Illustrative gif of a variety of items that can be donated

Illustrations by LeeAndra Cianci

Where to donate unwanted items in Toronto and the GTA

Falling headfirst into the decluttering craze? Here’s who will take your excess (but still useful) goods

Maybe you’re downsizing or starting a minimalism-inspired purge. Or maybe you’re finally getting rid of all those things your growing children don’t use anymore. Whatever the reason you’re decluttering, there’s a place in the GTA that can make good use of your unwanted items by passing them on to someone who really needs them.

Illustration of a coat and boots

• Have a variety of winter coats and other cool-weather items to give away? For many GTA residents who are experiencing homelessness or poverty, these items aren’t always easy to find—or afford. Newcomers to Toronto who are facing their first Canadian winter are often especially unprepared. We’ve rounded up six GTA charities that will pass winter items on to those in need. Just make sure the items are in good condition. Remember, if you wouldn’t wear the coat yourself, it’s probably not appropriate for the clothing bank.

illustration of children's toys

• If you’re standing over a pile of toys that your kids have outgrown, wondering what to do, we’ve found spots that will take those items off your hands and help make some GTA kids very happy. From local churches to daycares to neighbourhood recycling programs, here are a number of places where you can bring your used-toy donations.

illustration of a woman sitting on the edge of a bed

• Other items—like furniture, clothing and toiletries—can be put to good use, too. Luckily, there are plenty of local organizations beyond the usual big-name donation spots that will welcome your gently used items. (Like those suits from your old job and that barely used Dutch oven from your Julie & Julia phase.) Here are 15 under-the-radar donation places to check out in the GTA.

Illustration of a baby crib filled with baby items

• Diapers, cribs, toys, clothes—babies need a ton of stuff. It’s no secret that many of these items come at a hefty cost, and those experiencing poverty or facing homelessness often can’t afford the necessities. That’s why so many shelters and charities that serve women accept donations of baby and maternity gear. If you have gently used pieces you’d like to contribute, or if you’d like to give the gift of brand-new items, here are five charities in the GTA that will happily take them.

Illustration of two young girls sitting on the floor reading

• Clearing off your book shelf? Consider giving your used reads to one of these GTA charities and community organizations (that benefit kids and adults alike), which are committed to helping your gently loved books find new homes with people who really need them. There’s everything from shelters to a (free!) community bookstore to prisons on our list.

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