Temporary Measures in Response to COVID-19

Following the announcement by the Province of Ontario to permit certain businesses to reopen as of May 4th, the OTL has decided to resume lending tools while adopting specific public health measures to operate safely during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Revised Procedures

New! Reservation & Curbside Pickup Changes

In order to serve as many members as possible, we will no longer take tool reservations and assign pickup times as of June 6th. Instead, we will be admitting members to the OTL in limited numbers.

New! Borrowing & Returns at the OTL

In keeping with guidance from the Province of Ontario, as of June 6th the OTL will again welcome members into the OTL while still taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). When visiting the OTL, we ask that you:

  • Do not visit the OTL if you have recently traveled abroad, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who does.
  • Follow the floor markings and directions of our volunteers.
  • Line up to enter at the south/right door, exit and return tools via the north/left (garage) door.
  • Use hand sanitizer (provided) upon entering the OTL.
  • Stay 2m distance from others whenever possible while outside and inside the OTL.
  • Wear a non-medical mask while outside and inside the OTL.
  • Have your list of tools prepared before entering the OTL (consult our inventory and feel free to Ask a Ninja beforehand).
  • Avoid bringing others (e.g. spouses, children, friends, pets) to the OTL. Only members will be admitted, one at a time.

For the moment, we will be open only on Saturdays, but hope to further increase our hours soon as we refine our processes and can involve more volunteers back into our operations.


To protect our members and volunteers during this period, we have adopted the following precautions against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • The number of people in the OTL will be limited to permit adequate physical distancing.
  • Volunteers will regularly wash or disinfect hands and wear gloves when handling tools.
  • Only a single volunteer is permitted behind the front desk, protected by a plexiglass barrier.
  • All visitors will wear non-medical facemasks when at the OTL.
  • All touch surfaces in the OTL (door handles, padlocks, keyboards, tablets, etc.) will be disinfected after each shift.
  • All returned tools will be sanitized and remain in quarantine for at least 72 hours before lending (per WHO guidance on plastic and metal surfaces).
  • The OTL WorkSpace will remain closed until further notice.

Public Health Guidance

For the safety of our members and volunteers, we also ask that you follow the direction of public health authorities. Please stay home and do not visit the OTL if:

  • You have any symptoms of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • You have been in physical contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms.
  • You have traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
  • You or someone in your household is particularly vulnerable to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) due to advanced age or a compromised immune system.

Nevertheless, all public interactions during this period may raise your risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Members and volunteers visiting the OTL in any capacity do so at their own risk.


In the event that you have borrowed tools and have a presumptive or confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in your household, please inform us as soon as possible. We can arrange to extend the loan period for tools, quarantine any returned tools, and advise our volunteers and members about any possible exposure. Your personal information will remain confidential.

Frequently Asked Questions

During this time, we’ve implemented a variety of ways to seek advice from our expert Tool Ninjas. You can email them here. We are hosting regular live-streamed Ask a Ninja segments on Facebook. Finally, you can add any tool-specific questions to your reservation form and we will have someone call or email to follow up.

Yes, just let us know what you need when you check out.

Yes, members are required to wear a non-medical mask when inside the OTL and when waiting outside.

No, we’re no longer taking reservations. Preparing pickups in advance is very labour-intensive, and limits the number of members we can serve per week. Permitting members into the OTL instead to collect tools themselves will greatly improve our capacity to serve members.

For the moment, yes. Currently, only our Executive Director and management team are serving members to limit potential exposure of others as we develop our new procedures. Once these are established, we will involve more volunteers and resume operations on Mondays and Wednesdays. Stay tuned!

Further Information

We are following the latest public health guidance and scientific information regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from various levels of government. For more information, please consult the following: