Toronto gets its first ever tool library
That's right, a tool library has opened at Queen and Sorauren. No, not that kind of tool, and no, city council hasn't changed locations. In the basement of 1499 Queen St. West, or PARC, as many refer to it, there is a venue designed to lend out virtually anything a person could need to be handy.
Before opening day, the library had collected over 500 tools, including drills, hand saws, hammers, paint brushes, shovels, hard hats and lots of other things I don't know how to use because I'm a girl (kust kidding, guys). Membership to the library is $50 per year and provides unlimited access to the supplies, which are collected mostly through donation.
Parkdale is an ideal community for a space like this. Because the neighbourhood is home to so many artists, DIYers, creators and recent immigrants, the library's stock is likely to be put to good use. There are wood working supplies, a pottery wheel, and other crafty supplies a-plenty.
Lawrence Alvarez is president of the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy, and one of the co-founders of the Tool Library. For him, initiatives like these are central to fostering true community.
"Our larger goal is to promote a sharing economy and get to a place of access over ownership," he tells me at the library's grand opening. "We want to bring resources to the community; that's really our goal. A community is only as strong as its most isolated member. Lots of people talk about capping the top, but we need to raise the bottom."
Because of the resource's socially-conscious bent, the $50 membership fee is flexible. One way around it is by sponsorship, or rather, donations of membership fees. The library already has 30 of these to help out those who can't afford the fee. Or, in some cases, the fee can be scaled back to match what you're able to pay.
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