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Canadian Financial Literacy Database & Self-Assessment Quiz

July 6, 2015 | Christina | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

 Canadian Money

 (Image courtesy of Sharon Drummond posted on on January 16, 2012.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) works to protect and inform consumers of financial services. They are at the centre of the national effort to improve the financial literacy of Canadians.

The FCAC has developed the Canadian Financial Literacy Database to "provide Canadians with a comprehensive listing of financial literacy resources, events, tools and information from various financial education providers, including the public, private and non-for-profit sectors across Canada."  

Find answers to questions such as:

  • Am I managing my money wisely?
  • Can I afford to retire?
  • How can I protect myself from financial fraud?
  • What should I know before buying my first home?

As indicated, the database can be used to find information on a variety of financial matters such as budgeting and money management, insurance, saving and investing, taxes, fraud prevention, and much more.  

At present, there are over 850 resources listed in the database, submitted by over 75 organizations. The database contains hundreds of resources and events that includes tip sheets, calculators, books, websites, conferences and workshops. The Canadian Financial Literacy Database can be searched by topic, target audience, life event, and more.

To get started, a Financial Literacy Self-Assessment Quiz is available to help you identify the areas where you need to strengthen, and maintain, your financial knowledge and skills. The self-assessment quiz asks a series of questions to determine your needs, and the kinds of resources and events that could help "broaden your knowledge, skills and confidence in order to make responsible financial decisions". Based on your answers, the quiz generates a link to a filtered list of resources and events in the Canadian Financial Literacy Database.

For resources available at the Toronto Public Library, search the library’s website with the recommended subjects:

  • Finance, Personal
  • Financial Literacy

Condominium law and administration

June 15, 2015 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Condominium law and administration


If you are thinking of buying, selling or investing in condominiums and are looking for legal information on various aspects of condominium ownership such as conveyancing, development, condominium management or corporate governance, whether inside or outside of Ontario, then the Toronto Public Library has the information you need. Condominium law and administration is an up-to-date resource that can help answer a wide variety of questions about all aspects of condominium ownership. For example, the following specific information is available in this extensive three volume set:

1. Registration of the condominium.

2. Purchase or sale of a condominium.

3. Formalities of electing directors, duties of the corporation and information on unit owner's meetings.

4. Condominium by-laws and rules.

5. Leasing your condominium.

6. Insurance, maintenance and repair.

7. Legal forms and laws such as the Ontario Condominium Act and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan and Regulations.


All of this and much more can be found in this three volume set which is available at the Toronto Reference Library, North York Central Library and Agincourt Library.

advises buyers and sellers on conveyancing matters, developers on condominium development, and condominium corporations on issues of corporate governance and - See more at:
An invaluable resource for those involved in conveyancing, development, condominium management or the representation of condominium corporations, whether inside or outside of Ontario, this supplemented service features: - See more at:
An invaluable resource for those involved in conveyancing, development, condominium management or the representation of condominium corporations, whether inside or outside of Ontario, this supplemented service features: - See more at:
An invaluable resource for those involved in conveyancing, development, condominium management or the representation of condominium corporations, whether inside or outside of Ontario, this supplemented service features: - See more at:

How to be an Exceptional Leader

June 15, 2015 | Raya | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

(image courtesy of

In a recent article, Travis Bradbury, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, talks about qualities that every leader should possess. Although many people just seem to be natural leaders, everyone can learn what it takes to be an effective leader. Here are some characteristics that Bradbury says are found in good leaders and some that can be developed over time with practice:

1. Courage. People need to see their leaders make difficult decisions and stay the course when things get tough. People are more likely to show courage themselves if they see it in their leaders.

2. Effective communication. This is the fundamental characteristic of an exceptional leader. Good communicators make it easier to accomplish goals, it inspires people and creates a connection with others.

3. Generosity. Great leaders share credit and offer praise. They want their followers to be as successful as they are and want to inspire them to achieve their personal best.

4. Humility. Good leaders don't allow their position to make them feel they are better than anyone else. They won't ask their followers to do anything they wouldn't do themselves.

5. Passion. Great leaders love what they do and they should try to share that passion with everyone around them.

6. Approachability. Being approachable and allowing openness, questions and criticism is the key to keeping the flow of great ideas throughout the organization.

7. Excellence. A good leader needs to maintain high standards and raise the bar to continue achieving excellence.

8. Accountability. By taking the blame if things go wrong and supporting your team you will earn people's trust and respect.

Becoming a great leader takes time, so by slowly adopting these traits, one at a time, you will gradually develop your new leadership style. For more help in becoming an exceptional leader take a look at these books, ebooks and DVDs:

Great leaders grow What makes great leaders great 100 ways to motivate others The secret
Leadership Leadership Buffett and Gates go back to school Leadership

Value Line: One stop shopping for investors

June 3, 2015 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Value Line


After the market crash of 1929 and subsequent bear market in 1931 wiped out his mother's savings, Arnold Bernhard, a former analyst with Moody's Investors Service, realized that a standard was needed that would signal when stocks were overvalued and when they were undervalued. So, in 1931 he founded Value Line and became known as the "Dean of Wall Street" for developing this revolutionary approach to security analysis.

Whether you're a beginning investor or a veteran looking for ideas, Value Line will provide you with independent, reliable and unbiased information on companies, industries, markets and economies. Expert analysis and guidance is also available.  It covers most actively traded U.S. exchange-listed stocks including non-U.S. based companies, small and mid-cap stocks, mutual funds, options and convertibles. Value Live provides all the information you need to make wise investment decisions.

Included in Value Line are:

  • Data: Compendium of current and historical market and financial data.
  • Historical Reports: Historical financial data on nearly 4,000 stocks.
  • Research Reports: Access Value Line featured lists or predefined and industry screens.
  • Expert Analysis: Objective commentary and insights on companies, industries, markets and the economy.
  • Weekly Sections: Ratings and Reports; Selection and Opinion; Summary and Index
  • Investment Education: FAQs, navigation tips, video tutorial, glossary of terms, and useful articles.

The Value Line database is available through the Toronto Public Library website with a valid library card.

Boomers & Beyond Series: Building a Retirement Income Plan that Works

May 25, 2015 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ian MacDonald

A generation ago you could expect to work for one company your entire life. At the end of that career you may or may not have received a gold watch, but you probably did get a pension plan to last the length of your retirement. Today those pension plans are largely a thing of the past. Investors now have to accumulate savings for retirement and construct a plan to make the savings last.

On Tuesday June 2, 2015 in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library Ian MacDonald, a Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Financial Planner, will show you how to build a retirement plan that works. Registration is free.

To read more about how to grow your retirement savings, take a look at these books:

You can retire sooner than you think  RRSPs  the utimate wealth builder Retirement Income Blueprint The Real Retirement

Enough bull Master your retirement Retired at 48 Retirement and Estate planning in Canada

Small Business Network: Come meet co-founders of

May 15, 2015 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Enjoying the sunny weather in Toronto? This is the time of year when people's spirits are lifted, self-motivated and open to new information! How about taking that extra step in making your business idea into a reality?

Come join us on May 20th to hear Thusjanthan, Savitha, and Sayenden, co-founders of speak about their successful story.

   Realtyforsale brings together the things home buyers consider significant when looking for that ideal home; neighbourhoods, school data, crime, demographics, day cares, and more compiled into one platform.

These serial entrepreneurs, frustrated by the lack of information in the real estate sector will talk about why they started the business. They will also discuss how to organize yourselves as a team working remotely, marketing ideas for landing in mainstream media, and the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The program will be held at North York Central Library- Teen Zone (Large Study Room) at 6:30pm.

Register HERE!

Don't forget to bring your business cards to network with other attendees.

Check out these books to get you started:

Passion into profit    Ageless Entrepreneur    Day job to dream job    Monocle guide to good business




National Business Book Award 2015

May 13, 2015 | Christina | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Tell Everyone

This year's winner of the National Business Book Award 2015 is Alfred Hermida's Tell Everyone:  Why We Share and Why It Matters. The book explores how our ability to create and share news through social media is shaping the information we receive and depend on to make informed decisions. It also explains how the power of sharing is transforming how we understand and give meaning to world events. 

In an article by Mark Medley entitled Alfred Hermida wins $20,000 National Business Book Award, Mr. Hermida states "My aim in the book is to... help us understand how we can benefit and get the most out of social media, be aware of the pitfalls... and really maximize it so we can make the most of it both in our personal lives and also in our professional lives."

Check out the titles of the six other finalists at Toronto Public Library:

Groundswell              Spin      Why We Bit the Invisible Hand
      Groundswell Spin Why We Bite the
Invisible Hand


Fire in the Belly            Irving vs. Irving          This Changes Everything
Fire in the Belly  Irving vs Irving This Changes Everything



Did you know we offer free tax preparation help?

May 8, 2015 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

8265147917_e7a9a5be9d_m(image courtesy of Chris Potter posted on on December 11, 2012. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)


Did you file your income tax this year through the FREE tax preparation programs offered through Toronto Public Library? Missed your chance this year? Not to worry, we will be offering them next year! 

Toronto Public Library offers free tax preparation services at some of its branch locations every year. These community income tax services are provided by either Chartered Professional Accountants or volunteers trained by Canada Revenue Agency. These programs are available to eligible taxpayers with incomes under $25,000 or families with an income of under $35,000.  

If you don't qualify for the free tax service and would like to learn how to complete and file your own tax return, check out Canada Revenue Agency's website. They have general guides, schedules, and forms you may need to fill your income tax and benefit return.

The Personal Tax Planner Guide
The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA) also publishes the Personal Tax Planner Guide every year. Check with your nearest library to see if they carry the recent edition.  




 For more great tips, check out these titles:

CFE UFE tax  Principles of canadian income tax law  The American in Canada Tax is not a four letter word   





History of Accounting

May 4, 2015 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

(photo courtesy of

The need to keep accounting records can be traced back more than 5,300 years ago in the meticulous records of the ancient Egyptian bookkeepers who kept track of goods in royal storehouses. Historians believe this ancient record-keeping was the basis of the invention of writing and numbers. However, the fathers of accounting are considered to be the Venetians of the 14th to 16th centuries. In 1494, mathematician Luca Pacioli published the world's first printed bookkeeping treatise entitled The Collected Knowledge of Arithmetic, Geometry, Proportion and Proportionality in which he describes the use of double-entry bookkeeping used by Venetian merchants. Translated into many languages it became the reference text and teaching tool for the next several hundred years.

In 1854, Queen Victoria created the profession of chartered accountants after granting a royal charter to the Institute of Accountants in Glasgow and laid the way for the modern, formal accounting profession. The first national U.S. accounting society was set up in 1887. The profession of accounting was recognized in 1896 with a law stating that the title of certified public accountant (CPA) would only be given to people who had passed state examinations and had three years of experience in the field. In 1902 an Act of Parliament of Canada incorporated the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants while the Certified General Accountants Association was founded in 1908 in Montreal and federally incorporated in 1913.

Accounting is the basic tool for recording, reporting, and evaluating economic events and transactions that affect business enterprises. Every business needs to keep track of the flow of money into and out of its accounts in order to have an accurate picture of its true financial well-being. Armed with such knowledge, businesses can make appropriate financial and strategic decisions about their future.

To read more about the history of accounting or borrow how-to guides, take a look at these:

Double entry The Reckoning Sum of satisfactions Accounting

Accounting for Canadians Bookkeeper's Boot Camp Accounting for non-accountants Bookkeeping essentials






Health and Safety for Small Business

April 25, 2015 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

  Workplace Safety
(workplace safety signs by Compliance and Safety are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License)

Are you a small business owner and employ more than five workers?

Are you well informed about the general health and safety information pertinent to small business?

According to the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA), every business in Ontario, regardless of size or insurance coverage must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. The OHSA and associated regulations set the minimum standards for all workplaces in Ontario.

Come and join us on April 30th, 6:30pm at North York Central Library for an informative session delivered by Michael Atkinson, Regional Consultant from Public Services Health and Safety Association that will examine how small businesses can meet their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The importance of having a healthy and safe workplace isn't only a legal requirement; it is just smart business to ensure you as a business owner don't suffer losses. The session will also cover the most practical way to meet this important objective.

Click here to register.

If you cannot attend, a similar program will be held at Fairview on May 28th, 6:30pm.

Meanwhile, look into these following books to get you started:

Occupational health and safety small and medium enterprises    Risk Reduction Methods   Basics of occupational safety   Handbook of occupational safety and health

Welcome! We are specialized librarians in our business department and we write about current issues for small business owners and those interested in personal finance matters. For more information and resources see our Small Business & Personal Finance page.