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Free Geek Toronto, a United Way non-profit, social enterprise organization dedicated to making computer technology accessible to all, is celebrating their move to a new location at 180 Sudbury Street, just south-east of Queen and Dufferin, a half-block from the Gladstone Hotel. The new Community Technology Center , situated in the vibrant Queen West area and next to the Parkdale neighbourhood, will feature a store for selling refurbished computers and electronics at affordable prices. It will also include an enhanced classroom space, administrative space, and work areas for evaluating, refurbishing and recycling electronics and computers.
Founded in 2009, Free Geek Toronto is part of a social and economic justice movement that spans North America. They accept donations of electronic waste, rebuild and repair and subsequently re-sell computers, monitors and other equipment at a very low cost. Parts which cannot be re-used are ethically recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. Free Geek Toronto is operated with oversight by the Ontario Electronics Stewardship (OES).
Free Geek Toronto also offers computer and Internet training for beginners and intermediate users at reasonable rates. Volunteers interested in learning how to build and repair computers can take part in the Build program. Volunteers who put in the requisite number of hours of volunteer time are also eligible to receive a free computer.
“Our new location will allow us to reach out to a whole new group of learners and volunteers, and make affordable technology more accessible to the people who need it most,” commented Ken Wood, Executive Director of Free Geek Toronto. “We’re very excited about the new space. The classroom, thrift store and office are bright and sunny, and the building is new. We intend to become a vibrant part of our new community, and we’re looking forward to doing outreach. Computer literacy is more than a frill; in our wired era, access to technology and the ability to navigate it is absolutely necessary in order to fully participate in society.
Our Mission — To promote social and economic justice by:
- Increasing access to computing and communications technologies
- Providing education, training, and job skills
- Promoting the use of Free and Open Source Software
- Reducing the environmental impact of electronic waste
Our Vision — To make our city a place where e-waste is disposed of responsibly, safely and ethically, and where everyone has access to computers and the Internet.
Our Principles are those of the original Free Geek 6 Principles
Free Geek Toronto is a non-profit organization that has been reducing e-waste and teaching technology skills since 2009. We moved into our new community technology centre in Toronto’s west end in January 2014.