Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Entrepreneurs Share Experiences and Ideas through Entrepreneur in Residence Program

October 19, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

Thanks to the entrepreneurs who came out to share their experiences and ideas at Toronto Reference Library's Meet the Entrepreneurs program, part of Small Business Month at Toronto Public Library.


The audience was able to hear from, and ask questions of, the following participants:

Eaton Donald - CEO of Tri-D Technologies, makers of ExactFlat, a Toronto-based technology company serving global, national and regional manufacturers of sewn or resin impregnated products.

Mona Datt - Founder of eDecree, a legal and insurance transcription company with offices in Toronto, India and Europe.

Aamar Khwaja - Inventor of modgarden, Aamar is a health advocate and on a mission to see everyone eat healthily.

Adam Paulin - Creator of Thin Ice, a wearable weight-loss technology. Raised almost $800,000 through crowdfunding.  

If you weren't able to attend this workshop, come and meet Adam Paulin at Toronto Reference Library on October 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm. Adam will also be running a session at North York Central Library on Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30 pm.


Tax and Business Best Practices Workshop for Medical Professionals

October 18, 2016 | Christina | Comments (0)

Stethoscope  Blood Pressure  Medical      

Photo credit:  WerbeFabrik

Join us for a discussion on tax-smart planning strategies for medical professionals (or soon to be graduates). Veteran CPA Canada speaker and business advisor David Duong, CPA, CMA, B.Comm, CIM®, shares complex strategies to defer, reduce, minimize and eliminate taxes via prudent, proactive planning.  This program is being offered: 

Dufferin St Clair Library   
   Tuesday, November 8, 2016
   7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
   Dufferin/St. Clair Branch  


If unable to attend, the Canadian Medical Association has information on financial planning and advice.  Topics covered under their website's menu tab are:  MD Financial Management, Incorporation, Banking, Investments, Insurance, Managing Student Debt, MD Private Investment Counsel, and Estate & Trust.

The following titles at Toronto Public Library may be of interest:


              Preparing Your Corporate Tax Returns Start & Run a Medical Practice
       Preparing Your 
 Corporate Tax Returns
Start and Run a
Medical Practice

Finding Interior Decorating Companies with Scott’s

October 17, 2016 | Ranald | Comments (0)

Scott’s Directories is good for getting contact information (and some business information, such as number of employees, sales, year established) on Canadian companies. It’s especially useful for job searchers looking for work in specific fields.

Such a customer came to the reference desk of the Business, Science and Technology Department of North York Central Library the other day. She wanted a list of interior decorating companies in Toronto.

Scotts 1

Scott’s is one long list (about 185,000 companies long). To get a short list of companies out of it, limit the long list to one category (e.g. City: Toronto) after another (e.g. Product/Service: interior decorating).

Scotts 7

Limiting by city is easy. Click on “City” on the left, then on:

  1. Œ“Ontario” on the menu of provinces
  2. “Toronto, ON” on the city menu
  3. the green “Select” button
  4. the green “Search” button

Result: You'll get a list of about 9,500 Toronto companies.

Scotts 2

Limiting by type of business is pretty easy. One way to do it is to click on “Product/Service” on the left.

Scotts 8


  1. select “Text search” and enter “interior” in the search box (Note: don't enter “interior decorating” as this may not be what this type of business is called in this resource.)
  2. click on “Run.” The results (or "Available Search Values") begin with “Automotive interior shop” but include more relevant results like “Interior decorating services” and “Interior design consultants.
  3. click on a result (hold down Shift and click to select adjacent values; hold down Ctrl and click to select ones that aren’t next to one another)
  4. click on the green “Select” button
  5. then on the green “Search” button

Scotts 3

Result: You’ll get a list of about 120 interior decorating companies in Toronto. Click on the name of a company for contact information and brief information about the business.

Another way to limit a long list of companies in Toronto to a short list of interior decorating companies in Toronto is by NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) classification number.

Searching with a NAICS number bypasses all the selecting from "Available Search Values" you do in step 3 above.

Click on “NAICS” on the left, then on the link “North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012” at the top of the page.

Scotts 9

On the NAICS page, enter “interior decorating” in the search box. Notice that you don’t have to limit the search to “interior” to get results, as you do when using the “Product/Service” option in Scott’s. Use the first three digits of the NAICS number—in this case, 54141—to search Scott’s.

Scotts 4

Back on the NAICS page in Scott’s:

  1. type the first three digits of the number—i.e. 541—in the menu of codes
  2. click on “541410-Interior Design Services” in the menu of 541 classes
  3. click on the green “Select” button
  4. click on the green “Search” button

Scotts 5

Scott's Directories (PDF), the guide, is a quick guide to accessing and using this resource.

Crowdfunding Got You Confused?

October 16, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

 Adam Paulin

Adam Paulin

Thursday, October 20, 2016

6:30 – 8:00pm

Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Adam Paulin was able to raise almost $800,000 through crowdfunding for his wearable weight-loss technology invention, Thin Ice. He has gone on to run and advise further crowdfunding campaigns that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to jumpstart businesses. Paulin is passionate about crowdfunding and loves to help inspire others to use it to achieve their dreams. He will be speaking at Toronto Reference Library to share his story and answer your questions.

Sima Gandhi, TPL's 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence, will also be on hand to answer any questions regarding her new product and the process of bringing it to market.

No registration required.

This workshop will also be repeated at the North York Central Library on Wednesday, November 23; 6:30-8:00pm, located in the Auditorium.

 Interested in learning more about crowdfunding? Try one of these titles available at Toronto Public Library:

Crowdfunding for Beginners The Crowdfunding Revolution The Crowdfunding Handbook The Crowdfunding Bible




Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?

October 12, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Sima Gandhi, the library's 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence & founder of riince, will be in discussion with a panel of four 'real-life' entrepreneurs regarding life as an entrepreneur in Toronto: the struggles, successes and failures.  

The four guest speakers are:

  Mona Datt Eaton Donald Adam Paulin Aamar

Mona Datt - Founder of eDecree, a legal and insurance transcription company with offices in Toronto, India and Europe.
Eaton Donald - CEO of Tri-D Technologies, makers of ExactFlat, a Toronto-based technology company serving global, national and regional manufacturers of sewn or resin impregnated products. 

Adam Paulin - Creator of Thin Ice, a wearable weight-loss technology. Raised almost $800 000 through crowdfunding.  
Aamar Khwaja - Inventor of modgarden, Aamar is a health advocate and on a mission to see everyone eat healthily.
When: Tuesday, October 18, 2016; 6:30 - 8:00pm
Where: Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Theatre - 3rd floor

October is Investor Education Month

October 11, 2016 | Raya | Comments (2)

October is Investor Education month

    (image courtesy of

Do you want to invest but have no clue where to start? Have you ever wondered how to invest like the pros? Are you considering doing your own investing or do you want to use an advisor? Taking the time to learn the basics of investing will be worth the effort. After all, having worked so hard for your money, your money should work for you.

In a recent interview, Allan Small, a financial advisor with HollisWealth, listed five valuable investment tips for beginning investors:

Start now. You’re never too young to start putting away a small amount monthly after you get your first job and once you do your budget and figure out, "Hey, I can afford $25 a month to put away into an investment". The longer you invest for, the more money you’re going to make. You’re going to have your ups and downs; but if you invest from (the ages) 23 to 33 versus someone who starts at 33 and invests until they’re 53, the person who starts at an earlier age because of compounding rates of return will end up with more money.

Speak to someone who has the knowledge. Find out your options. Speak to an investment advisor at your bank for example, about whether you should open up a tax-free savings account (TFSA) or invest in your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). Once you understand all the different types of accounts, the pros and cons, then you’re more educated to make those decisions.

Start with the familiar. An easy way to get into the stock market is by buying things that you’re familiar with and know. If you drink a beloved green tea latte everyday, buy Starbucks shares. But you have to separate that from more serious investing. If you are in your early 30s, you’re looking to perhaps buy a house…you want to invest more for the long-term when you’re investing with a certain goal in mind.

Diversify. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds tend to be good products for young individuals who don’t have enough assets to create their own diversified portfolio. The best way to describe mutual funds is it’s a basket of investments. Everybody puts any amount of money they want into this basket. The average mutual fund basket might have $500-million or $1-billion. There’s this mutual fund manager whose job is to decide where to invest this basket of money.

DIY. Your bank may have a discount brokers division. Open up your own account and trade shares yourself. However, if you go through a discount broker, no one will tell you what to buy, when to buy or when to sell. You’ll have to do your own research.

There are also a number of online resources you can use to learn about investing. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has, in time for Investor Education Month, launched, a new website that provides resources for investors in 19 language and provides introductory information on Canadian investment products and terminology, warning signs of fraud, the role of the OSC and a link to, the OSC's investor education site.

Toronto Public Library offers a number of ways that you can become a savvy investor: attend one of the many programs offered at various libraries in the city, take a video tutorial through or borrow one of the following books to help you get started on making your money work for you:


Everythinginvesting ElementsofinvestingInvestingonline

Affluentinvestor Resilient investor Buyholdsell




The Entrepreneur's Journey

October 7, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

Starting a business is not a linear process, but this info graphic will give you an idea of the steps along the way.  Learn more and meet like minded people at the Toronto Reference Library's Small Business Series.  

Get one on one small business help from the library's new Entrepreneur in Residence, Sima Gandhi.  Application details here.  Applications close Monday, October 31, 2016.

Stage Pyramid

For more information on starting a small business try one of these titles:

Business for Beginners 18 Steps for Starting Your Business Why Aren't You Your Own Boss? Click Millionaires

Or try one of our 18 business-related databases when doing research for your business plan. Check out these blogs written by business librarians for tips and tricks on how to use the databases such as CARDonline MarketLine  and Research Monitor.




October 5, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

Note: This blog was originally published on 30Mar2015.  It has been reposted here with permission from the author.


How do these three words intersect?

In 2013, Deloitte published the global Millennial Innovation Survey  with one of its key findings being that: “Innovation is considered to be one of the top three ‘purposes’ of business and just as important as profit.”  At a recent workshop at MaRS, Jennifer Rosart, Innovation Project Manager at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, posed the question: “What is the difference between improvement and innovation?” The smiles on the faces of the workshop’s participants indicated that it was a provocative question. Jennifer expanded on the hospital’s distinction between improvement and innovation by adding the word 'imagination'. Improvement is solving a problem with an existing technology or tool. Innovation is solving a problem by imagining a solution that does not yet exist.

In my work with entrepreneurship education, I was fortunate to be involved with an amazing array of companies and ideas. What I find fascinating about all of them is the human capacity to imagine a different way of being or doing. One impactful example of the 3 i’s in action is MaRS venture eSight. eSight’s goal was to give sight to those deemed legally blind. By imagining a solution that would enable users to have freedom, self-efficacy and confidence with seamless vision, the eSight team was able to innovate a hands-free, mobile and multi-use technology that allows users to move seamlessly through their activities! 

Entrepreneurs imagine a different future and find innovative ways to bring it to reality and to improve lives. If you want to innovate, here are some ways to get started. 

  • Respect your mistakes and learn from them.
  • Be a dissenter—but do not be the type who goes to jail!
  • Be the type of dissenter who questions existing models.
  • Embrace the unknown, don’t fear it.

Join us at the Toronto Reference Library on October 18; 6:30-8:00pm, for an Entrepreneur Panel Discussion, led by me! Hear the stories of various entrepreneurs and how they are changing the way things are traditionally done. 

Get one-on-one small business help by filling out an application here. Applications close Monday, October 31, 2016.



CARDonline Now Available at Toronto Public Library

October 1, 2016 | Christina | Comments (0)

Do you have a small business and would like to compare how much it would cost to advertise in various media; i.e. daily newspapers, radio, outdoor media and more? 

CARDonline, the Toronto Public Library's newest business database, can help. The database provides advertising rates, data and media planning information for advertising, marketing, PR and communiations professionals.

Searching is easy. Type a keyword(s) in the Search Field and limit by Category. Categories are All Categories, Advertising Agencies, Interactive, Magazines, Media Associations, Media Representatives, Newspapers, Other Advertising Media, Out of Home Advertising, Radio and Television

Keyword & Category Search

You can also browse by clicking on a Category or use the drop down menu.
 Browse or Category Search

On the Search Results page, results can be refined by clicking on the links to the left. Refine your search by Type, Province/State, Media Representative, Publisher, Format, Language or Ethnicity. In the example below, results are limited to Polish language newspapers in Toronto.

 Refined Search

To view a listing, click on the selected title. Individual listings include Contact Information, Material Address, Issuance & Closing, Advertising, Rate Card, Position Charges, Mechanical Specifications, and Circulation.

To print a listing, click on Printer Friendly.

CARDonline is available in the Business Department at the Toronto Reference Library and North York Central Library. Ask at the Information Desk for assistance.

Meet Sima Gandhi at the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Launch

September 26, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

Sima Gandhi, EIR
Sima Gandhi

On Wednesday, October 5th, 2016, CBC business commentator, Michael Hlinka, interviews Sima Gandhi, Toronto Public Library's Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). You are invited to come and meet Gandhi, founder of riince.

Sima was raised in an entrepreneurial family and started her career in the family business of commercial lighting manufacturing at Solera Corp. She has a varied background in private sector startups, spanning several industries including manufacturing, education and construction. The Skylar Project was a social purpose business Sima was involved in, with the objective of building sustainable housing solutions in emerging economies.

As part of the business acceleration team of MaRS’ Entrepreneurship Programs, Sima facilitated and managed relationships with Regional Innovation Centres and Campus Linked Accelerators to make MaRS educational content and experiential workshops accessible. Most recently, Sima founded riince, designing and manufacturing an innovative kitchen utensil addressing the changes in social norms towards eating environmentally friendly proteins and super-seeds.

Sima holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto, and is a member of Founder Institute and Founder Dating.

The 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence Launch is on:
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Place: Atrium - Toronto Reference Library
No registration required.

Visit the Entrepreneur in Residence web page as well as the Business & Personal Finance blog for upcoming EIR programs during the months of October and November across the city. All EIR programs are free.

Discover how to apply for upcoming free one-on-one business advice sessions with Gandhi.

For other Small Business programs throughout the Toronto Public Library system, visit the Small Business Programs & Seminars web page.

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.