Best of Ottawa:

The Ottawa Tool Library


The OTL is the best resource for the new homeowner that you might not have heard of yet. It’s helpful, inexpensive and is an amazing part of our community.

Best of Ottawa

Best of Ottawa is a feature on the places, people and communities that make Ottawa great. Search the hashtag #BestofOttawa on our blog, YouTube and Socials to check out our ever-growing list.

What's the Ottawa Tool Library?

I discovered the Ottawa Tool library in 2016 when I moved to my current home in Beacon Hill. We had a number of small projects that I needed to tackle in the home, but my own tool set was limited, and I didn’t want to invest in expensive tools that might only be used a couple of times, or for one project. Enter the Ottawa Tool Library. With their help I tackled yard projects, small repairs and even built my own arcade cabinet, all for the cost of a membership and daily rentals.


The Ottawa Tool Library is exactly what it sounds like: a lending library for hand and power tools. For the price of a membership (around $100 for a year) you can borrow hand tools for free and power tools very inexpensively (generally $1/day). Compare that with home depot, where a carpet cleaner will cost you $25 for four hours, it’s easy to see where this resource can save you money and time, whether you’re using it for a repair, for annual maintenance or a hobby. 

You can find the Ottawa Tool Library at their website, or by searching Ottawa Tool Library on Facebook and Instagram.

3 Tips for Using the Ottawa Tool Library


Scout it Out – The library has a huge assortment of tools, but it doesn’t have everything. If you’re starting a big project, pop by to see what you can get from the OTL first, and then make a list of any tools you might need to source elsewhere. I found that one amazing thing for me at the OTL was all of the clamps that were available for my woodworking project.


Try it, then buy the basics – There are some tools that you’re going to use more often than others, and eventually I found that it was good to own these ones and borrow the rest. That means that I keep a small, versatile assortment of tools at home, and then use the OTL for anything specialized. 


Make use of their special events – One of the  best features of the library is the benefit it has on the environment by keeping surplus tools out of landfills, and keeping you and me from buying tools that we’ll only use once. This environmental ethos is further enhanced by events like their repair cafe  events, where you can give a new lease on life to your broken toaster or lawnmower. Local experts lead the events, and you can find the details for upcoming cafes on their social channels.

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