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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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Zero Waste Kit Giveaway

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Tool Blog |

In celebration of our crowdfund campaign to Keep the Toronto Tool Library Alive, we’re launching a new giveaway for a Zero Waste Kit. By donating at the $55 reward level or above, from now until Sunday, you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win this Zero Waste Kit at $200+ retail value. Below outlines what you’ll win in the kit, how to enter and the rules: Zero Waste Kit includes: Bea Johnson’s book “Zero Waste Home“ $100 Saponetti gift certificate for refillable soaps and laundry detergent Boomerang bag, limited edition upcycled bag Stojo Collapsable Cup for coffee, tea or water Eco-Bags: Produce bags + bread bag Stainless steel lunch box Reusable cutlery set that is stainless steel Reusable straw that is stainless steel with cleaner Rules for the Draw: No purchase necessary, simply enter the draw by donating to our crowdfund campaign here at the $55 reward level or above and you will be automatically entered. All previous donors (at the $55 reward level or above) are automatically entered into the draw. Each new donation by the same individual will receive a new ticket into the draw, at a limit of 10 tickets per person based on 10 individual donations by that same person. The winner will be announced in late February 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 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. Deadline: The deadline of the draw ends at midnight EST on February 11th, 2018....

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What Communal Living Taught me About my Mental Health

Posted by on Jan 31, 2018 in Tool Blog |

  As some of you probably already know, the team behind the Toronto Tool Library and The Sharing Depot lived together in a communal house for a number of years in Toronto. I was part of that communal house for just over three years. I have also struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life and on #BellLetsTalk Day, I want to share what happened to my mental health issues while I was living in a supportive, connected environment. This is something I have had on the back burner for a number of years now, but as someone who writes about the sharing economy, sustainability and waste reduction strategies, I couldn’t quite find a place for it. I hope to be able to weave a thread through this that brings mental health issues back to the fundamental importance of what we do with our lending libraries in Toronto. Here it goes:   Chemicals – It’s all in Your Brain    Over the years, articles like this one have begun trickling down into the mainstream to challenge the 20th century theory of depression and anxiety – namely, that these mental ailments are caused by chemical imbalances in the physical structure of the brain. When Prozac was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration 30 years ago it marked the beginning of a new era of prescribed antidepressants, further embedding this theory in the cultural narrative. In a world that has long stigmatized and outright delegitimized mental health issues as non-issues, the chemical imbalance theory has done wonders to raise mental illness up as equal to and just as deserving of treatment as any other physical ailment. If depression is a biological condition affecting the material conditions of the body, it should be treated with as much urgency as a broken bone or heart condition. Stigma-busting campaigns such as #BellLetsTalk and One Brave Night have provided a platform to voice concerns about the less than sub-par treatment programs currently in place and demand better (in Canada, only 7% of the 21 billion dollars our country spends on health care goes towards mental health. We lag far behind other progressive countries like New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom where funding ranges from 10-14% of the health care budget). When I was a teenager, I went to my doctor and told her I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and likely depression. Because Major Depressive Disorder runs in my family and both my mother and grandmother were on antidepressants, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when my doctor took out her notepad and began writing me a prescription for my first antidepressant. Par for the course – there was something wrong with the physical structure of my brain, I probably inherited...

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Join our Team – We’re Hiring an Executive Director!

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in Tool Blog |

The non-profit behind the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot is currently looking for a motivated individual to join our team as Executive Director!   The Institute for a Resource-Based Economy (IRBE) is a 6-year-old organization responsible for the Toronto Tool Library, it’s east-end Makerspace, and the Sharing Depot, Canada’s first Library of Things. We believe in accelerating the arrival of a new economy through practical sharing projects. Thus far, at our 3 city locations, we have amassed an inventory of over 10,000 items that we share with our 5,000 members, who have borrowed from us over 65,000 times. IRBE is a non-profit run by a board of directors whose vision and mission are overseen and delivered by their Executive Director (ED).   You will find a job description as well as a list of qualifications in the above document, or you can download it here: View & Download Job Description Here To apply for this position please send your resume and cover letter to Deadline for applications is January 31st at 11:59pm. Any personal stories of sharing are welcome 🙂...

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