Ottawa Tool Library facing removal from City Centre location

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Tool Library, a non-profit organization that allows people to borrow tools and learn hands-on crafting skills, says it has received a notice to vacate from its location at the City Centre complex just west of downtown Ottawa.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Ottawa Tool Library says it must pack up its 2,500 tools and move out of its space on City Centre Avenue by Dec. 9.

“Last Thursday we were informed by the property management company that Makerspace North is being evicted from the City Centre complex. This means that all tenants, including the OTL, must be gone by December 9th,” the Facebook post reads.

The library is asking that anyone who has borrowed tools return them by Wednesday, Dec. 2.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience – however, we’ve not been given a choice and so far our appeals for a reprieve from the property management company have been denied,” the post, attributed to Bettina (Vollmerhausen) & the OTL Team, says.

On its website, the Ottawa Tool Library said that Makerspace North has been “entirely silent” with them and other tenants.

“To be clear, we have always paid our rent and bills promptly, and – despite the current challenges everyone is facing – our financials are sound and our operations had already begun to recover from the earlier lockdown,” a statement says.

CTV News has reached out to Makerspace North for comment.

The library says they plan to reopen as soon as they find a new space. In the meantime, some operations will continue.

“Our workshops will continue in alternate venues, including our OTL Tinkering School for kids; we will continue to sell memberships while communicating the current situation; and we will continue to operate our webstore with OTL merchandise and used tools,” the library said on its website.

The OTL says it is looking for approximate 1,200 square feet of heated industrial or warehouse space in Ottawa.

“The OTL is looking to connect with local property owners, businesses, and community leaders as we urgently search for a space. We’re also interested in potentially co-locating with another non-profit organization in Ottawa,” the OTL says.

On Tuesday, the library said community members have donated bins and offered leads on new spaces.

“Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support yesterday. We have been overwhelmed with donations, storage bins, leads on new spaces and kind words. We truly couldn’t pull this off without you,” a Facebook post said.

“Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help us with packing and moving as well. The next few days will be very busy but we’ve got an amazing tool army on our side so anything is possible.”

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