|Co-founders of the Toronto Tool Library, Ryan Dyment, left, and Lawrence Alvarez, are working to keep the service open by launching a crowdfunding campaign. (Supplied photo)|
By Rima Hamadi
Feb 10, 2018
The Toronto Tool Library has launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to help keep its doors open.
Power tools join paperbacks at Downsview library
The 'Keep the Tool Library Alive!' campaign is aimed at raising $35,000 to help the organization pay rent, employees salaries, and other expenses, said Ryan Dyment, the library's co-founder.
The library is a non-profit service that allows its members to borrow tools and equipment for construction and craft projects. It also offers workshops to help people learn how to use the tools and fix things around the house.
The service works similarly to an actual library but with a paid membership, which costs between $50 and $100 per year.
"We could raise membership prices, but we still want to make it an affordable option for all walks of life in the city," Dyment said.
|Volunteers with the Toronto Tool Library at its Hillcrest location. (Supplied photo)|
The library has been open for five years and has loaned over 65,000 items at its three locations across Toronto.
The organization says it has tried to apply for grant money from the provincial government to help with expenses but it hasn't been successful. And Toronto's rising rents are also posing a challenge.
The service pays close to $100,000 in rent each year, and if the campaign doesn't reach its financial goal, the library will have to lay off staff and eventually close its doors, Dyment said.
Bobbi Hunter, 70, has been a member of the Toronto Tool Library for five years. and also volunteers with the organization. She says it would be devastating to the community if the library were forced to close.
"It's about not wasting the resources of the planet," Hunter said. "It feels good to share tools and to teach people how to fix things."
|Bobbi Hunter has had a membership with the tool library since its inception five years ago in Toronto. (Ryan Dyment)|
"I see people coming in, young people, that are using the tool library to start up their own handy-man businesses," Hunter said.
Hunter adds that many people go into the library and walk out with expensive tools, tools they wouldn't have been able to afford.
"Without this service, some people wouldn't be able to make it," Hunter said. "It's a really big help for them."