Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Michael Hlinka, CBC Business Commentator, Discusses Jump-Starting the Canadian Economy

March 30, 2015 | Christina | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Michael Hlinka
Michael Hlinka, Business Commentator on CBC's Metro Morning, offers a diagnosis of Canada's economic woes and lays out a roadmap back to growth in conversation with Toronto Star's Ellen Roseman.

Date:        Thursday, April 9, 2015
Time:        7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Length:     75 minutes
Place:       Toronto Reference Library, Atrium, 1st Floor 


If unable to attend, check out Stalled: Jump-Starting the Canadian Economy at the Toronto Public Library.

Michael Hlinka explains what drove Canada's five-decade expansion and what has put us "in the rut we're currently in". 

After the Second World War, Canada enjoyed a period of economic growth for fifty years.  The economy quadrupled in size and the living standard for most Canadians steadily improved.

During the past fifteen years, the Canadian economy has seen persistent stagnation that threatens the results of fifty years of previous growth.  Businesses keep closing and Canadians find it harder to get and keep a good job.  Canadians have relied increasingly on consumer debt to help mask the underlying problems but "for many even that temporary form of relief is no longer an option." 

In his book, Michael Hlinka indicates that "there are solutions for Canada as a country and for individual Canadians, and that we can get out of the rut we're in if we start doing the things that once made us great." 

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!

Small Business Network: Come meet Stuart Browne, CEO and Founder of Pycap Venture Partners

March 14, 2015 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Have you registered for our Small Business Network event for this month?

It's not too late!

Come join us on the evening of March 18th at North York Central Library for another great networking session. These events are for existing small business owners or people who are thinking about starting their own business.  

  Stuart Bio Pic
Stuart Browne, CEO and Founder of Pycap Venture Partners


This month you will be meeting Stuart Browne, CEO and Founder of Pycap Venture Partners. He will discuss how and why he launched Pycap and will provide businesses with a way to decipher if they are "VC fundable".

Pycap is a Venture Captital fund that provides accredited and retail investors with a diversified accountable way to access the high return potential of the startup tech sector and the exclusive deal flow of institutional investors.

Check out Stuart's interview on CTV's Nationally Televised Business News Network (BNN) on September 10, 2014 below: 




Click here to reserve your spot to hear Stuart Browne on March 18th at 6:30pm in the Large Study Room (Teen Zone). 

Don't forget to bring your business cards!



Money Matters during March 2015 at TRL

March 9, 2015 | Christina | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Personal Finance:  Your Money Matters programs continue during the month of March.  At the Toronto Reference Library, three programs are upcoming. 

Money Matters

Knowledge: The True Path to Financial Freedom
Guest Speaker:  M.D. Henderson, retired University of Toronto professor
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Reference Library

M.D. Henderson explains fundamental economic ideas and some historical data which suggests what is the simplest, fastest, and safest way to make your investment grow over a minimum, ten-year time frame.

Ellen RosemanInsurance: A Consumer's Guide
Guest Speaker:  Ellen Roseman, personal finance and consumer columnist at the Toronto Star
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Reference Library

Ellen Roseman talks about how to evaluate different kinds of insurance, how to shop around, and how to handle claims.

Helaine OlenPound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the
Personal Finance Industry
Guest Speaker:  Helaine Olen, contributing editor for Pacific Standard
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Reference Library

Helen Olen takes on some of the central myths of the personal finance industry.  Drawing on her book Pound Foolish, Olen takes a compelling look at how we think and talk about money.

For more indepth, personal finance information written by TRL's March 2015 Money Matters programs' guest speakers, check out the following titles at the Toronto Public Library: 

Money 201     Fight Back     Pound Foolish
Money 201 Fight Back Pound Foolish


Free Income Tax Clinics at Fairview Library

March 3, 2015 | Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Income tax

Soon the snow will begin to melt which means one thing; it's time to get your income tax in order! If the thought of sitting down to do your taxes fills you with dread, have no fear however - Toronto Public Library is here to help.

Continue reading "Free Income Tax Clinics at Fairview Library" »

Managing your debt

March 2, 2015 | Raya | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Reducing your debt doesn't have to be painful, but you will need a strategy to get started. Most importantly you will need to make small changes to your spending, borrowing and saving habits. Here are a few ways to take control of your debt:

Make a budget

Preparing a budget will allow you to take charge of your spending habits. Make a list of your income, expenses and spending and see where your excess money is going. Any extra money at the end of the month should go toward paying down your debts. The federal government's Office of Consumer Affairs provides information on budgeting as well as tools you can use to keep track of your expenditures.

Get budget counselling

If working on your own to solve your debt issues is too difficult Credit Canada, a non-profit organization that provides free credit counselling and debt help, will do a complete review of your financial situation and help put you back in control of your finances.

Contact your creditors

Make a list of your creditors and then contact each one. Try to negotiate lower monthly payments, a longer period to make your payments or a lower rate of interest. A credit counsellor can also do this for you.

Combine your debts

You can repay your debts to all your creditors at once by getting a debt consolidation loan from a bank. This way you will only have one monthly payment to make usually at a lower interest fee than you are currently paying.

Contact your mortgage lender

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests contacting your mortgage lender as soon as you realize you might not be able to make your mortgage payments. They will work with you to find a solution.

Your library has a wealth of information on budgeting and paying down your debt. Take a look at these books and DVDs:

Crushing Debt Debt-Free Forever Debt free for life: the finish rich plan for financial independence Get out of debt! strategies to help you get out of debt!

The total money makeover: a proven plan for financial fitness The ABC's of getting out of debt: turn bad debt into good debt and bad credit into good credit How to get out of debt, stay out of debt & live prosperously The everything personal finance in your 20s & 30s book : erase your debt, personalize your budget, and plan now to secure your future

Get a Speed Coaching Session for your Small Business

February 25, 2015 | Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Amy Ballon Danielle BotterellInterested in some free expert coaching for your small business? 

Meet Amy Ballon and Danielle Botterell, MBAs, entrepreneurs, authors, and business coaches at Spark Consulting. Amy and Danielle will be stopping by Fairview Library's Small Business Networking group tomorrow to help you look at your business with a trained eye.

The Small Business networking series also give participants the opportunity to meet and learn from other business owners, share your own experiences, and soak in the collective wisdom of the group. 

Please register at the Information Desk at Fairview or call 416-395-5750 to let us know you're coming.


Bring your business cards!

Fairview-library-01 Mom IncSmall Business Network: Speed Coaching
Fairview Branch
35 Fairview Mall Drive  
Thursday February 26, 6:30 PM


(You can also check out Mom Inc., Amy and Danielle's awesome book from a library near you!)


Insurance Scams and Pitfalls

February 21, 2015 | Thanusa | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

(image courtesy of Andrew Steinmetz posted on on September 18, 2008. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

Did you read the fine print when you signed up for your house, car, life, travel or pet insurance?

Did you take the time to shop for quotes before you committed yourself to that one-year term and when your policy renewal came up?

Do you review your current policy for any errors or omissions? 

Staying on top of these things always ensures that you have the right coverage and paying exactly what you need under your insurance policy. 

But for many consumers, they don't always have the time or understand the terms of the contract to be making the right decisons about different insurance plan coverage.   


Ellen RosemanCome attend consumer rights advocate, Ellen Roseman's program on Insurance Scams and Pitfalls at North York Central Library on Thursday February 26, 2015.

She will go through the different types of insurance and explain how to get the best deal.  


Register for the event


You may also want to check out these titles:

 Acts of God and Man  Fight Back  Life Insurance Risk Management Essentials  How to pay less for life and auto insurance  

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.