Toronto Tool Library remodels Valentine’s Day norm

Couples celebrate together with free workshop at East York branch

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Toronto Tool Library celebrated Valentine’s Day with its first couples workshop.

The library usually has free community nights on Wednesday at its East York location on Danforth Avenue, but co-founder Ryan Dyment decided to switch things up.

“It was more of a coincidence with Valentine’s Day falling during our campaign, but I thought it would be a great experience for a couple,” Dyment said.

The workshop gives couples access to the wood shop tools and laser cutter. This allows them to measure, build and design their own wood box.

It also gives couples an opportunity to do something different from the usual dinner and movie.

“I see this pattern of people doing the same things,” participant Michael Yambao said. “Valentine’s Day is special but even on regular dates you want to try something more experiential and interactive.”

It’s a collaborative effort as both sides are in the moment and communicate instead of staring at their screens.

“That’s really nice now because everybody’s on their phone a lot, it’s great to have a place and work with physical things,” Yambao said. “It forces you to talk and pay attention to your environment instead of just scrolling all day — which is cool.”

Workshop experience isn’t necessary and supervisors are available for assistance.

“It was awesome, it’s pretty much the highlight of the day,” participant Christine Deng said. “I’ve had experience [working with tools] before but it’s been two years and it was a nice refresher.”

The work is finished — together. (Brandon Wong/Toronto Observer)

Couples also have the chance to use the laser cutter and carve their customize designs onto the wood-boxes, which was “pretty crazy,” Yambao said.

“It’s my first time being at the tool library and I would totally do it again,” Deng said. “I’m probably going to check their site for other events. And I’d 100 per cent recommend others to try as well.”