Our doors have remained closed to the public with a few exceptions but we have been very busy within the lockdown and Covid restrictions:
The Sewing for Change Community Initative:
Between April and August 2020, we worked as a Collective with Craft Talks, and many volunteers and other groups to coordinate and make face coverings and other personal gear to be donated to front line workers, community and social agencies and shelters. Thousands of mask kits cut and made, distributed to home sewers and then collected and redistributed to agencies, shelters and front line workers from our space. We were but one small part of an immense, cross country movement to help people be safer at the beginning of the pandemic, before government and industry were able to gear up to supply the need for PPE. All materials, time and labour were donated by volunteers. A huge thank you to all of our volunteers and partners on this urgent project!
We pivoted once again back to a major focus of our not for profit organization: We were not able to run classes, and others were jumping into online craft and arts instruction, so we concentrated on the collection and rescue of materials that were going to landfill from studios, businesses and industry that were closing or downsizing, and from some avid hobbyists as well. All through the year we have also been working on sample-making and developing ideas and the some examples of creative reuse for the space.
We started working with Repair Cafe Toronto.
They are taking in things that need repairs on a by appointment door drop-off basis and getting them to their fixers, and then returning them to Abell Street for pickup. For an appointment Wednesdays 3-7pm. Please show up on time for your appointment. If you are late and there are no others slotted for after yours, the Repair Cafe will close.
Toronto Seed Library:
We have been distributing free seeds through our mini Toronto Seed Library.
Our space is now absolutely full of things that need sorting and weighing, and as soon as we have been able to do this we are hoping to be able to have a fundraising sale of materials. We need to raise funds for our ongoing costs and clear the space for events and classes as much as possible to prepare for reopening when that is finally possible. We will be looking for volunteers soon to help organize and help with the sale.