The Sharing Depot: Canada’s First Library of Things

Hark! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the Tool Library and they’re getting even BETTER! Yup, just when you think lending libraries couldn’t possibly be awesomer, the Toronto Tool Library drops the mic.

We chat with that indefatigable Afri-CAN Lawrence Alvarez.

What is the tool library?

Tool library’s are collaborative sharing projects that operate just like public libraries. They stock everything you may need for your garden restorations, home renovations, or new hobbies. In Toronto we have 4 city locations housing more than 4,000 tools. In the 3 years we’ve been open, we’ve completed over 25,000 tool loans, to over 2,300 members!

Oh, and that’s with a 100% return rate.

What is your new idea? Tell us about your crowd funding campaign.

Tools are just the beginning of what we could be collaboratively sharing. Think of how you don’t need to own a drill, you just need a hole in the wall. Similarly, you don’t need to own a tent, you want a vacation. You don’t need to own board games, you just want a fun night with friends.

The Sharing Depot takes the concept of a tool library and extends it to camping equipment, board games, house party supplies, and sports gear.

We want to make these things as accessible as possible, so you can have fun and enjoy your life, without the price tag, or the clutter.

We need to raise $30,000 to fund rent, renovations, and a great inventory to share with you. Check out our video, and see our great rewards, at–2/x/13382519#/

Why have lending libraries? Isn’t it better if we all just buy our own stuff?

Ownership not only burdens the consumer – by necessitating you to buy, store, maintain and secure your things – but also burdens the Earth, as we extract from our finite resources to create things that never reach their full potential. Too often the things we buy end up gathering dust, jailed by misuse in basements and garages. Instead we should have these spaces of access over ownership – they free us from the burden of ownership, and give us a world of collaboration that makes us all richer.

How can I join a lending library?

If you come by one of our locations, we’d be happy to sign you up! It just takes a valid ID and a few minutes, and before you know it you’ll be browsing your next adventure or project.

What does it cost?

Access to the Tool Library and the Sharing Depot is $50-$100 per year, depending on how often you’d like to access the equipment and gear.

Can I donate to the lending library?

Yes, please! You can donate to our crowdfunding campaign to make the Sharing Depot a reality at! It can’t happen without you! We’re also accepting donations of board games, camping gear, sports equipment and tools. E-mail us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to take your seldom-used things, release them from captivity, and bring them into our community inventory.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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