Awaiting the Return of Downton Abbey

December 2, 2013 | Muriel | Comments (8) Facebook Twitter More...

   

Downton Abbey Season 1  Downton Abbey Season 2  Downton Abbey Season 3

I am an unabashed fan of Downton Abbey, with its upstairs
and downstairs characters, sumptuous settings, period details
and constant cliffhangers.  I especially enjoy the bons mots
from Maggie Smith, who plays the part of Violet, Dowager
Countess of Grantham.  Of course, I am eagerly awaiting
the return of Downton Abbey, with the screening of
Season 4, starting on Sunday, January 5, 2014.  I have even
circled that date on my Downton Abbey page-a-day 2014
calendar!

The World of Downton Abbey  The Chronicles of Downton Abbey   Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey

I was very excited to read that costumes from the television
series may be coming to Toronto's own Spadina Museum
According to the Toronto Star, Spadina Museum "could be
considered Toronto's Downton Abbey."  You can visit Spadina
Museum with your family, for free, with Toronto Public
Library's Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass program.  
If you would like to look, now, at fashion illustrations dating
from the early period of Downton Abbey, you might enjoy
the free exhibition on at the TD Gallery at the Toronto
Reference Library.  The exhibition, "The Gilded Age of
Fashion, 1890-1914," is on until January 4, 2014.  It includes
an exquisite empire-waisted dress for Eliza Doolittle, from
the 2004 Shaw Festival production of George Bernard Shaw's
Pygmalion.  There are some more lovely dresses, with
matching fans, on display just outside the exhibition, as well
as in the windows along Asquith Avenue.  These stage costumes
for the Shaw Festival's 2013 production of Oscar Wilde's
Lady Windermere's Fan are from an era prior to Downton Abbey,
but the influence of these styles can still be seen in the dresses
of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham. 

  Secrets of Highclere Castle    Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey       Edwardian Cooking

Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, is a friend
of the Carnarvon family, whose home is Highclere Castle 
in England.  When Julian Fellowes was writing the television
series, he had Highclere Castle in mind for the setting.  Its
exterior, as well as its interior, has indeed been used for
filming the "upstairs" part of the story.  The "downstairs"
part was filmed at a specially-constructed set at the oldest
continuously working film studio in the world, Ealing Studios
in West London.  This posed continuity challenges since
Ealing Studios is some distance from Highclere Castle.

 

Over the holidays, you may even like to try some recipes
inspired by Downton Abbey's elegant meals, and treat
yourself and your guests as aristocrats.  Best wishes for
happy holidays, and enjoy Season 4!

20 Fabulous Books Under $20

November 28, 2013 | John Elmslie | Comments (7) Facebook Twitter More...

In my job at the library I see a lot of new books. I wondered what a list of twenty fabulous new books under twenty dollars would look like.

It looks like this.

I would try to buy these from my favourite independent bookstore. 

We can also get them through the library catalogue. 

Note for shoppers: click on pictures/titles below to go to the library catalogue and a link to "Buy your own copy". If you buy the book through the link the library gets a portion of the sale price. More information here.

While supplies last.

Yorkshire 350

A Yorkshire Sketchbook by David Hockney. This is a facsimile of one of Hockney''s sketchbooks. Hockney does that hardest of things -- he makes drawing look easy.

 

Dreaming french 365

Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis by Alice Kaplan. Three formidable characters, one formidable town.

 

Frenchmarket370

The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes From My Parisian Kitchen by Clotilde Dusoulier. Vegetarian cooking, French style. For the latest templations, check Dusoulier's blog Chocolate and Zucchini.

 

Fatal touch 358

The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald. The most vivid Roman atmosphere of any mystery I've read in the past few years.

 

Seagull 361

Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri. One of a series of stand-alone mysteries set in Sicily. Great characters and hungry-making descriptions of meals.

 

Perfect liar 359

Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford. Looking forward to reading this. Until then I'm judging it by its perfect cover.

 

Atkinson 378

Life After Life: a novel by Kate Atkinson. Atkinson just keeps getting better. If you like this be sure to check our her Jackson Brodie series of mysteries. 

 

  1980s 384

My 1980s and Other Essays by Wayne Koestembaum. A unique intelligence burns at the heart of each of these essays. After I finished My 1980s I wanted to read everything else Kostenbaum has written. 

 

Dear sugar 339

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Before she shot to fame with her memoir Wild, Cheryl Strayed gave unforgettable, gripping advice in a blog called Dear Sugar.

 

Augusten Burroughs

This Is How: Help for the Self: proven aid in overcoming shyness, molestation, fatness, spinsterhood, grief, disease, lushery, decrepitude & more -- for young and old alike by Augusten Burroughs. The author who came to fame for the  hilarious epics of dysfunction Running with Scissors and Dry has written an epic self-help book. Sincere, surprising and utterly practical advice that you won't find anywhere else.

 

Hafiz 354

The Subject Tonight is Love:  60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz. Translated by Daniel Ladinsky. Hafiz was a 14th century Sufi mystic. Ladinsky's translations are utterly fresh -- as if Hafiz had dashed these poems off last week. 

 

Jane jacobs 343

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. Fiftieth anniversary edition of her most important book. Toronto needs her now more than ever.

 

Beatles 364

Revolution in the Head: The Beatle's Records and the Sixties by Ian MacDonald. Every single Beatles recording described with an "encyclopedic wealth of biographical, musical and historical detail" (Kirkus Reviews).

 

Rome 366

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela. A compelling evocation of classical Roman life with fascinating references to the modern city. 

 

Marden

Brice Marden by Eileen Costello. One of our best art book publishers has launched "Phaidon Focus" a new series of introductions to 6 artists -- all sumptiously illustrated. I'd been looking for a good overview of Marden's achievement and this one is superb. You'll have to google-image his name to see if you'll like Marden's stuff. Whole series recommended.

 

Rookie 400

Rookie: Yearbook One. Edited by Tavi Gevinson. Have you heard the story? 11-year-old starts blog that gets international attention...

 

Talk love 413

Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste. Toronto's Carl Wilson uses the Celine Dion album to explore what it means to have "taste". What are we trying to say about ourselves when we love one thing and hate something else?

 

Ny drawings 342

Superb collection by graphic artist Adrian Tomine. New York Drawings: a decade of covers, comics, illustrations and sketches from the pages of The New Yorker and beyond.

 

Weiwei 400

Weiwei-isms by Ai Weiwei. China's most acclaimed artist produces a Little Black Book.

 

Beach

Life's a Beach by Martin Parr. A collection of British photographer Martin Parr's hilarious beach photographs. Must be seen to be believed. Here's a sample.

 

 

On Stage with Theatre Passe Muraille "The Way Back To Thursday" Theatre Arts Series 2013

November 23, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Want to spend the best Monday night ever?  

Then hold onto your hat and join us for the final 2013 On Stage talk about "The Way Back To Thursday" A musical by Rob Kempson for Theatre Passe Muraille - "A musical about unconditional love that crosses generations, genders and lifetimes."  

Guest Speaker: Rob Kempson, "The Way Back To Thursday" playwright, Associate Artistic Producer, Theatre Passe Muraille.

Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for 60 mins at the Toronto Reference Library.  It's free, no tickets required and are all welcome at this intimate event.

 

 

                 

 

 

Theatre Passe Muraille The Way Back to Thursday-1250photo by Michael Cooper of Bob Kempson and Astrid Van Wieren

 

We've had a great series this year with:

An  informal and informative talk about "God of Carnage" by Studio 180 Theatre, Off-Mirvish: The Second Stage Series with Guest Speaker: Joel Greenberg, artistic director, Studio 180 Theatre, and director of "God of Carnage".

 

Studio 180 Theatre’s production of GOD OF CARNAGE

 

 

And an insider's view of "Winners and Losers"  by Marcus Youssef and James Long.  Produced by Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre and presented by Crow's Theatre in association with Canadian Stage. 

Guest Speakers: Chris Abraham, artistic director of Crow's Theatre, with Marcus Youssef and James Long - writers and performers of "Winners and Losers".

Crows Theatre Winners and Losers image 1 photo by Simon Hayterphoto : Simon Hayter

 

And to start the series off this year:

The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, by Beth Graham
Featuring Beth Graham, playwright, with Nigel Shawn Williams, co-artistic director, Factory Theatre, 

 

 

We honour Remembrance Day with WW1 Canadian vintage military posters

November 11, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

On Remembrance Day we respectfully pause to reflect on the sacrifice of the military, their families, the victims, casualties and society as a whole made during War.

WWI-era poster for Canadian Victory Bonds.

 "If ye break faith, we shall not sleep : buy victory bonds"

Toronto Public Library has a large collection of vintage WWI posters at the Toronto Reference Library Special Collections Department.   Many are available online as part of the digital archive.   A selection have been posted to our pinterest page

I want to highlight posters showing two aspects of World War I:

  • recruitment, an issue all during the war, but especially towards the end
  • home front sacrifice and efforts

The poster was a key communication tool in the time before the Internet, cell phones, television, the movies and even radio.  It served to inform, exhort and sway - it was an important propaganda tool.

 

 Britain buys 1,077,154,000 lbs    Canada's egg opportunity

There were others in the series that spoke to "pork opportunity" and "butter opportunity." Canada as a colony and loyal member of the British Empire helped feed England. When I look at these two food production posters I have to admit I don't fully understand them. They remind me of my Great-Aunt Stara Mika who used to say "sleep faster we need the pillows".   How were the cows supposed to speed up and do better?

 

There was also the Victory Bonds promotions offering the very competitive 5.5 % rate of return on investments of less than $50.

Keep all Canadians busy : buy 1918 victory bonds

Keep all Canadians busy : buy 1918 victory bonds

 

With a variety of designs - some more avant garde like the one below left by Malcom Gibson or the almost art deco one on the right by Arthur Keelor:

Nothing doing without victory bonds   For industrial expansion, buy victory bonds

 

While other posters used a more old fashioned guilt method:

If you cannot put the    Give to the Canadian Patriotic Fund

 

Before Canada could fight the War though our men had to enlist and there were many appeals to nationalism and cultural backgrounds:

For God! For King and Empire. For Newfoundland. Enlist now!

For God! For King and Empire. For Newfoundland. Enlist now!

 

  Faith, there's no wan could be bolder : come on boys! Join the Irish Canadian Overseas Battalion Rangers  48th Highlanders : 1200 men wanted at once for the 134th Highlanders Overseas Battalion

"48th Highlanders : 1200 men wanted at once for the 134th Highlanders Overseas Battalion"
" Come on Boys ! Join the Irish Canadian Rangers Overseas Battalion -  Faith, there's no wan could be bolder "

 

Le 178ième Bataillon canadien-français des Cantons de l'Est   Let his heart a thousandfold take the field again!

"Le 178ième Bataillon canadien-français des Cantons de l'Est - Pour le Roi, Pour La Patrie, Pour l'humanite"
"Let his heart a thousandfold take the field again "244th, Kitchener's Own Overseas, Canada".
 
This poster of Lord Kitchener was the inspiration for the famous Uncle Sam WW1 I want you for the US army recruitment poster.  As well it was Lord Kitchener's name that the Ontario town formerly known as Berlin adopted during WW1.

 

As time went on more men were needed and the appeals became stronger and Canada faced the Conscription Crisis of 1917.  

Kitchener calls for men

"Kitchener calls for men : Canadian Street Car Advertising Company"

 

 

I should go BUT!!! You are no exception, join now

 

    Your chums are fighting. Why aren't you?

 

 

Are your folks ashamed of you for not enlisting?

"Are your folks ashamed of you for not enlisting?"

 

About 65,000 Canadians died in World War I. Canadian soldiers distinguished themselves in many military battles including Somme, Ypres, Vimy and Passchendaele.  Most of our dead are buried overseas in France. When the War was over soldiers returned to a warm welcome but the society they had left had changed and the scars they carried from the War often stayed with them.

WATERS, PERCY, florist, Danforth Ave., s. side, betw. Hampton & Logan Aves.

Percy Waters florist, Danforth Ave., between Hampton & Logan Aves circa 1918.

 

If you would like to see a selection of our WW1 posters please look at our Pinterest page - otherwise you can also look at our digital archive.   We also have an extensive collection of World War II posters.

 

For other Toronto Public Library blogs done to honour Remembrance Day see:

You may also enjoy the virtual exhibit of World War II posters and ephemera from the 2005 show "Canadians on Guard: The Home Front 1939 – 1945".

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Stage with "Winners and Losers" 2013 Theatre Series

November 7, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Monday November 11, 7 pm  you can get an insider's view of "Winners and Losers"  by Marcus Youssef and James Long.  Produced by Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre and presented by Crow's Theatre in association with Canadian Stage. 

Guest Speakers:

Chris Abraham, artistic director of Crow's Theatre, with Marcus Youssef and James Long - writers and performers of "Winners and Losers".

These events are free and no tickets are required.  All are welcome to get an insider look at Toronto's current theatre season.  The On Stage Theatre Arts Series is interesting, informative and held at the  Toronto Reference Library, Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium, Monday nights.

 

                         

 

About "Winners and Losers" :

 "A staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships as well as our most intimate experiences of self."

Crows Theatre Winners and Losers image 1 photo by Simon Hayterphoto : Simon Hayter

 

 

                          

 

 

Program 4 (final) will be "The Way Back To Thursday" A musical by Rob Kempson for Theatre Passe Muraille - "A musical about unconditional love that crosses generations, genders and lifetimes."  

Theatre Passe Muraille The Way Back to Thursday-1250photo by Michael Cooper of Bob Kempson and Astrid Van Wieren

Guest Speaker: Rob Kempson, "The Way Back To Thursday" playwright, Associate Artistic Producer, Theatre Passe Muraille.

Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for 60 mins at the Toronto Reference Library.

 

Come yourself and bring your friends -these are low key intimate events - offering a chance to see the creative forces behind some of Toronto's most interesting theatre. 

 

                           

 

Last week we had a great informal and informative talk about "God of Carnage" by Studio 180 Theatre, Off-Mirvish: The Second Stage Series with Guest Speaker: Joel Greenberg, artistic director, Studio 180 Theatre, and director of "God of Carnage".

 

Studio 180 Theatre’s production of GOD OF CARNAGE

 

On Stage with "God of Carnage" 2013 Theatre Series

November 2, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

We're hosting our annual behind-the-scenes discussions about local theatre productions at the Toronto Reference Library, Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium, Monday nights.

These events are free and no tickets are required.  All are welcome to get an insider look at Toronto's current theatre season.  The On Stage Theatre Arts Series is interesting and informative!

 

Join us this coming  Monday, November 4, 7 pm for a talk about "God of Carnage" by Studio 180 Theatre, Off-Mirvish: The Second Stage Series with Guest Speaker: Joel Greenberg, artistic director, Studio 180 Theatre, and director of "God of Carnage".

 

Studio 180 Theatre’s production of GOD OF CARNAGE

 

 

                         

 

On Monday November 11, 7 pm you can listen to "Winners and Losers" by Marcus Youssef and James Long.  Produced by Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre.  Presented by Crow's Theatre in association with Canadian Stage.  Guest Speakers: Chris Abraham, artistic director of Crow's Theatre, with Marcus Youssef and James Long - writers and performers of "Winners and Losers".

Again these are free events and no tickets required - all held at the Toronto Reference Library, Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium.

"A staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships as well as our most intimate experiences of self."

Crows Theatre Winners and Losers image 1 photo by Simon Hayterphoto : Simon Hayter 

 

 

                          

 

 

Program 4 (final) will be "The Way Back To Thursday" A musical by Rob Kempson for Theatre Passe Muraille - "A musical about unconditional love that crosses generations, genders and lifetimes."  

Theatre Passe Muraille The Way Back to Thursday-1250photo by Michael Cooper of Bob Kempson and Astrid Van Wieren


Guest Speaker: Rob Kempson, "The Way Back To Thursday" playwright, Associate Artistic Producer, Theatre Passe Muraille.

Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for 60 mins at the Toronto Reference Library.

 

Come yourself and bring your friends -these are low key intimate events - offering a chance to see the creative forces behind some of Toronto's most interesting theatre. 

 

                           

 

 

The scariest Halloween postcard I ever saw....

October 26, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ghoul on large black cat with bats and flying witch on broomstick, attacking carnivorous skeleton and ghost chasing them all. 

All I can say is "The Walking Dead"  and the Zombie walk had nothing on the folks at the turn of the last century. 

This Whitney Company vintage postcard comes from the estate of Beatrice Corrigan and was mailed to her by a school friend around 1913.

Halloween

Last year this postcard was part of longer blog post on vintage Halloween postcards that are part of the Arts Department collection at the Toronto Reference Library.

There is a display on now of this postcard and others at the top of the stairs on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Libray opposite our temporary information desk. Come visit - they look even more scary in person.

If you are interested in scary things you may also enjoy the blog post The scariest book I never read by Maureen up at North York Central Library.

Speaking of scary things.....let's talk about Pinterest.  Pinterest is a great visual source on which you can "pin" and create bulletin boards of images arranged any way you like.  Toronto Public Library has a Pinterest page - including a board on vintage postcards and it has a variety of our postcards.  As well this general search on Pinterest shows a great collection of vintage Halloween postcards

 

Bloor Gladstone Branch turns 100 - help us celebrate!

October 23, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Bloor Gladstone Branch celebrated its 100th birthday Oct 23rd 2013 with a variety of fun filled events.  If you did not make it to the party we have a great pinterest board devoted to the branch photos showing its development over the last 100 years.

 

 Bloor Gladstone Branch

Bloor/Gladstone's new water themed KidsStop is a highlight. KidsStops are interactive, early literacy areas designed to develop pre-literacy principles in children five and under.  The Toronto Public Library Foundation will also announce a Bloor/Gladstone Branch Centenary Project to raise $15,000 to complete the installation of a new KidsStop in the branch.

Bloor Gladstone was the first library built in Toronto totally with public funds. Earlier branches like Yorkville (1907)Annette Street (1909) and Riverdale (1910) were funded with Carnegie grants.  See here for TPL's pinterest page for vintage and contemporary photos of various local Toronto Carnegie Libraries.  You may also be interested in the following titles about Carnegie Libraries.

 

Please enjoy the following photos showing Bloor/Gladstone through the last 100 years:

 

Bloor Gladstone opening - Toronto World October 13 1913 pg 4.

Bloor Gladstone opening (the branch was originally called Dovercourt). Toronto World October 13 1913 pg 4.

 

Toronto Public Library; Bloor & Gladstone Branch, laying cornerstone 16 October 1912.  In 1911 Toronto City Council votes to provide $60,000 (plus $5,000 for books) to the Toronto Public Library Board for a new branch library in the Dovercourt district. A 150- by 100-foot (46- by 30- metre) site at the northwest corner of Bloor Street and Dovercourt Road is acquired. Plans by Toronto architects Alfred H. Chapman & Robert B. McGiffen are approved.

Toronto Public Library; Bloor & Gladstone Branch, laying cornerstone 16 October 1912.

 

Bloor Gladstone Branch - original architectural rendering - first name of the branch was Dovercourt. 1913 Dovercourt Branch officially opened 23 October. Chapman & McGiffin Architects. First TPL branch wholly financed by the City of Toronto. Renamed Bloor and Gladstone 1938.  Closed for renovation and expansion, 1975.  Architects: Howard V. Walker and Howard D. Chapman (son of the original architect).

Bloor Gladstone Branch - original architectural rendering - first name of the branch was Dovercourt. 1913 Dovercourt Branch officially opened 23 October. Chapman & McGiffin Architects. First TPL branch wholly financed by the City of Toronto. Renamed Bloor and Gladstone 1938. Closed for renovation and expansion, 1975. Architects: Howard V. Walker and Howard D. Chapman (son of the original architect).

 

Bloor Gladstone Branch - originally called the Dovercourt Branch - The Globe (Dec 1 1917 pg 10) article on the new children's department.

Bloor Gladstone Branch - originally called the Dovercourt Branch - The Globe (Dec 1 1917 pg 10) article on the new children's department.  The Reading Garden was covered over during one of the later renovations.  Although interestingly there is once again a reading garden in the latest renovation.

 Bloor & Gladstone Branch,1913,  Toronto Public Library Picture/photograph .. Bloor St. W., south west corner Gladstone Ave.; INTERIOR, children's room. Toronto, Ont.  See also the photo showing the room full of children.

Bloor & Gladstone Branch,1913, Toronto Public Library Picture/photograph .. interior of children's room. Toronto, Ont. See also the photo below showing the room full of children and the working fireplace.

 Bloor Gladstone Branch - original children's room of Bloor Dovercourt - notice the working fire place in the background. Dovercourt (now Bloor/Gladstone) Branch opens on October 23 1913, featuring the first children's room planned by Lillian H. Smith. In 1917, the children's room is moved to larger quarters in the basement, taking over the old lecture room.

Bloor Gladstone Branch - original children's room of Bloor Dovercourt - notice the working fireplace in the background. Dovercourt (now Bloor/Gladstone) Branch opens on October 23 1913, featuring the first children's room planned by Lillian H. Smith. In 1917, the children's room is moved to larger quarters in the basement, taking over the old lecture room. 

Toronto Public Library; Bloor & Gladstone Branch, Bloor St. W., south west corner Gladstone Ave. Toronto, Ont. vintage photo 1913. Dovercourt Branch officially opened 23 October 1913. Chapman & McGiffin Architects. First TPL branch wholly financed by the City of Toronto. Renamed Bloor and Gladstone, December 1938.

If you're interested in local history about the Bloor Dufferin neighbourhood you would likely enjoy local history publication Bloor Dufferin in Pictures - there are copies you can borrow but you can also look at the full pdf online.

As the branch developed over the years some of the interior architecture changed significantly but also the exterior showed only minor modification (especially around the front entrance).  Below are a couple of photos from the 1980s.

Bloor Gladstone - circa 1980s

Bloor Gladstone Branch circa 1980

 

 

Bloor/Gladstone closed for a three year renovation between 2006 and 2009. 

Bloor Gladstone Branch - Toronto Public Library. 2006 Closed for restoration, renovation, and expansion, 30 December. Project Architects: rounthwaite, dick and hadley architects inc in association with Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd. and ERA Architects Inc. 2009 Reopened 23 July. Toronto Public Library's first building with a green roof.

Project Architects: rounthwaite, dick and hadley architects inc in association with Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd. and ERA Architects Inc. Reopened on 23rd July 2009. Toronto Public Library's first building with a green roof.

Bloor Gladstone Branch during renovation.

 Bloor Gladstone Branch - during renovation.

The results of the massive internal renovation and addition were spectacular.

Bloor Gladstone Branch. 	Winner of a 2010 international architecture award handed out by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture ... Winner of OLA Library Building Award. Honourable mention for the 2010 William Greer Architectural Conservation & Craftsmanship Award handed out by Toronto Heritage. 2010 Gold award winner handed out by the Design Exchange. 2010 Winner of Best of Canada Award handed out by Canadian Interiors magazine.

Winner of a 2010 international architecture award handed out by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Winner of OLA Library Building Award. Honourable mention for the 2010 William Greer Architectural Conservation & Craftsmanship Award handed out by Toronto Heritage. 2010 Gold award winner handed out by the Design Exchange. 2010 Winner of Best of Canada Award handed out by Canadian Interiors magazine. Posted online in "Special Features" & "Libraries at Night" categories of the American Libraries Architecture Showcase.

It has expanded study and work spaces, an amazing entry atrium, a learning centre and expanded kids programming areas and many other fabulous features.

Bloor Gladstone

Bloor Gladstone Branch

Bloor Gladstone Branch

Bloor Gladstone reading garden

 Bloor/Gladstone Branch Library  RDH Architects Inc.

Plus externally it has Toronto Public Library's first green roof.

Bloor Gladstone Branch green roof.

 

So why not come out today to see the branch?  If not today then consider coming some other day as Bloor/Gladstone is a sublime public space - your space - and Toronto Public Library branch.  When it was first built Bloor Gladstone was identified as one of the most beautiful library buildings in Canada and over the last few years it has once again claimed that spot.

Bloor Gladstone Branch

 

 

Letter-Perfect

September 23, 2013 | Muriel | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...


I have always enjoyed observing visual details in the world remember taking great delight in a school assignment where I had to design my own alphabet. Later, a calligraphy course introduced me to the world of nib pens, real ink, how to make historical letter forms, and even illuminate them with gold. From Islamic and Chinese calligraphy, to the English Lindisfarne Gospels, to the Irish Book of Kells and the French Duc de Berry's Books of Hours and more, calligraphy truly is a worldwide art form.


Islamic Calligraphy   Chinese Calligraphy   The Lindisfarne Gospels

The Book of Kells   The Art of Illumination   Mastering Calligraphy


The legacy of all of this incredible calligraphy has, until recently, been handwriting, as unique to each person as their own signature. With the diminishment of handwriting, some people are concerned that not only will it disappear, but people will not be able to sign their names. I read an article in the Toronto Star about one father who, shocked that his son was not being taught "cursive" (handwriting) at school, decided to teach it to his son himself. Handwriting also connects us intimately to someone, whether it is on a birthday card, in a love letter, or even on family recipe cards, such as those which I cherish from my wonderful English grandmother.


The Missing Ink      The Gutenberg Revolution   Helvetica


As a reader, however, I am very grateful to Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press in Europe. Europe went from havinga few thousand handcopied books in 1450 to millions by 1500. Typeface itself has become an art form, with numerous styles and adherents to each (the typeface I am using now is Helvetica).Helvetica is a fascinating film about this typeface, which was developed in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger. When I watched this film, I realized how influential and popular this typeface has become, and I have been noticing it everywhere.

You might also enjoy this lighthearted history of typography, and here's to a letter-perfect world!

 

We're at Word on the Street - Queen's Park - Come Visit Toronto Public Library!

September 22, 2013 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Toronto Public Library is blogging live from Word on the Street -today Sunday.  The adult booth is at Wellesley and Queen's Park Drive (north east corner booth 155).  We also have a children's booth - look for the bookmobile on Kid's Corner (near the ROM).  We also have Adult Literacy on Literacy Lane - to find out how to volunteer and about Literacy services at Toronto Public Library

We're doing live demonstrations of E-books, Zinio magazine database, storytelling and other fun and free activities.

There are hundreds of booths highlighting authors, publishers, readings and a myriad of organizations involved in books, literacy, teaching and the love of the word.

Please join us - and have a great day - it's outside - pet friendly and a great event for the whole family including kids.

 

Enjoy

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