Keep your household items out of the landfill by visiting an upcoming Repair Café

Published on
April 17, 2024
Arts, heritage and events
Council, committees and City Hall
Garbage and recycling
A man stands in front of a bike at the Ottawa Tool Library / Un homme se tient devant une bicyclette à l’Ottawa Tool Library.

Feature story 

From clothing to small appliances, keep your favourite household items out of the landfill with the help of a Repair Café. These free, community-led events aim to reduce landfill waste by fixing items, teaching new skills, and providing an opportunity to enjoy coffee and snacks while meeting your neighbours.

With several Repair Cafés coming up this year, including four sponsored by the City of Ottawa, volunteer fixers and menders from Ottawa Tool Library will be at events throughout the city sharing their knowledge and helping to repair items like electronics, textiles, small appliances, jewelry and more!

In anticipation of these exciting events, we spoke with Ottawa Tool Library volunteer, Carl Chenier to hear about his experience with Repair Cafés and to learn what residents can expect at the upcoming events.

“Repair Cafés are a free community event that have a focus on repairing things such as small household items and clothing,” Carl explained.

“Generally, people bring broken items, and the Ottawa Tool Library volunteers assess and repair the items to the best that they can. It helps people keep their things longer, promotes circular economy and keeps things out of the landfill.”

“All Repair Cafés follow a similar format,” he added. “You bring along your items to be repaired and follow the signs to the registration desk. From there, you will chat with a fixer or mender about the item.”

“Sometimes people also bring items that they have tried to repair themselves but have come to an impasse, so what’s great is that a lot of people are there to learn how to repair things themselves and the volunteers are happy to walk them through the repair process.”

“We try to be as broad and inclusive as possible in what we fix, however, we do not usually fix gas-powered items such as gas-powered chainsaws, but basically anything else under the sun is welcome!”

We also asked Carl about the most interesting item he has repaired.

“They are all interesting in their own way. If I had to pick one, there was a lady who had an electric mixer that she bought in 1972. She took me through the life of the mixer before she brought it to the Repair Café 50 years later.”

“That’s the theme of a lot of the items – they are important to people, and they want to keep them for as long as possible. We are always happy to support that initiative.”

Check the list below for dates and locations of the Repair Cafés taking place in 2024:

Saturday, April 20 - Sponsored by the City of Ottawa 
Jean Pigott Place, City Hall 
110 Laurier Avenue West 
10 am to 2 pm 

Saturday, May 11 - Sponsored by Councillor Carr
Jim Durrell Recreation Centre – Ellwood Hall
1265 Walkley Road
10 am to 2 pm  

Saturday, June 22 - Sponsored by the City of Ottawa 
Ray Friel Recreation Complex - Fallingbrook room
1585 Tenth Line Road
10 am to 2 pm

Saturday August 10
Zibi on Booth St (Just north of the Canadian War Museum)
10 am to 2 pm

Saturday, October 5 - Sponsored by the City of Ottawa
Walter Baker Sports Centre - Halls A&B
100 Malvern Drive
10 am to 2 pm

Saturday, November 30 - Sponsored by the City of Ottawa 
Tony Graham Recreation Complex, Kanata - Hall A
100 Charlie Rogers Place
10 am to 2 pm  

For more information on City programs and services, visit, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.