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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

Landscaping and Curb Appeal in the Spring & Summer

April 21, 2015 | Christina | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Magnolia Tree

For those thinking of selling a property, curb appeal is an important factor to consider. A well maintained lawn indicates that the owner cares about the property.  A recent article Sell You Home Sooner with these Effortless Landscaping Tips (Source: outlines several tips by Michelle Sordi at Husqvarna that may help homeowners with landscaping.  Here are five tips to consider:

1.  Spring-cleaning
Spring-cleaning is recommended when "the snow has melted and the soil has dried up a bit".  Remove layers of leaves that may lead to the grass decaying or moulding.  If using a rake, wait until the lawn has started to grow.

2.  Mow the Lawn
For a "fine, sustainable lawn", a grass level of 5 to 9 cm is recommended.  Remember not to cut the grass "too short".

3.  Get Rid of Weeds
Remove weeds from your lawn as early as possible.

4.  Shape and Edge the Lawn
Trim the edges if you want your lawn to look great.

5.  Add Colour
Replace overgrown bushes with "leafy plants and colourful annuals.  Surround bushes and trees with dark or reddish-brown bark mulch".  Potted plants can "add a splash of colour and can be taken with you when you move."

For more information on landscape gardening, check out the following titles at the Toronto Public Library:

How to Make a Garden Gardening Basics for Canadians for Dummies Lawns for Canada
How to Make a Garden Gardening Basics for Canadians for Dummies Lawns for Canada

For people who live in smaller spaces or condominiums, the following titles may be of interest: 

Pot It Up Stuart Robertson's Tips on Container Gardening Small-Space Container Gardens
Pot It Up Stuart Robertson's Tips on Container Gardening Small-Space Container Gardens

For additional titles, search the Toronto Public Library catalogue with the recommended subjects:

  • Container gardening
  • Gardening
  • Landscape gardening
  • Lawns
  • Organic gardening
  • Plants, potted
  • Small gardens
  • Urban gardening

Greening your Office

April 13, 2015 | Raya | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...


Greening your office
(image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

With Earth Day approaching it might be a good time to take a look at how "green" we are at work.  Whether you're an employee or own your business, sharing your eco-values at work can encourage others to get involved. Why not start a "Green Team" by recruiting employees or coworkers who can assess your organization's needs and then draw up a plan to go green? Once the plan has been set in motion keep track of your progress and continue to set more goals.

Greening your business can create a positive work environment which will then translate into a happier and more productive workplace. By reducing waste and increasing efficiencies you are not only helping the planet but your bottom line as well.

Start greening your office with these simple steps from the David Suzuki Foundation:

1. Commute smarter

  • walk or cycle to work
  • take public transportation and buy bulk passes to save money
  • carpool or car share
  • choose hybrid rentals and taxis

2. Save energy

  • if you're not using it, turn it off
  • enable energy saving settings on all equipment
  • unplug anything that still sucks energy even when it's turned off
  • plug equipment into power bars and turn them off until needed

3. Live healthier

  • choose foods that are local, organic and sustainable for meetings etc.
  • get rid of toxic cleaners and personal products in your office kitchens and bathrooms
  • add plants to your workspace--they filter the air
  • take the stairs instead of elevator

4. Waste less

  • set "double sided" as the default setting on your printer
  • go electronic instead of printing out hard copies; use web resources, get e-subscriptions.
  • switch to cloth towels and napkins in kitchens and bathrooms
  • compost kitchen scraps

5. Conserve water

  • ban bottled water--use a stainless steel commuter cup
  • keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap
  • scrape dishes instead of rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher
  • don't pour water, tea or black coffee down the drain--use it to water plants

For more ways to green your office, check out these books, DVDs and ebooks:

Greening your office Greening your small busines  The green business guide Financial times briefing on sustainable business

Merchants of virtue Smart green: how to implement sustainable business practices in any industry and make money The business case for sustainability Street smart sustainability the entrepreneur's guide to profitably greening your organization's DNA

Find out about Cold Calling at Fairview Branch

April 9, 2015 | Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Talking on the phone by Daniel Foster

Cold calling (or the act of soliciting business from a client you have had no previous contact with) is a practice that has both its advocates and its detractors. Criticised by some as a way of drumming up new business that’s heavy on investment and low on return, advocates argue that when done properly, cold calling can be an excellent and effective way to increase your business’ client base.

Continue reading "Find out about Cold Calling at Fairview Branch" »

Small Business Network: Come meet Henry Chong!

April 4, 2015 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

What are your plans on April 22nd? Want to attend North York Central Library's Small Business Network event? It is an ongoing networking event for small business owners and for those interested in starting up a venture very soon!

Henry ChongFor this month's session, come meet Henry Chong, CEO of Revelo Electric Corp. In 2014, Revelo was recognized as one of "10 Canadian Startups You Should Know About" by Business Vibes, a social business network and one of "21 Coolest Small Businesses in Toronto" by the website Business Insider.

Henry will speak about his company's mission to revolutionize personal electric transportation through design innovation. Revelo created one of the world's lightest compact electric bikes. Revelo Bike

The session will be held in the Teen Zone (Large Study Room) at 6:30pm. Remember to bring your business cards! 

Register Here


Check out these books that you can read online:

Do Cool Sht  Start Your Own Business after 50  Start your Dream Business  One Hour Business Plan

Meet with a Small Business Advisor

March 27, 2015 | Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ready to Start or Grow Your Business?

Book-A-Business Advisor at the Toronto Public Library


Idea Plan ActionAre you an entrepreneur currently researching, starting or running a business in Toronto? If so, Fairview Branch is excited to announce a new pilot project with Enterprise Toronto that you might be interested in!

Enterprise Toronto is a one-stop source to start and grow your small business. Its team of small business advisors can help you make the right decisions during your business start-up and help develop your management capabilities as your business venture grows. The consultations are free and services include: 

Continue reading "Meet with a Small Business Advisor" »

A brief history of the automobile industry

March 23, 2015 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


First Auto-Mobile
(image courtesy of Wikipedia)

In 1769, French inventor Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot built a three-wheeled steamer (see above image) to help the French army haul artillery pieces. Although his contraption was considered to be too slow and impractical, Cugnot is still regarded as the creator of the first motorized road vehicle. In 1805, Oliver Evans, who built an incredibly slow machine designed to work on both land and in water for the City of Philadelphia Department of Health, is considered to be the first American to create a motorized road vehicle. Commercial production of automobiles began in 1896 in the United States, ten years after Karl Benz received a German patent for his invention of the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. Along with his wife, Bertha, he founded the German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.

The early 1900s boomed with various types of motorized vehicles being developed around the world. In the United States Ransom E. Olds and his Olds Motor Vehicle Company (later known as Oldsmobile) dominated this era of automobile production. As a result of superior promotional and marketing efforts, sales of the Oldsmobile approached 5,000 in 1904 which, at the time, was unheard of in the industry.  The Thomas B. Jeffrey Company developed the world's second mass-produced automobile called the Rambler. In 1902, 1,500 Ramblers were built and sold, and by 1904 production reached 2,342 units. 

Perhaps the most famous car of all time is Henry Ford's Model T. In order to keep costs low, Ford focused efforts on improving production methods. His moving assembly line began operation in 1913-1914 making it possible to lower the cost of the Model T and, as a result, increase sales and potential customers. In response to consumer demands manufacturers have reinvented the automobile numerous times over.

From the development of  anti-lock braking systems, to hybrid vehicles, to the first highway-capable all electric vehicle, the automobile industry continues to create, innovate and transform the way we live. To read more about this fascinating industry, take a look at these books, ebooks and DVDs:

The Great Race Driving Honda Arsenal of Democracy Henry Ford

Mondo Agnelli  Autonomous State  Once Upon a Car Cars that changed the Automobile Industry

Get Income Tax Tips for Small Businesses

March 19, 2015 | Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Income tax
For small business owners, tax time can be pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, the Fairview Branch's Small Business Network is here to help!

Join the March 26 session of the Small Business Network to get tips and tricks for filing your income tax. An accountant from Brightstar International Group will be joining us to talk about topics including maintaining good records, planning, preparing and filing your taxes as a small business, and avoiding CRA audits (or dealing with being audited).

For more information or to register for the Small Business Network Income Tax seminar, visit the Fairview Branch or call 416-395-5750 


Fairview-library-01Small Business Income Tax Seminar
Fairview Branch, 35 Fairview Mall Drive
Thursday March 26
6:30 - 8:00 PM

Fairview Library's ongoing Small Business Network is meant for both current small business owners or those thinking about starting their own business.

Meet and learn from other business owners, share your own experiences, and soak in the collective wisdom of the group. 

Bring your business cards!

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.