Borrow Nintendo Switch games at Greater Toronto libraries for FREE!
The video game rental business has died off many years ago, and unfortunately because of that, it makes it very difficult to try out a game unless you purchase it.
In the past, you could rent a game to try it out, to see if it's something you suitable for you to help make a purchasing decision. Retail stores do not offer refunds on video game purchases, so if you buy a game and open it, you're stuck with it, unless you sell it on the secondary market such as Craigslist or Kijiji.
OK, you likely can't borrow 3 AAA games at once at a public library...
How else can you try out a game? You can borrow from a friend, try a demo (if it exists), attend a promotional event of some sort. Outside of that, you are out of luck besides watching videos and reading game reviews.
There is actually another way, some public libraries actually lend out video games for free. Yes, even ones for the current consoles like the Nintendo Switch. You can borrow a game just like a book.
Many public libraries in the Greater Toronto Area have Nintendo Switch games for you to borrow for free! It's like renting a video game, but free! That said, the number of copies available may be limited, so you may have to wait awhile on your hold request. As always, good things come to those who wait.
Which libraries have free Switch games that you can borrow? We did a little research around the area and found that the cities that have Switch games are: Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga, Pickering, and Ajax
Unfortunately, the City of Toronto, which is the largest city and largest public library in the GTA does not have Nintendo Switch games.
In Ontario, generally speaking, you need to live in a municipality in order to qualify for a free library membership. It's possible for non-residents to pay for a library membership, but you're reading this to save money, so why would you want to do that?
However, if you do not live in one of the cities above, there are ways to qualify for a free library card. You can also qualify for a library card if you work, attend school, or own property in the particular city or town. For example, if you live in Toronto and work in Vaughan, you can get a Vaughan library card. If you live in Brampton and own a secondary property in Mississauga, that would also qualify.
One thing to note, the Markham and Vaughan public libraries will give a free membership to anyone that lives, works, attends school or owns property in any York Region municipality. So if you live in Richmond Hill, you can get a library card in either Markham or Vaughan because they reciprocate to all of York Region. The Vaughan public library goes even further and reciprocates to Brampton and Caledon as well.
Even if your local library doesn't carry Nintendo Switch games, perhaps check a neighbouring one and see if you qualify for a library card there! Perhaps you can argue that taxpayers shouldn't be funding video games at libraries, but they're available so might as well take advantage of it, right?
As of December 2019, these Greater Toronto public libraries are currently carrying Nintendo Switch games:
Does your local library have video games for checking out? Let us know!