Ian Froude wanted to start a greenhouse in his backyard and to do that he needed tools. that’s when the idea struck him – wouldn’t it be cool if there was a structure that offered everyone affordable access to tools? around the same time, Ian was in Toronto for Engineers Without Borders Board meetings and came across the Toronto Tool Library. that was it. upon his return in 2016, he made it happen. he applied for funding and was a recipient of the IMPACT! Youth Sustainability Fund. “the IMPACT! fund allowed us to open doors, get other investors and support from the crowdfunding campaign,” says Ian. today, St. John’s Tool Library officially started in March 2017, and its friendly cohort the Baby Clothes Library started later.
For an annual membership, builders and makers get access to a growing inventory of tools for house projects, shed projects, garden projects – hand tools, electrical/power tools, plumbing tools and kitchen tools are in the inventory. you can search and book online. “we want to make tools accessible for people who want to create, build and grow,” says Ian. “it also has an environmental motivation to decrease the amount of stuff we have, like the tools we don’t have to own don’t have to be produced, manufactured, mined, drilled, or shipped here.”
Alongside the tool lending services, the St. John’s Tool Library offers, it is a community space for creation and offers a skills training component. the St. John’s Tool Library just launched its first workshop on tools usage. “we want to help people build skills for resilience so that they can become builders and makers and access to opportunities”. the St. John’s Tool Library collaborates with Ordinary Spokes, where they share tools to repair bikes.
Community is essential to the Tool Library, as it wants to be a space where the community can come together to create things, enable organizations to start their community garden, be a space for artists to get access to art tools and supplies. “a collaborative space and meeting area where people can get tools and do awesome things together,” says Ian. in the near future, the St. John’s Tool Library is looking to expand their workshops for things like basic home repair, permaculture and expanding into cooking tools as the membership continues to grow and the St. John’s Tool Library gets more intertwined with the community. to get involved with the Tool Library contact them via social media, send an email or give them a call: “We are always looking for volunteers to grow our community” says Ian.