capital-intensive goods in circumstances where individual ownership simply doesn’t make environmental or economic sense. A DIY dynamo prone to dipping his toes into whatever’s going on at the Toronto Tool Library, you’re about as likely to find him fermenting vegetables (or beverages), gardening, tinkering with electronics, or emerging from the wood shop coated in sawdust. Greg blogs at and tweets as @onshi.

KatrusiaKatrusia Balan


Katrusia Balan works in waste management policy and planning for the City of Toronto. As a child of the ‘80s who grew up with the 3Rs mantra, Katrusia is particularly keen in exploring waste reduction and reuse opportunities.

Building on her Environmental Studies and Education degrees, Katrusia spent close to 8 years working on a number of environmental education initiatives at various organizations. She taught youth about energy conservation and renewable energy at TREC Education, promoted sustainable transportation options to workplaces at Smart Commute, assessed environmental achievements at Ontario EcoSchools and engaged Toronto residents while leading the Live Green Toronto Volunteer program.

Katrusia loves getting around on two wheels, tossing a Frisbee and hiking. She’s also a DIY-er who enjoys crafting and hosting clothing swaps.