Toronto Public Library Homepage

The burger kings

October 27, 2014 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



Best Burger Hamburger
(photo credit: flickr)

Everybody loves hamburgers! What's not to like? They come in all shapes and sizes from veggie, to turkey to the beloved beef burger. Last month In-N-Out Burger of California fame set up a "one day only" pop-up shop at Jarvis and Wellesley in Toronto. Hundreds of burger-lovers lined up early in the morning for a chance to taste the freshly-made hamburger and french fries. And now Wahlburgers, a chain of gourmet burger restaurants owned by actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and their older brother Paul, is set to open on November 15th in the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto. No doubt it will be met with similar enthusiasm.

So what is it about the hamburger that has us salivating at the mere thought? There is some dispute as to who invented the hamburger, but what we do know for sure is that the hamburger first appeared as  street food in the late nineteenth century and was quickly transformed into "fast food" and sold in lunch wagons or carts that moved to wherever potential customers were located. Lunch wagons originally sold prepared foods such as sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, pies and coffee but by the late 1800s, as demand increased, lunch carts with full kitchens started appearing. This allowed street vendors to prepare hot meals including burgers. The first hamburger chain made its appearance in 1921 when J. Walter Anderson, a former short-order cook, and Waldo Ingram, a real estate agent, joined forces to open the first White Castle restaurant in Wichita, Kansas. This new design was so successful that by 1931 White Castle had opened 131 outlets and had set the stage for other entrepreneurs to capitalize on North America's obsession with the burger. The rest is history.

To read about the hamburger and hamburger chains, take a look at these books and DVDs:

Hamburger: A global history Big Mac Dave's Way To Russia with fries

Burger town The Burger King McDonald's: Behind the Arches The Hamburger






Free One-on-One Mentoring Sessions with TPL's Entrepreneur in Residence

October 24, 2014 | Christina | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Do you need personal advice on starting or running a small business? 

Apply to meet with Sunny Verma, TPL's 2014 Entrepreneur in Residence, for a free one-on-one session regarding your small business plan or idea.

Submit a 2 page outline of your proposed business plan or idea by answering the following questions:

  1. Tell us about your business idea, service or product in 1-2 paragraphs.  Who is your customer?  What need are you fulfilling?

  2. What is your vision and mission and how does this fit into your personal goal?

  3. What experience and knowledge do you have in the area you are interested?

  4. Do you have a plan or strategy?

  5. Please indicate the two areas where you need help the most now:
  • Market research for your idea, service or product
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Social media and online know-how
  • Financial fundamentals
  • Other?

     6.  What are the qualities and characteristics of an entrepreneur?

     7.  Please indicate any questions for Sunny Verma not covered in the above.

NOTE:  An application does not guarantee a meeting.  Applicants will be selected based on the strength of their submission and the total number of applicants that can be scheduled.  Applications will not be returned, but will be confidentially deleted if a meeting is not scheduled.

Submission Details

  • Sunny Verma will review your submission and meet with a select number of applicants to review their plans, provide feedback and recommendations, and point out available resources that may be beneficial.  Each meeting is a 30 - 45 minute one-on-one session at no cost.

  • Deadline:  Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2014 at

  • Attach your 2 page outline as a PDF file.

  • Complete, save and attach the User Agreement Form available at the Entrepreneur in Residence - One on One Mentoring web page.

  • Meetings are by appointment only and will be arranged by library staff to take place at Toronto Reference Library or North York Central Library.  In the email, include your contact information and preferred meeting location.


For further information, contact the Business, Science & Technology Dept. at Toronto Reference Library416-393-7149.


Small Business Network: Come Meet Jon E. Worren

October 20, 2014 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

North York Central Library is offering another small business networking oppportunity for you!

Jon E Worren
Come meet Jon. E. Worren, co-founder and president of ClearSky Advisors, a renewable energy advisory firm in Toronto.

Startups and small business continually seek to improve their business. Many do this through activities such as product tests and marketing experiments. Nevertheless, many companies struggle with effectivley implementing their plans for lasting improvement and it's believed a better understanding of key business metrics can change that for the better.

The purpose of this session is to take participants through practical and accessible methods for creating the right metrics, providing the context and use for each, and ultimately help drive the business improvements they want.

The session will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at North York Central Library, in the Teen Zone from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Registration is required. Please register at

Don't forget to bring your business cards and be ready to network!

See you all there!



Financing your business

October 6, 2014 | Raya | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Starting or growing a small business takes planning, hard work and money to make it happen. So how much money do you think you will need to start your business? Some typical startup costs involve purchasing office supplies, furniture, equipment and machinery, legal fees, permits and licenses just to mention a few. But a lack of cash doesn't mean you have to give up on your dreams. Each small business is unique and has its own specific finance needs and finding the funds you need isn't as difficult as you might think. According to the Canadian Bankers Association there are various ways to finance your small business:

1. Debt financing is money that you borrow (usually from a bank) to run your business. This is a loan that must be repayed in full, usually in instalments, with interest. The lender will need to assess your business plan, management capabilities and financing in order to determine your company's chances of success. Debt financing can include some of the following: line of credit, credit cards, business term loan and leasing.

2. Equity financing is usually provided by you or people you know. You need to do a good job selling your idea to potential investors especially if you don't have a track record. An investor will make money available for an ownership share in your business and a say in how you run your business. Using your own money has its advantages especially when it comes to making decisions. You won't need to get approval from any of your investors and you get to reap the rewards of your success. Possible sources of equity financing can include: personal savings, loans from friends and relatives, government programs and angel investors.

3. Government programs are another way to get the funding you need to start your business. The Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) is run in collaboration with financial institutions and was created to increase the amount of money available to small business owners who are just starting a business or for existing small businesses needing money to expand, modernize and improve operations. In the event of default the federal government will reimburse the financial institution 85 percent of the lender's losses. The federal government has several other financing programs that are specific to certain provinces. These programs range from summer/student companies to businesses located in Northern Ontario to programs for people with disabilities. The Ontario government also offers industry-specific incentive programs including credits, business and tax incentives, and has introduced generous venture capital funding for some business activities.

To read more about how to finance your business, you can borrow the following books and ebooks:

Raising Capital Crowdfunding for Beginners  Get Financing Now  The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital

Kickstarter for Dummies Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods Starting a Successful Business in Canada Raising Entrepreneurial Capital

Commercial Leases: What You Should Know

October 3, 2014 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

  Your Name Here

(image courtesy of BostonBill posted on on September 23, 2007. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)


Are you currently a landlord or a business tenant? 

Or are you looking to rent a space for business purposes and would like to know more about the terms and conditions of property rental?

Well, this program is for you!

This specialized workshop presented by Connect Legal covers the following topics:

- things to consider before signing a lease

- negotiating and signing the lease

- assignment and sublet

- lease termination

- landlord's responsibilities

- and what to do when you have a disput with landlord

This FREE program will be held at North York Central Library on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 6:30pm in the Concourse Level. Please register online:


For more information on commercial leases, the following titles may be of interest to you:

  Investing in real estate     The Commercial Lease A Practical Guide     Negotiating Commercial Leases and Renewals     Insurance and Risk Management in Commercial Leasing




Business Apps Programs @ Toronto Reference Library

September 26, 2014 | Christina | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Business, Science and Technology Department at the Toronto Reference Library is offering the following programs on Business Apps :

Business Apps for Beginners
A look at some popular investment, business news and personal finance apps for mobile devices.  For hands-on use of an Android or iOS tablet, an active library card is required to check out the tablet.
Place:  Hinton Learning Theatre, 3rd Floor, Toronto Reference Library
Dates:  Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 3:00 pm
            Monday, November 10th, 2014 at 3:00 pm
To register, call 416-393-7149, Business, Science & Technology Dept @ TRL.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD):  Business Apps
Bring in your mobile device and use it to download and look at some of the popular investment, business news and personal finance apps.
Place:  Hinton Learning Theatre, 3rd Floor, Toronto Reference Library
Date:  Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 6:00 pm
To register, call 416-393-7149, Business, Science & Technology Dept @ TRL

All are welcome.

Current business information for entrepreneurs

September 15, 2014 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

(photo courtesy of Raya)

If you are thinking about starting your own business or have an existing business and need up-to-date information, North York Central Library and Toronto Reference Library have a series of special publications that are updated throughout the year. They contain primary source materials, information on new trends and recent developments, editorial notes and comments as well as indexes to help you search your topic. The following is a list of publications that may help you in your day-to-day business operations:

 1.   Canadian Employment Safety and Health Guide

Stay up-to-date on all the latest health and safety information, as it happens. This publication includes the background and context that enable you to understand health and safety regulations. Includes employers and workers' duties and responsibilities and covers occupational health topics such as drug testing, fragrances in the workplace, stress management, ergonomics and workplace design.

 2.  Canadian Goods and Services Tax Reporter

The Canadian Goods & Services Tax Reporter keeps you up-to-date with complete coverage of all developments, including full coverage of legislation and proposed legislation, detailed commentary and analysis, and all related government documents. Easy to use topically-based set-up.

 3.   Wrongful Dismissal Practice Manual

A comprehensive  reference source on the law of wrongful dismissal. Coverage includes: The doctrine's scope and the employment relationship, termination of employment, express termination, notice requirements, resignation, what does and does not constitute constructive dismissal, what does and does not constitute  “just cause”, termination agreements and severance packages.

 4.  Canadian Commercial Law Guide

Designed to provide all the information you need, this guide provides in-depth coverage of all federal and provincial law. In additon, it recaps all the most important recent cases and provides monthly updates on key changes in commercial legislation. It also presents a comprehensive overview of Canadian federal and provincial commercial law, including these key areas: sales contracts, personal property security, statutory liens and trusts consumer protection, bankruptcy and competition law.

5.  Ontario Corporations Law Guide

This guide includes a detailed discussion of the Ontario Business Corporations Act, focusing on: incorporation, corporate finance, directors and offices, shareholders, liquidation and dissolution and financial disclosure. The guide also deals with special types of corporations, including extra-provincial corporations, corporations without share capital, insurance corporations, co-operatives and credit unions.

6.  Canadian Business Management Manual

Just about every area that can affect a business is covered in this practical information source. Designed for business managers, Canadian Business Management Manual will be helpful to anyone who is responsible for managing a large or small organization or a particular area of a business. It gives you easy-to-read information on a wide range of business and human resources issues, along with examples, checklists, and procedures.

7.  Business Legal Advisor

A practice-oriented how-to guide to business transactions including planning and preparation of supporting documentation. Features commentary, materials and precedents covering: buying and selling a business, family trust, shareholders, buy-sell agreements, tax implications of a business purchase/sale, incorporation, executive compensation, employment law, reference to pertinent sections of the Income Tax Act and Interpretation Bulletins. It also provides an extensive number of forms.

8.  O’Briens Encyclopedia of Forms

O'Brien's Encyclopedia of Forms is a comprehensive collection of forms and precedents covering a broad range of legal subjects.It provides thousands of documents which can be easily customized to suit your individual needs. Each topical division includes authored commentary.

9. PaySource

This service is the ultimate authoritative source for answers to payroll questions. It includes a handy annual Quick Facts for Payroll Managers desktop reference chart as well as the monthly newletter, PaySource. PaySource covers everything you need to know about payroll, from setting up a payroll system to commentary on key issues to up-to-the-minute changes in payroll laws across Canada.

10. Human Resources Advisor for Ontario Employers

The Human Resources Advisor is written in plain-language that makes it easy to understand how to comply with government standards in your province. This resource helps you effectively deal with virtually any HR and payroll issue. It is written with the law uppermost in mind, and is thoroughly reviewed by lawyers. It is an indispensable guide for employers in Ontario and provides small-to-medium-size businesses with guidance on compliance with payroll and employment law.

Small Business Network: Come Meet the Co-Founders of Menyou!

September 10, 2014 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Nothing planned for next week Wednesday? Wednesday Socks(image courtesy of mickeyp2000 posted to on May 15, 2013. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerives 2.0 Generic)


 Want to build your professional network and share your wisdom? Or you just want to sit back and listen to great minds tell their successful story?

North York Central Library's Small Business Network is for you!


This month's theme is all about improving customer experience with technology! Who better to share their creative business strategy than young entrepreneurs like Ara Ehamparam and Thaves Ponnamplam, co-founders of Menyou.   

  Ara and Thaves
(Left: Thaves Ponnamplam, Right: Ara Ehamparam)

Menyou is a leading-edge technology solution (featured on CTV and in the Toronto Star) that places an on-demand, interactive ordering experience at your fingertips. These young entrepreneurs will discuss their major influences, key challenges, and the critical events that helped them stay business-driven and positive.

Join us on Wednesday, September 17th at North York Central Library from 6:30pm to 7:30pm in the Teen Zone (Large Study Room) to hear Ara and Thaves share their expertise and network with other inspiring enterpreneurs. Register by calling 416-395-5613. Registration is free.

Don't forget your business cards! Looking forward to meeting you all!


"Lets go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday" -- Steve Jobs

How to Choose the Right Price if Selling Your Home/Property

September 1, 2014 | Christina | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

An article entitled "How to Price Your Home for Sale" offers advice from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

The "right list price" for your house or condo may "lead to a timely sale and maximize your investment".  A strategic approach based on "precise numbers" when picking a property's sales price is recommended.  According to Costa Poulopoulos, "the right list price is the first step to getting buyers to look at the house, and if the number is too high or too low you can attract unrealistic offers."

The article refers to a study from Psychological Science.  The study discovered "that sellers received offers closer to their asking price if the figure was precise, for instance $299,500, versus a round number like $300,000."

The Ontario Real Estate Association recommends the following steps in relation to pricing your home:

  • have your realtor review sales of similar houses in your neighbourhood.  Properties that are different sizes or in different parts of town may give you a false idea of your property's worth;
  • discuss with your realtor factors such as mortgage rates, nearby schools, and access to transit and how these factors can create interest in your listing; and
  • get the price right the first time.  Each time the price is lowered, you may make your property appear unsellable and offers may come in far less than what you wanted.

For more information on how to price your home, the following titles may be of interest to you:

Welcome Home


Welcome Home:  Insider Secrets for Buying or Selling Your Property:  A Canadian Guide by Sarah Daniels.

Chapter 6:  Pricing Your Home, pages 77 - 86





 Staging to Sell

Staging to Sell:  The Secret to Selling Homes in a Down Market by Barb Schwarz

Chapter 8:  Recipe for a Sale:  Pricing the Property Right, pages 105 - 116

Chapter 9:  The Pricing-Your-Home-Triangle, pages 117 - 130




 Buying and Selling a Home for Canadian

Buying & Selling a Home for Canadians for Dummies, 4th Edition by Tony Ioannou and Sarah Daniels

Chapter 15:  The Price of Selling, pages 221 - 231





For additional titles on this topic, search the Toronto Public Library catalogue with the recommended subject House selling.



Entrepreneurs in Canada

August 25, 2014 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit?  Do you wonder what it takes to start your own business? Are you ready to join the legions of famous Canadian entrepreneurs who have made major contributions to the business world? Throughout history Canadian entrepreneurs from all backgrounds have shaped the face of Canadian business and our way of life. Many are today's role models and are celebrated as innovators who have helped drive our economy forward.

Canada has a rich history of entrepreneurship. There is John Molson (1763-1836), who at the age of 23 began running his own brewery. Then there is John Redpath (1796-1869) who, in 1854, built the first sugar refinery in what was then the Province of Canada. And Samuel Cunard (1787-1865) from Halifax who founded the firm of A.Cunard and Son in 1812 and entered the timber and West Indian trade--importing molasses, brown sugar, coffee--while selling timber abroad. John Rodolphus Booth (1827-1925) is another Canadian success story. With only a modest elementary education, he left home as a young man to work in various sawmills in Quebec before becoming manager of operations at a mill owned by Andrew Leamy. He eventually purchased his own in the Ottawa area and in 1868 founded the Upper Canada Improvement Company which built dams and piers. Over the next few years he established related businesses in New York State, Vermont and Massachusetts and expanded his fortune in the lumber industry until his death in 1925.

Do you need inspiration in starting your own business?  Are you interested in finding out more about Canadian entrepreneurs? Various branches of the Toronto Public Library are hosting a series called Small Business Network. These programs are meant for those who already have established small businesses or for people who are just thinking about starting their own business. As well, take a look at the following books that you can find at your local library:


Entre Entre2 Entre3 Entre4

Entre5 Entre6 Entre7 Entre8









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.

Your comments, posts, messages and creative content are welcome, provided they encourage a respectful dialogue and comply with the Library's mission, values and policies.
Terms of Use