UPDATE – December 2020.
The Ottawa Tool Library had to vacate their premises at City Centre. This was a complete surprise and no fault of their own. You can read about it here. All of their tools are in safe storage as they work very hard to find a new home. As soon as they do I will update this post. Courage OTL!
The Ottawa Tool Library is a great resource for those who wish to borrow tools for all sorts of jobs! They’ve got an extensive assortment of power tools and hand tools to choose from. But, what if you want to bike there AND need a way to transport some of the bigger tools that won’t fit into your panniers? Well they also have a great Wike bike flatbed trailer you can borrow for that job too! Or you can borrow the trailer for whatever other load you need to haul.
The Tool Library is located at City Centre, a long curved multi-leveled semi-industrial building with many entrance bays. It also shares Maker Space North, a wonderful melange of small start-ups and hobbyists. Suffice to say, the library’s location isn’t screamingly obvious, but once you discover it the first time it’s easy to remember. The following three maps show how to get to the library by bike (blue lines) and leave (purple lines), depending from which direction you are arriving.
APPROACH FROM THE SOUTH
The Trillium Pathway that runs alongside the O-Train goes right past City Centre. When approaching from the south I turn off the path through an opening between a bunch of boulders, just after passing under Somerset St West.
Once beyond the boulders I head straight, then pull a sharp 180 degree and head up the one-way ramp that curves around the back of the building to the second level.
The Tool Library is located just within bay door 210. If the bay door is open, as it often is in the summer, I usually dismount and push my bike in.
If for whatever reason Bay Door 210 is closed (too cold, too rainy, etc) I continue on to the entrance at Bay 216 whch is the main entrance to Maker Space North, then work my way back a bit through the open shared Maker Space to the Tool Library.
Third option is to lock my bike to the railing opposite the entrance, which requires a cable lock.
When leaving I continue north along the one-way ramp which heads down at the opposite side of the building. If I’m heading south, i.e. the direction I originally came from, I take the gravel road to the left at the bottom of the ramp.
APPROACH FROM THE NORTH OR WEST
The Trillium Path heads north as far as the Ottawa River Pathway. It also crosses the bike path that runs along Scott Street, which is convenient if arriving from points west. Once on the Trillium Path I take the same exit between the boulders and head up the ramp to the tool Library. When leaving I cross Albert Street and follow the bike path that takes me back to the Trillium Path.
APPROACH FROM THE EAST
If I’m pulling the trailer and arriving from the East along the bike path that runs along the north side of Albert Street, I cross at the lights on to City Centre Avenue which takes me to the bottom of the ramp up to the Tool Library.
Attaching the Wike trailer is very easy. Here is a video showing how to do so on a bolt on hub (click), and another for a quick release hub (click). Note, As explained to me by the good folks at Wike, the cargo trailer does not use the safety strap shown in the videos. The saftey straps is for kids trailers.
Also note – bring-your-own-bunjy cords to tie things down.
Here are some examples of loads I’ve hauled with the Wike trailer: