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Get Your Broken Things Fixed! Every Sunday with Repair Café Toronto

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

According to a recent article in National Geographic, Canada leads the developed world in per capita production of garbage. Faced with things like planned obsolescence and the expense and difficulty often involved in getting broken things repaired, it’s easy to see why so many Canadians opt to toss often perfectly good things away, without attempting to fix them first. This is why we host Repair Café Toronto every Sunday afternoon from 12:00-4:00pm at our 830 St Clair West location to hold repair events. Bring in your broken treasures – everything from jewelry, textiles, small appliances, bicycles, electronics, etc. – and their amazing volunteer ‘fixperts’ will help you fix them! Enjoy coffee, tea and treats while you wait. While the service is free, we encourage people to make a donations as this fantastic organization that works to keep things out of Toronto landfills is entirely run on donations from the public. Our hope is that an increasing number of Canadians will begin demanding that affordable, accessible avenues for repairing broken things become a norm in Canada. For instance, Sweden recently introduced tax breaks on repairs, which will make it more affordable and will also stimulate jobs and businesses in the repair sector. These are the kinds of policy changes we need to implement to kick Canada’s throwaway culture to the curb. Learn More About Repair Café Toronto...

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5 Benefits of a Maker Education for Kids

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 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. This is why we run Maker Education programs through our 1803 Danforth ave Makerspace – it is important to give young people the opportunity to discover what the Maker Movement has to offer. View our Maker Education Programs! 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 designing and building a pinball machine from scratch or bringing to life a computer-generated design on a 3D Printer, 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.  ...

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NEW Robotics Programs for Youth with STEAMLabs!

Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

We are very excited to be partnering with our friends at STEAMLabs to bring two of their signature maker education programs to our 1803 Danforth ave Makerspace for March Break and throughout the summer!   Week long camp, March 12-16th . 9am-4pm (before and after care available) . $475  Inspired by everyone’s favourite video games, kids will work in small groups to bring virtual video games to life and design physical robotic games with our high tech tools. Past robot games have included capture the flag, racing, obstacle courses, stage performances & tricks, and a battle arena. Regardless of what games and robots we build – there will be opportunities for success and celebration for all participants and their robots. What will they learn? Designing in 2D and 3D Laser Cutting 3D printing Simple circuits (LEDs and simple mechanisms) Robotics (Neopixels and motors) Arduino programming Note: robot projects are made in groups – therefore, these are not individual projects that are then taken home by participants at the end of camp. If participants want to take parts of their group project home and it is possible to do so, we work out dividing the parts between the groups as fairly as we can! * DATES Monday, March 12, 2018 – Friday, March 16, 2018 * WHERE Toronto Tool Library & Makerspace, 1803 Danforth Ave * COST $475 / 1 week camp * AGE GROUPS 6-9 & 10-13 * WHAT TO BRING lunch afternoon snack water bottle with your name on it weather appropriate clothing + supplies for venturing out to the park on break (sunhat, suncream, warm layers, rain coat etc.) any medications or epipens with instructions Check the STEAMLabs page to learn more about their Scholarships Program! LEARN MORE & REGISTER   Ever wanted to build your own robot? Now is your chance! At our Robotics Summer Camp, we’ll design games as a group and then build our very own robots to compete in the games at the end of camp. There will be opportunities for success and celebration for all participants and their robots! * What will they learn? Electronics 2D design + laser cutting 3D design + 3D printing Arduino Robotics * COST 4 day camp / $460 1 week camp / $565 2 week camp / $995 (SAVE $135!) $1130 * TIME 9am-4pm (before care from 8am & after care till 6pm available for $10/hour) * WHERE Toronto Tool Library & Makerspace, 1803 Danforth Ave * AGE GROUPS 8-12 * WHAT TO BRING lunch afternoon snack water bottle with your name on it weather appropriate clothing + supplies for venturing out to the park on break (sunhat, suncream, warm layers, rain coat etc.) any medications or epipens with instructions Check the STEAMLabs page to...

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WIN a Bicycle Wine Tour for 2, Niagara on the Lake

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018 in Tool Blog |

In celebration of our 5-year anniversary at the Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot, we’re offering a giveaway for a Niagara Bike Adventure for Two (which includes a wine tour and 4-star hotel stay) with every new membership received from now until Feb. 23rd.   How to Enter  By donating to our crowdfund page at the $55 reward level or above —  and selecting a new membership for you or a friend —  you’ll be automatically entered into our draw to win. Giveaway draw is open from now until Feb. 23rd at 9pm EST.   Niagara Trip for two (retail value $350): Hotel: one night stay at a 4-star hotel on Niagara on the Lake ($200 gift certificate) Bike Tour:  Winery Tour on bicycles including cheese pairing for two people ($150 gift certificate) What’s Not included: All transportation, food, taxes and gratuity are not included. To enter the draw,  donate to our crowdfund page here at the $55 reward level or more, ensuring you select a reward level with a membership attached. Memberships are transferable to anyone as a gift or you can extend your existing membership for a year. Each new membership purchase is an additional ticket into the draw (at a max of 10 tickets per person). Further details below:   Rules for the Draw: Enter the draw by donating to our crowdfund campaign here at the $55 reward level or above, and select one of the membership options as a reward, and you will be automatically entered. Previous donors to the crowdfund page – as of Feb. 14th, 2018 at 4pm EST — are NOT entered into the draw. This draw is for new memberships to reach our 5,000 members goal. Each new donation will equal a new ticket into the draw. One person can donate a maximum of 10 individual times to receive a limit of 10 tickets per person into the draw. The winner will be announced in early March 2018 via the email address provided in the crowdfund payment page. We will only email once and if no response by the winner after 1 week, a new individual will be selected for the winning prize. If the winner responds to the email past the week, they are disqualified. If the email bounces, they are also disqualified from the draw. Previous crowdfund campaigns by IRBE or other donations provided to IRBE, outside of the Keep the Tool Library Alive campaign, is not included in this draw. Purchasing a membership via other means, including our website here or in-store, is not included in the draw. Only donations via the crowdfund page will be accepted.   Deadline: The deadline for the draw ends at 9pm EST on February...

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Our Partners in Sharing: the Organizations that Share Our Space

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in Tool Blog |

    When you donate to our Keep the Tool Library Alive Campaign, you aren’t just supporting the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot. You are supporting a handful of other organizations who share our space with us, either for a very small fee or entirely for free. This has been one of the most rewarding aspects of growing our community projects in Toronto – that we have been able to provide a platform for other great community, waste-reducing and/or maker education initiatives to flourish. With our current crowdfund campaign, we are looking to expand these types of community partnerships. The more funds we raise through this campaign, the more we can do to help other projects and the stronger our community will be!   Here’s a quick look at our partners in sharing:   Repair Café Toronto The darling of the repair scene in Toronto, Repair Café is a grassroots, volunteer group that organizes events where neighbours help neighbours learn how to repair everything from textiles to appliances to bicycles to furniture and MORE. Their events are held all around the city in local community centres, the Toronto Public Library and other community-based organizations. We were thrilled when our most recent location at St Clair West included a space at the back that would allow the Repair Café to host weekly repair events at a storefront, every Sunday from 12-4pm at 830 St Clair West. We provide them this space every week for free. And what a perfect partnership – they have all the tools they need in our library and they help us achieve our mission to reduce waste in Toronto by keeping things fixed and out of landfills! Repair Café Toronto Teams Up With Toronto Tool Library Repair Café Toronto joins us at our 830 St Clair West location every Sunday afternoon from 12-4pm! Bring your broken treasures – electronics, clothing, jewelry, small appliances, etc. – and get them fixed by an expert volunteer while sipping on coffee or tea! Donations are welcome to help support this fantastic initiative that keeps things out of our landfills. Posted by Toronto Tool Library on Tuesday, May 30, 2017   Boomerang Bags Toronto Our community manager ran into Nikki of Boomerang Bags at Withrow Farmer’s Market last summer and fell head over sneakers in love with what they do, which is take unwanted or deadstock fabrics and upcycle them into the prettiest reusable bags you ever did see. As with the Repair Café, this is an organization that is preventing materials from going to landfill (and because textile waste is such a massive problem right now, a focus on upcycling fabric is key) AND they reduce the community’s dependence on plastic bags (which we all by now...

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Co-founder of Toronto Tool Library on CBC Here & Now

Posted by on Feb 7, 2018 in Tool Blog |

    Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot co-founder Lawrence Alvarez was invited onto CBC’s Here & Now with Gill Deacon to discuss the difficulty of funding and operating non-profit organizations and the importance our current Keep the Tool Library Alive campaign. Have a listen to their conversation below! You can lend your support the campaign here: (note, there is a minor disturbance in sound part way through, but it corrects itself)   YES, I Want to Support the Toronto Tool...

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