Momentum is building for the Victoria Tool Library

›› Edie Irons

A group of residents are working to start a tool library in Victoria—a place where locals can get easy and affordable access to a wide range of tools, and also gain the skills and confidence to use them.

There are successful tool libraries across Canada and North America, and more are in development. Vancouver, Halifax, and Calgary all have tool libraries, and Toronto’s also has a kitchen library that lends cooking equipment and small ­appliances. Seattle has three different tool libraries in different neighbourhoods.

“This is an idea whose time has come,” said Laura Hébert, one of the organizers of the Victoria Tool Library. “Whenever we tell people about it, they get really excited about the idea. There’s such a strong DIY culture in Victoria, we need a tool library here.”

The Victoria Tool Library will be a welcoming community hub where residents of the Greater Victoria area can come to borrow tools, learn skills, and expand what is possible in their home, garden, and neighbourhood. Annual membership fees will be as affordable as possible, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

“Right now we’re in the planning phase,” said Cheryl DeWolfe, another organizer of the project. “We hope to find a location and launch a tool drive later this year, but there’s a lot to do before then in order to be successful.”

The organizers of the Victoria Tool Library are collecting input from the community through an online survey available at They hope to reach a broad cross-section of the population, and for all people to feel welcome and invested in the tool library.

“The Victoria Tool Library will be an inclusive, empowering place,” said Rea Fenger, another organizer. “We want people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, genders, and skill levels to feel comfortable in the space, checking out tools, and asking questions. Everyone should have access to tools and all that they make possible.”