We describe the Einstein Toolkit, a community-driven, freely accessible computational infrastructure intended for use in numerical relativity, relativistic astrophysics, and other applications. The toolkit, developed by a collaboration involving researchers from multiple institutions around the world, combines a core set of components needed to simulate astrophysical objects such as black holes, compact objects, and collapsing stars, as well as a full suite of analysis tools. The Einstein Toolkit is currently based on the Cactus framework for high-performance computing and the Carpet adaptive mesh refinement driver. It implements spacetime evolution via the BSSN evolution system and general relativistic hydrodynamics in a finite-volume discretization. The toolkit is under continuous development and contains many new code components that have been publicly released for the first time and are described in this paper. We discuss the motivation behind the release of the toolkit, the philosophy underlying its development, and the goals of the project. A summary of the implemented numerical techniques is included, as are results of numerical test covering a variety of sample astrophysical problems.