Toronto Tool Library

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Toronto Tool Library and Makerspace
LocationToronto, Ontario
Coordinates43°38′23″N 79°26′26″W / 43.639671°N 79.440546°W / 43.639671; -79.440546, 43°41′03″N 79°19′07″W / 43.684200°N 79.318675°W / 43.684200; -79.318675, 43°40′51″N 79°25′52″W / 43.680739°N 79.431167°W / 43.680739; -79.431167, 43°39′00″N 79°23′51″W / 43.649987°N 79.397534°W / 43.649987; -79.397534
Access and use
Population served2,615,060 (2012) [1]
Other information
DirectorRyan Dyment

Toronto Tool Library (TTL) is a tool library system based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[2] Tool libraries loan specialized tools for both experienced and inexperienced community members who are interested in home repair, maintenance, building projects, community projects, gardening and landscaping.[3] In The Kitchen Library, small to medium-sized appliances are loaned for cooking and baking, serving equipment, culinary workshops. It partnered with the Toronto Public Library in 2015.[4]


In 2012, TTL was founded by Ryan Dyment and Lawrence Alvarez.[5] TTL received its first grant from the Centre for Social Innovation and started a registered non-profit arm called the Institute for a Resource Based Economy (IRBE) in 2012.[6] In March 2012, a tool lending library was established in Toronto west at the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre, 1499 Queen Street West, Toronto.[7] In Ovctober 2013, a tool lending library and Makerspace with a wood shop, laser cutter, 3D printers, workshops and community gatherings was established in Toronto East at 1803 Danforth Avenue, Toronto.[8] Also in 2013, the TTL offered its first annual Alternative Gift Fair.[9] In 2014, TTL sold $1000 bonds to fund its social change.[10] In March 2015, TTL held a 54-Hour Hackathon, which gave participants training in hardware startups.[11] The TTL partnered with the Toronto Public Library to open a brand new Tool Library on April 30, 2015 at the Downsview Public Library branch of the TPL, located at 2793 Keele Street. [12]

TTL is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Pioneer +TO, tool donors and volunteers.[13] In 2018, TTL was at risk of closing, but was able to remain open due to a crowdfunding campaign which raised over $37,000.[14][15]


The Toronto Tool Library is governed by a Board composed of eight citizen members.[16]



The tool library adapted Share Starter's free "Tool Library Starter Kit" [17] which includes start up guidelines, frequently asked questions, and sample documents. The library uses "Local Tools" from ", PBC", a web-based inventory management system to track tool library members and to automatically display the tool availability online.[18] The library has loaned over 12,000+ specialized tools from power drills and ladders to pressure washers and roto-tillers to community members with all skill levels welcomed.[19] The inventory of equipment includes automative, bike, carpentry and woodworking, electrical and soldering, home maintenance, metalworking, plumbing, remodelling, safety equipment, sustainable living, yard and garden. The types of equipment include: network equipment, books, camping, cars, googles, helmets, handtools, packages, power tools, wheelbarrows & wagons.


The Makerspace offers affordable workshops open both to Tool Library members and the public on tool related skills and projects. In the Intro to Tools workshop, participants built a planter box; while in Routers 101, attendees created a cutting board.


The Toronto Tool Library technology services include public access 3D Printing.[20] In addition, Laser -Cutting and CNC Router Services are available at TTL.[21]

Tool Ninja[edit]

The Toronto Tool Library offers “Tool Ninjas” whereby experts in a variety of tools and trades – 3D printing, Laser cutting, Furniture design, renovations are partnered for mentorship in tool use or hiring for a job.[22]


  • Tool lending library at the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre, 1499 Queen Street West, in the West End of Toronto.[23]
  • Tool Library and Sharing Depot, 830 St. Clair West, Toronto.
  • Tool Library, Sharing Depot and Makerspace, 192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "(Code 3520) Census Profile. 2011 census". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  2. ^ "Thousands of loans later, Toronto Tool Library turns one in Parkdale". 2014. Retrieved Apr 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Need a power drill, paint roller or a small generator? Try the library — the Tool Library, that is". Toronto Star. 2013. Retrieved Feb 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "How-to books and tools to do the job: Soon, Downsview library will offer both". Toronto Star. 2015. Retrieved Apr 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Toronto Tool Library Brings a New Model of Resource Sharing". Torontoist. 2013. Retrieved Apr 8, 2013.
  6. ^ Institute for a Resource Based Economy
  7. ^ "Toronto's first Tool Library gears up to open in Parkdale". Toronto Star. 2013. Retrieved Feb 5, 2013.
  8. ^ "The Toronto Tool Library Nails Down Its New East-End Location". Torontoist. 2013. Retrieved Oct 18, 2013.
  9. ^ "Tool Library's Alternative Gift Fair lets you swap your items, land free gifts". Toronto Star. 2014. Retrieved Dec 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "Toronto community space selling $1000 bonds to fund social change". MetroNews Canada. 2014. Retrieved Nov 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "54-Hour Hackathon Gives Participants Crash Course in Hardware startups". Techvibes (blog). 2015. Retrieved Mar 9, 2015.
  12. ^ "Extra, Extra: What Is Toronto, Tool Time at the Library, and a Drake Video Game". Torontoist. 2015. Retrieved Apr 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Libraries Unite! | Toronto Tool Library". Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  14. ^ "The free Toronto Tool Library has been saved". Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  15. ^ "Keep the Tool Library Alive!". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  16. ^ "East - end Tool Library set to open on Danforth Avenue in September". 2013. Retrieved Jul 4, 2013.
  17. ^ How to start a tool library
  18. ^ Local Tools
  19. ^ "About | Toronto Tool Library". Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  20. ^ "Hammering home the logic of pooling our tools". Toronto Star. 2014. Retrieved Sep 29, 2014.
  21. ^ "3D Printing + Laser-Cutting Services | Toronto Tool Library". Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  22. ^ "Tool Ninjas | Toronto Tool Library". Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  23. ^ Toronto Tool Library West
  24. ^ "Locations and Hours". Retrieved 2019-06-28.

External links[edit]