Smart idea - a Repair Cafe - keep this one in mind.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 14th, 2019



They gather dust in basements, garages, at the back of closets – old TV’s, audio equipment, toasters, irons or toys. Or what about that lamp with the crooked base, the lawn chair with the bent leg, or that electric kettle with the broken cord?

broken lamp

Broken lamps now have a place to go for repairs.

Wondering what to do with that old or damaged household appliance?  Don’t want to throw it out into the landfill?  Still holding onto it because ‘it might come in handy’ someday”?

Burlington is about to join over one thousand cities around the world (15 in Canada) that have a ‘repair café’, a place where you can bring that poor, old, defective treasure – and have it fixed, good as new, avoiding the global garbage heap and making it useable again.

Lawson Hunter, the energy behind getting this off the ground in Burlington points out that Kitchener is the closest similar operation.  “Though we are using the name ‘Repair Cafe’ there is an international organization called the Repair Cafe Foundation that has a handbook, and some standards to qualify as an official ‘Repair Cafe’.  At this stage we just want to use the generic name and see if that resonates with the public.  So far everyone’s been enthusiastic with lots of ‘That’s a great idea.”Should have had one years ago’.

Run by volunteers, and always looking for more ‘handi-persons’, Burlington’s repair café (name to be determined) will be opening its doors on April 16th, 6:30-9pm, at Rolling Horse Community Cycle at Unit 2 – 650 Plains Rd. East. (part of Next Door Social Space).

We are looking for used items that need repair and your input (volunteers will help you repair your item – that way you have the satisfaction of making the repair).

Have extra tools, electronics, meters, manuals and the like? Please tell us what you’d like to donate and we’ll let you know if we need them.

Costs to repair, parts only.

broken toaster

They expect to be able to fix your toaster.

WHAT    –     Small household items/appliances (no refrigerators, laundry, autos, couches, etc.)

–          Repairable items (no new items to be assembled)

–          Bring any manuals or tools that might help

WHO     –      You, your friends, neighbours – let everyone know

WHEN   –      Starts Tuesday, April 16th, 6:30pm


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5 comments to Smart idea – a Repair Cafe – keep this one in mind.

  • MrBean

    Great to have coming to our town. Love it. Hope it succeeds!

  • Rob Allan

    In the old days we weren’t a disposable society and we tried to repair everything. The same still happens in “poorer” countries around the world. I think it’s a great idea.

  • Ecofriendly

    Sorry, “Lonely” but you take in your broken appliance, someone shares skills to help you repair it, you take it home and you take responsibility.
    I agree with Kurt – a wonderful idea for the community!

  • Alan J H

    Not to be mean-spirited or throw cold water on an innovation – but will the repair shop confirm all repairs up to latest codes: i.e. CSA ULC? and that repair staff are qualified with up-to-date certifications.

    Toys repairs are safety-certified (choking hazards, flashpoint burn temperature, toxic contents)?

    Otherwise – what happens when that fixed lamp short circuits?
    Or someone breaks a hip when the mended chair collapses?
    Or the repaired kettle burns the house down?
    Or a child chokes on the re-glued toy

    I trust customers will need to sign a waiver and any issues are under the customer’s own insurance?

  • Kurt Koster

    Great idea. Putting the 3 “R” s in action.