News / Ottawa

Ottawa Repair Cafe wants to fix the things you might throw out

The one-day event is being hosted by the Ottawa Tool Library and is encouraging people to repair instead of replace.

Volunteer Emily Brown photographed at the Ottawa Tool Library, a non-profit inside Makerspace North that allows members to rent out tools. The library is holding a 'repair cafe' in April.

Haley Ritchie / Metro Order this photo

Volunteer Emily Brown photographed at the Ottawa Tool Library, a non-profit inside Makerspace North that allows members to rent out tools. The library is holding a 'repair cafe' in April.

Reuse, recycle and repair before you replace — that’s the mission of the “repair café” coming to the Ottawa Tool Library in April.

“We want to extend the life of stuff, reducing waste but also bringing people together to share their skills and knowledge,” said volunteer Emily Brown, who is organizing the fix-it social next month.

The tool library, located in Makerspace North inside the City Centre plaza, launched in 2014. Members pay a monthly fee and are able to borrow a variety of tools and kitchen gadgets for short-term use, from table saws to pasta making machines.

“We promote the sharing of tools and increasing access to tools,” said Brown. “The repair café is extending that mission, helping people to learn skills and take advantage of fixing and making things yourself.”

Members often borrow tools and take them home to fix things inside their homes. On April 8 they can do the opposite: the library will welcome members and the public to bring in items that need repair, from clothing that needs patching to computers and old furniture.

People knowledgeable about how to fix up different things will be on hand, volunteering their services and walking the owners through the steps. The library is accepting pay-what-you-can donations for the repairs.

The Ottawa non-profit isn’t the first group to hold a Repair Café. The first took place in Amsterdam in 2009, and has spread across cities to encourage people to extend the lifespan of their things and avoid landfills.

In Ottawa the café will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 8, alongside a “make-a-thon” where paying members will be working on their projects for the public to see.

Brown said the group is also looking for volunteers, whether they have repair skills or not.

More on Metronews.ca