In October 2013, we opened our Tool Library and Makerspace on the Danforth. Immediately we became part of a vibrant and supportive community that has filled our space with energy and life. In 5 whole years, over 3000 members have joined us at the Danforth to volunteer (THANK YOU!), borrow, teach, tinker and make, and many of you have become unforgettable friends and an essential part of this community.
So, big news!
It’s with a whole range of emotions that we announce the relocation of our Danforth Tool Library and Makerspace to 192 Spadina Avenue, inside the new location of the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI Spadina). We want you to know that we are extremely sad to leave our community on the Danforth – we searched high and low in the surrounding area of our current location and could not find a building with the correct zoning or within our price range (you may have noticed, Toronto’s real estate market has become aggressive and increasingly difficult for small organizations like ours to navigate. Voice your concerns to your local politicians, please).
The move to CSI Spadina is a huge opportunity for us. CSI and the wonderful organizations that call it home have guided, supported and mentored us since 2012 before our first branch opened. CSI has given us space, helped us apply for funding, celebrated our successes, and allowed us to host countless events within their walls.
The new space at CSI Spadina has been run by STEAMLabs, an inspiring educational non-profit that has taught hundreds of kids the power of innovation, design and creation. They’ve been running programs at our Makerspace over the past year, and we’re happy to continue hosting their youth programming at CSI Spadina. They’ve been stewards of that amazing space, and we’re excited and grateful to continue the work that they began!
Here’s a quick run down of what you need to know, scroll down for a more extensive Q&A at the bottom of the page:
1803 Danforth will CLOSE on Saturday October 27th, at 3:00pm. All loans should be returned by then, so please plan accordingly.
All Danforth memberships will be transferred to CSI Spadina, Hillcrest and Parkdale. You will be able to continue borrowing items from these spaces with your Danforth membership and, for Makerspace members, continue using the Makerspace at CSI Spadina. If you have specific questions about this, contact TTL Manager Kevin (Kevin@TorontoToolLibrary.com)
Makerspace members, we’d love to bring you with us. The new space will be better in so many ways (e.g. brighter, with higher ceilings and better machinery). To work out the details of your transition, get in touch with Executive Director Hillary (Hillary@irbe.org).
If you want to chat about the history of this decision, please get in touch with our co-founder email@example.com.
Danforth community, we couldn’t have made it this far without you! We want you to know that the intention is to RETURN to the Danforth as soon as we can. There are currently community consultations taking place in regards to The Danforth Garage, and we are involved in those consultations. You are welcome to join us in advocating for a sharing hub to become a part of that space when it opens.
Thank you for being a part of our vision, for believing in the power of sharing and for sticking with us as we navigate a complex process. Changing the world takes time, energy and patience – no ever said the road was straight. Together, we are going to change the world.
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Q&A about the move:
We want you to know we really tried everything. It is sad, but ultimately we cannot rezone the downstairs area to allow for a Makerspace. This area of the city does not allow for the machinery we have (especially in a basement under residential tenants). The upstairs Tool Library and Sharing Depot (at $3,500/month) cannot sustain itself without the Makerspace.
After an intense and exhaustive 6 month search, there are zero affordable, reasonably located, correctly zoned (light industrial and retail) spaces in the East (we even tried to buy a building). We intend to return to the East side as soon as we are able to but do not have a timeline yet.
What about splitting the Makerspace from the Tool Library?
After running many scenarios, this unfortunately did not make financial sense.
We will be moving to CSI Spadina at 192 Spadina Avenue, on Spadina avenue between Dundas St. W. and Richmond St. W.
All loans must be returned by Saturday, October 27th. The new location will open in early November.
What happens to the Tool Library & Sharing Depot inventory?
Most of the inventory from the Danforth will move to CSI Spadina and will be available for borrow from there.
What about my Tool Library/Sharing Depot membership?
All Danforth memberships will be transferred to our 830 St Clair West, 1499 Queen Street and 192 Spadina locations. As a card-holding member of the soon-to-be former Danforth location, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to continue the sharing revolution so decided to give you access to all three of our locations.
We can discuss specific concerns on a case by case basis. Please email TTL Manager Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What about my Makerspace ,embership?
The CSI Spadina will have a new makerspace. We would love to have you there, and also understand if it doesn’t work for you. To work out the details please email our ED Hillary at email@example.com.
An extra quick note:
The Toronto Tool Library project is run almost exclusively by volunteers, some of whom have been working for over 6 years to make this project happen! It is not the intent of the team behind the project to inconvenience you. With our backs to the wall, we made the decision that allows us to continue operating. If you’d like the history of this decision please email our co-founder Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give him a call at 416.420.4366.