The Project

What is a tool library you ask?

Simply put, a tool library is a place where you can borrow tools instead of books. They emerged because people wanted to pool resources in a way that would benefit the environment and save space and money – rather than every household owning its own dust-covered drill for that once-a-year job or keeping that pasta maker received as a wedding gift that may never be removed from the box.

The Ottawa Tool Library was founded by Bettina Vollmerhausen and Frederick Sune to provide expertise and access to tools for all – while safeguarding the environment, promoting community, and leaving money in your pocket. Wanting to tackle a practical or creative project is one thing, but if you don’t even know where to begin it can seem daunting.  Have no fear – the OTL offers workshops and demo nights to help build your skill level. And with limited space for many urban dwellers, there isn’t likely unused space in your condo or apartment. We now have a dedicated WorkSpace at OTL where you can work on your personal projects whenever the OTL is open.

Our mission is to engage and empower the community to participate in sharing resources by providing access to tools and skills for everybody.
Our vision is to foster a sustainable community by providing an outlet for creativity and prioritizing access over ownership.
Access Over Ownership

The Ottawa Tool Library is a lending library similar to a public book library but with a focus on household tools. Why let household tools continue cluttering your basement and going to waste? The Ottawa Tool Library aims to provide residents and community groups with everything they need to make projects happen.

Promoting Makerspaces

We all need places to congregate, socialize, and learn. We aim to provide opportunities for the residents of Ottawa to learn how to create projects or repair objects whether in our makerspace or in collaboration with other community businesses and role models who know that everyone learns differently. The Ottawa Tool Library will be a place to share what you know, and learn what you don’t.

Sparking Creativity

The Ottawa Tool Library believes there is so much creativity flowing inside each person, and with a little help from the tool library we hope to help Ottawa residents tackle with ease and excitement any number of Do-It-Yourself projects they may have been dreaming of.


The involvement of volunteers and donor stewardship will keep the Ottawa Tool Library alive and sustainable.

The Ottawa Tool Library is the first large scale project of The Society for Social Ingenuity (SSI),
a registered Canadian non-profit organization based in Ottawa.

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