Thankfully, there are charitable organizations that will accept gently used items that you think someone else will value. So we compiled a handy list of those organizations that will help you decide who to contact, and what goes where.
Note that some organizations offer pickups (fee based in some cases). Also please don’t treat these organizations as places to take junk off your hands. They are looking for gently used items that someone else can use.
- The Canadian Diabetes Association Clothesline accepts gently used clothing, cloth based items, bedding, footwear, and more. Click here for a full list of items that they accept – you may pick up or drop off your items in locations across Ontario.
- The New Mom Project redistributes gently used baby clothes and other baby gear to families in need. The Project is proud to support Syrian refugee families as they begin a new life in Toronto and single mothers affected by poverty. They accept your old baby essential such as seasonal clothing (from 0 – 4 years), small toys, cribs, strollers, and carriers. To donate e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get updates on drop off locations.
- Dress for Success Toronto provides women and men from across the GTA with business appropriate attire to wear to job interviews and during their first few weeks at work. People can donate their old business clothing on Tuesdays between 10am and 4pm. They are located on the 3rd floor of the Walmer Road Baptist Church and Community Centre, at 188 Lowther Ave.
- New Circles is a clothing bank that works with referring agencies to redistribute clothes to families in need. They are also actively supporting Syrian refugee families in need of clothing. They frequently have a shortage of clothing for boys sizes 4 – 16, clothing for young men and plus sizes for women. Donations are accepted at their location on Hobson Avenue in Toronto (Hobson Avenue and Bartley Drive) during regular operating hours. Please note: they are currently at capacity and will be re-opening Feb 8. 2016. For more information on donating clothing to New Circles, click here.
- Salvation Army accepts clothing of all kinds to resell in their thrift shops. Click here to find a thrift store location and/or drop off bin near you.
- Free Geek, a fellow social enterprise, offers both a drop off location in downtown Toronto, and a paid pickup service. Free Geek Toronto accepts your old computers, laptops, printers and more to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste.
- ReBOOT Canada refurbishes your old computers, laptops, printers, etc. and redistributes to charities and nonprofits. They accept dropoffs at their Scarborough and Peterborough locations. To schedule a pickup call 416 534 6017 Ext 1. ReBOOT collects a $50 (plus HST) pick up fee for residential pick ups and $100 (plus HST) for commercial pick ups. Some items may also require the collection of a disposal fee.
Books and textbooks
- Children’s Book Bank is always looking for gently used children’s books that your kids have enjoyed, for others to start new adventures with. The Children’s Book Bank of Regent Park area of Toronto offers a drop off location for books ages 0 – 12 years old. You may also use their drop off location at 350 Berkeley Street, Toronto, ON, M5A 2X5 anytime during their hours of operation.
- Toronto Public Library accepts donations of books, CD’s and DVD’s that can be sold in their “Book Ends” stores. They must be in either English or French, in very good condition, and less than 5 years old. They do not accept donations of magazines, encyclopedias, or textbooks. Donations are accepted during branch open hours.
- S.T.E.L.L.A.A. is helping to change education in many schools and libraries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. You can donate post secondary textbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, medical and law textbooks, academic journals and more. Drop off centres and locations are located throughout the GTA for items that can fit in 10 boxes and under. If you have more boxes and live in the GTA, please contact email@example.com to arrange a pick-up.
- The Toronto Tool Library is a nonprofit that accepts donations of used tools (hand tools, power tools, etc.) and gives them new life with their community. Donated tools are shared with community members for home and community initiatives. You can donate your tools on-site at any of their locations. They even offer a pickup service for selected large items and collections of tools. To get in touch contact them at Contact@irbe.org.
Sports and camping gear
- The Sharing Depot, a community hub started by The Toronto Tool Library Team, gives members access to a wide range of things without having to own or store them. They accept donations of camping and sports equipment, board games, toys and house party supplies. You can drop off your donations on-site or if you have large items or a significant collection of items you are donating, you can contact them for a pickup service. Visit their donation page for more information.
Furniture, housewares and major appliances
4 walls alone don’t make a home – furniture plays a powerful, albeit silent, role in all our lives. We are all indebted to the use of furniture to live fulfilling lives – just try studying for an exam, resting after a hard day’s work, preparing a meal, or raising a family. Without furniture, even mundane tasks are near impossible.
Furniture Banks across Canada are committed to ensuring all individuals and families transitioning out of displacement and homelessness are given the best possible chance to succeed in their new lives – through a furnished home. You may donate your unwanted, gently used items of furniture to the following Furniture Banks in Ontario:
- Furniture Bank (Toronto) (that’s us!)
- Mississauga Furniture Bank
- JRCC (Vaughan)
- Matthew House Ottawa
Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great option for donating major appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, etc. The items they accept are resold at the store level with proceeds supporting Habitat for Humanity home builds. They even have a volunteer pickup service for selected items. Click here to find a location near you.
Green Standards picks up donations of excess office furniture and equipment and redistributes them to community organizations and charities across Canada. Click here to request a pickup quote for your company.
If we have not included an organization in this list, please do not hesitate to let us know in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org