What is Repair Café Guelph?

The Repair Café Guelph is an initiative of the Guelph Tool Library in support of the movement started by the Repair Café Foundation in Amsterdam. in Guelph, Repair Cafés are organized roughly every two months at different locations throughout the city, in which volunteer “fixers” help visitors fix their broken items and learn while doing it. The aims is to build a more sustainable society and counter the throwaway mindset. We support the model of the sharing economy through building a community where people with repair skills are valued and organizations collaborate and innovate for the common good.

What to see what it looks like in a life Repair Cafe? check out these two videos. Here is a documentary called FIXED at Toronto Repair Cafe. And the video below is filmed by Brett Nicoletti at Pasadena Repair Café (US).

Next Repair Café

No in-person Repair Cafes are planned for the new future. But thanks to the grants we have received through The Canadian Red Cross and the Guelph Community Foundation through the COVID-19 Community Support Program funded by the Federal Government and the City of Guelph Emergency Fund, we have funding to deliver your broken items to our volunteers, and they can fix them at the comfort of their homes. The program will run from January to July 2021. Check out here for more information about this program.

Would you like to volunteer at the Repair Café and help with fixing stuff?

Please contact us at RepairCafe@GuelphToolLibrary.org


Why Repair Cafés?

We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for the people who still have this practical knowledge, and against their will they are often left standing on the sidelines. Their experience is never used, or hardly ever.

Repair Café is changing all that! People who might otherwise be sidelined are getting involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is getting passed on. Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions, for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released.

The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. The Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society.

But most of all, the Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is. Why don’t you give it a go?

The first Repair Café started in Amsterdam in 2009. This initiative has now spread to more than 20 countries and more than 1,000 Repair Cafés have been held. To learn more, please visit RepairCafe.org.

Frequently Asked Questions about Repair Café Guelph

How often are Repair Cafes held?

We organize Repair Cafes roughly once every two months. 

When is the next Repair Cafe?

You can find out about our next Repair Cafe in our Repair Cafe section. 

Where are Repair Cafes held?

Repair Cafes are held at various locations throughout the city. You can find out about the location of our next Repair Cafe in our Repair Cafe section. 

What can I bring to the Repair Cafe?

You can bring electronics, small electrical appliances, computers, cellphones, clothing, jewelry, clocks, bikes and more. Please note that volunteer fixers to help with fixing all these items may not be available at every Repair Cafe.

What do we not fix at the Repair Cafe?

  • Items involving welding.  
  • Refrigeration Equipment – Coolers, Bar Fridges, Air Conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc
  • Gas powered equipment – lawn mowers, line trimmers, chain saws, etc.
  • Items operating on power greater than 120 volts
  • Tools and appliances from other countries operating on different currents.

What if I want to volunteer at the Repair Cafe?

We are always looking for volunteers who can help with fixing items, as well as help with running the events. If you are interested in joining us, please contact repaircafe@guelphtoollibrary.org