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Around the World in 80 Recipes

August 23, 2014 | Suzanne | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Appleglobeweb[Source: with permission from Kevin Van Aelst Photography]

Did you know that Torontonians come from over 200 countries? With such a great representation of cultures, we have the unique opportunity to learn different languages, experience cultural celebrations, and best of all … eat great food from all over the world. My favorite part!

I always make it a point to try new restaurants whenever I can, or better yet, get some home cooked food from the different cuisines of my friends. Websites like Zagat or Urbanspoon can be a great way to read restaurant reviews.  Our last post shared some of the great summer festivals in Toronto, now why not take out a book or two to learn how to create some of the tasty foods you tried?

The Toronto Public Library has a great collection of cookbooks with cuisines from all over the world. One of my favorite ways to try new recipes is by downloading an eBook or eMagazine onto my tablet and browsing it before I go to sleep.

When my tablet doesn't become my pillow, I usually find some great recipes to try!  I'm not Vegetarian, but I've found some great receipes in this Vegetarian Collection by Canadian Living. My favorites are the Afghan eggplant ["burani bonjon"] and black bean quesadillas pictured on the cover below. Mmm!

The Vegetarian Collection[Source: The Vegetarian Collection: Creative meat-free dishes that nourish and inspire]

I find that magazines are also a great way to collect recipes. Zinio eMagazines gives you access to current issues of popular magazines to read on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. I use Zinio to access these great cooking magazines:

Food Network Magazine    La Cucina Magazine    Saveur Magazine 

If you've never used Zinio before, have no fear! Here is some information on Getting Started with Zinio eMagazines and a quick Video Tutorial on how to use it. In addition to the magazines I posted, there are a number of others that can be accessed in Zinio's Food and Cooking section.

Here are some cookbooks to get you started on your cooking journey around the world!

Toronto & Canada:

Buon Appetito, Toronto!    Toronto Star Cookbook    Canadas Favorite Recipes

The New Granville Island Market Cookbook    East Meets West    An Ode to Newfoundland


The Americas:

The New Southern Table    Latin American Street Food. jpg    South American Food and Cooking

Africa & The Middle East:

Moorish    The North African Kitchen    Vegetarian dishes from across the Middle East


Grandmas German Cookbook    Everyday Cooking from Italy    In a Polish Country Kitchen

Spain Recipes and Traditions    How to Roast a Lamb Greek Cooking    Revolutionary French Cooking



The Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites    Quick Fix Indian    Sri Lankan Cooking

Authentic Recipes from the Phillipines    The Banh Mi Handbook    Simple Thai Food


For Kids and Teens:

Cool World Cooking    Kew's Global Kitchen Cookbook    The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook

I leave you with some quotes about the joys of food:

Laughter is brightest where food is best –Irish Proverb

People who love to eat are always the best people. –Julia Child

If you have any cookbook favorites, please post in the comments below. Happy cooking, everyone!  

Travel the World in Toronto

August 9, 2014 | Chantel | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Every year I try to travel to a different country, preferably in a different continent. I love seeing and experiencing the diverse culture, music and customs of people from around the world. But when I can’t travel, I look for something close to home. A multicultural city like Toronto has no shortage of amazing cultural festivals during the summer. So, whether you want to reconnect with your roots or experience something new, check out these upcoming events!

For a full listing of events, visit the City of Toronto website!

Interested in learning about Asia? Find out more about Taiwan at the TaiwanFest taking place at Habourfront Centre from August 22 -24. Take a look at some books and DVDs on Taiwan for a head start!

  Taiwan Guidebook The raw and the cooked


Experience the cultures of South Asia from dancing to Bollywood music, playing cricket or drinking mango lassi at the TD Festival of South Asia from August 23-24. The fun will take place on along Gerrard Street E. between Coxwell Avenue and Greenwood.

Bollywood Anthology Songs Ballroom basics: Bollywood dancing Cricket : steps to success


If you are a foodie, challenge your taste buds to a variety of Greek dishes. Try your hand at some Greek dishes with these recipes, inspired by the Taste of Danforth this past weekend.

  The food and cooking of Greece New Greek cuisine The country cooking of Greece

Your Child's First Day of School: Prepping Your Child for Kindergarten and Beyond

August 6, 2014 | Melanie | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

You know that commerical with the dad prancing happily through the aisles of an office supply store, while Andy Williams' It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year plays in the background and two obviously unenthusiastic kids trail behind? I absolutely love that commercial!


It's true that Back to School season can be a joyous time for parents, but if this is the first time your child is going to school, the experience can be more nerve-wracking than celebratory. Add to that the complexities of being in a new country, and the experience can seem downright terrifying!


R4R Library CardDon't worry! Toronto Public Library is here to help! If you want to get your preschooler ready for school, one of the most important things you can do is sign them up for one of our Ready for Reading storytimes. In fact, it's never too early to get your child ready for reading. From the moment your child is born, you can get a library card for them, and attend one of the many Ready for Reading Baby Time programs available at branches throughout the city.

Ready for Reading programs usually run once a week for six weeks. Each week, we cover a new skill that your child will need in order to develop their reading readiness.


The six skills that your child will need to develop in order to learn how to read are:

  1. Print Motivation - I Like Books!
  2. Phonological Awareness - I Hear Words!
  3. Vocabulary - I Know Words!
  4. Narrative Skills - I Can Tell a Story!
  5. Print Awareness - I See Words!
  6. Letter Knowledge - I Know Letters!

Ready for Reading storytimes are great, not only because they help your child develop these very important reading skills, but also because they will help your child develop the social skills they'll need to function well in a classroom setting.

If you can't make it to one of our Ready for Reading storytimes, you can access our YouTube videos for a sample of our Ready for Reading songs and rhymes:


Here are some of my favourite preschool Ready for Reading books:

Library Lion     Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  

If you Take a Mouse to School     Big Fat Hen     Miss Bindergarten Has a Wild Day in Kindergarten

ABC's & 123's

Another thing you can do with your child to help them get ready for school is read ABC and 123 books with them. At some branches, ABC and 123 books are shelved separately from the rest of the picture book collection, which makes them really easy to find and browse through. In other branches, ABC and 123 books are interfiled with the rest of the picture book collection, but can still be easily found by their special "ABC" and "123" labels.

ABC 123 Collection - Landscape
ABC and 123 books are sometimes shelved separately from the rest of the picture book collection.


ABC Labels
ABC Labels
123 Labels
123 Labels

Here are some of my favourite ABC and 123 books:

LMNO Peas     Sleepy Little Alphabet     Alphabet Under Construction

Counting on Snow     Canada 123     Let's Count to 100

Has Ready for Reading helped you get ready for school? Let us know!

Celebrate World Cup Soccer at the Library!

July 7, 2014 | Suzanne | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has made for an exciting summer of sport! Thirty-two teams competed in Brazil for the 20th edition of the biggest international soccer tournament in the world. As we enter the final week of the World Cup, excitement is building as more teams get eliminated and we enter the semi-final games. While the World Cup has people of every nation cheering for their favorite team, the library is a great place to keep you connected with all the World Cup excitement! The Toronto Reference Library, Fort York Branch and Bloor/Gladstone Branch are all showing games on TV screens at the branch. There are also a number of great soccer books for families to read together to keep you soccer satiated all summer long!


Did you know?

  • With 3.5+ billion fans, soccer is the most popular sport on the planet
  • Although soccer is most popular in Europe and South America, its origins can be traced to China, more than 2,200 years ago
  • The first ever soccer World Cup was held in the year 1930, which was won by the host country, Uruguay
  • India pulled out from the 1950 World Cup because the players were not allowed to play in bare feet
  • Brazil has won 5 World Cups, which is the most by any country!


Here is some recommended soccer reading for families:

SoccerCrazybookcover  Franklinplaysthegamebookccover  Crazyaboutsoccerbookcover 

Howsoccerworksbookcover  Bettybunnybookcover  Goalbookcover

Enjoy the last week of excitement of World Cup Soccer action!

Celebrate Canada!

June 27, 2014 | Chantel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Canada’s 147th birthday is fast approaching. July 1st is the day to celebrate our history, common values and achievements and what is it to be Canadian.

But there is more to celebrate being Canadian than just that one day!  Did you know that the eleven days from June 21st to July 1st is designated as Celebrate Canada?  June 21st is National Aboriginal Day to celebrate the contributions of the First Nations people.  June 24th is Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day to celebrate the heritage of French Canadians. 

Of course, let’s not forget the Multiculturalism Day on June 27th.  According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 visible minorities make up 19.1% of Canada’s population.  So, it is not surprising that there is a special day to recognize the diversity and contributions of different multicultural groups and communities.

So, where to go to show your pride in being a Canadian?  There are many free events across the city this weekend ranging from fireworks, live performances and family activities:

Don’t forget to check out some great books about Canada and being Canadian!

Canada Day How to Be Canadian Only in CanadaConcise History of Canada

The Library Now Has Free Telephone Stories in 15 Languages!

June 7, 2014 | Iana | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Do you enjoy listening to stories? Have you heard of Dial-a-Story? Toronto Public Library has a FREE phone line 416-395-5400 you can call 24 hours a day and listen to recorded stories in 15 languages.

Recently we added a new language - there are now stories recorded in Tagalog!

It is a very popular service - only in the year 2012 the Dial-A-Story service received  251,917 calls!

Every day there are different stories to listen to in each language and they are divided by age - stories for younger children (7 and under) and for older children (up to 12).


You can listen to Dial-a-Story in the following fifteen languages:  


  • English Dialastory1
  • French
  • Cantonese
  • Gujarati
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Tagalog
  • Urdu


The newest language that will be added to the story phone line later in 2014 is Persian!

The library will also will continue to add new stories in the languages we currently have.

For example this year 6 new Portuguese stories were recorded and there are plans for new Spanish, French and English stories.

So listen to a story in a language that you know or even in a new one. It is fun to hear how a different language sounds. We all experience this daily in our multicultural city of Toronto.


Dial-a-story Helps  You Practice English as a Second Language (ESL)

Listening to stories in English and French is also a great way to practice your listening comprehension and vocabulary if you are learning English or French as a Second Language.

Among the stories that are recorded and rotated on the phone - there are also many stories recorded for special occasions such as Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, Aboriginal Month, Christmas, Summer Reading Club.

If you are a newcomer - your family can enjoy stories in your heritage language as well as practice English.


Borrow Books and Other Materials in Your Language from the Library

In addition to stories by phone, you can of course find children's and adult books in many languages (we call them multilingual collections) at some of the branches of Toronto Public Library. Please visit your local library for more information, call our Answerline service at 416-393-7131 or browse the library's list of multilingual collections by language to find out which library has materials in your language.


Read Other Related Blog Posts from Library Staff:


So why not call 416-395-5400 for and enjoy some wonderful storytelling!

Camping: A True Canadian Experience

April 17, 2014 | Melanie | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Ontario Parks

The call of a loon, the smell of a campfire, and the twinkling of stars in a night sky. This is what a typical Canadian summer looks like. If you want to experience Canada, and what it is to be Canadian, then you need to go camping!

Camping can seem intimidating, especially if you're a first-time camper and don't have all the necessary equipment. But don't let this stop you from experiencing a true Canadian summer! There are lots of resources out there to help you set out on your first camping adventure, and the library is a great place to start!

Learn to Camp

The Albert Campbell library will be a hosting a "Learn to Camp" session on Wednesday, June 18, at 6 PM. A representative from Ontario Parks will lead an interactive presentation on safe and fun camping in Ontario. If you'd like to register, just call the branch at 416-396-8890.

Toronto Public Library also carries a great collection of books on camping. Here are a few of my favourites:

Ontario's Best Parks   Nature Hikes    Wilderness Pleasures    Ontario Provincial Parks Trail Guide

Hikes and Outings of South-Central Ontario    Paddling & Hiking Ontario'    Georgian Bay and Cottae Country    Backroad Mapbook

The Backpacker's Handbook    The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids    Handy Dad in the Great Outdoors    Top 50 Canoe Routes  

Have you been camping before? What's your most memorable camping experience? Share your favourite camping spots with us!











Guide for Foreign-Trained Pharmacists in Ontario

April 7, 2014 | Ranald | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The attached Guide for Foreign-Trained Pharmacists in Ontario lists print and electronic resources for foreign-trained pharmacists who wish to be licensed to practice, and to practice, in Ontario.

Working in Ontario

The resources range from pharmacy textbooks and study guides to information on licensing and employment (job searching, job listings).

The guide (9 p.) is divided into two parts:

  1. print resources (sections 1-2)
  2. electronic resources (section 3)

The first part contains links to the library catalogue for books. The catalogue will show what library branch the books are in and whether they can be taken home or have to be used in the library.

The second part contains links to electronic resources in the library and to websites outside the library.


Guide for Foreign-Trained Physicians in Ontario

March 13, 2014 | Ranald | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The attached Guide for Foreign-Trained Physicians in Ontario lists print and electronic resources for foreign-trained physicians who wish to be licensed to practice, and to practice, in Ontario.

Table of Contents

1. Searching the Library Website

1.1. Suggested Subjects and Keywords

1.2. Suggested Book Titles

Essentials   Harrisons   USMLE  Doing right

1.3. Suggested Periodical Titles

2. Checking the Shelves

3. Using Online Sources

3.1. Suggested Databases

3.2. Suggested Websites





Rediscovering an Old Flame: Spotlight on Newcomer Blogger Leticia Davolli

December 19, 2013 | Melanie | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Para Minha Mãe

When Leticia Davolli arrived in Canada four years ago, the Toronto Reference Library was one her favourite local neighbourhood haunts. She had heard about the library from friends and colleagues while attending ESL classes in the Yonge and Bloor area. As a recently arrived newcomer, the Toronto Reference Library was Leticia's key to connecting with friends and family back home in Brazil, where she would use the library's computers to email her loved ones.

After a short hiatus from the library, Leticia stumbled upon her local neighbourhood branch and rediscovered her love for Toronto's public libraries. She was so enthralled with this newfound love that she dedicated a post on her blog, Para minha mãe, to extolling the virtues of Toronto's public libraries.

Deer Park Branch

This week we sat down with Leticia to talk to her about why she loves the library so much and why she decided to rekindle this old flame.

Melanie: Hi Leticia. Thanks for taking the time out to chat with me today. So, how long have you been in Canada?

Leticia: I've been in Canada four years. I immigrated from Brazil.

Melanie: How long after your arrival in Canada did you decide to visit a Toronto Public Library branch?

Leticia: Not long after. I was attending ESL classes in the Yonge and Bloor area, and my classmates told me about the Reference library. Everybody knew about it. I would usually go there to check my email.

Melanie: Do your remember your first visit to a Toronto Public Library branch?

Leticia: Yes! I had a good first impression. But I was a little intimidated by the Reference library because it was so big and impersonal! I felt a little lost.

Melanie: What prompted you the first time to visit the library?

Leticia: I was studying English in the area, and I had heard about it from someone else. All my classmates were going there.

Deer Park - Interior

Melanie: In your blog post you mentioned that you had stopped using the library for some time. Why?

Leticia: I started attending UofT and George Brown, and so I would just end up using the university and college campus libraries more often. Other than email, I didn't really think about using the Reference library as a place where I could borrow books. I had this totally wrong notion that the library only had outdated books, so it lost its appeal.

Melanie: Yikes! Well I'm sure you realized by now that there are a lot of really cool things to borrow from the library. What was it that brought you back in to the library? How did you rediscover all the great resources it has to offer?

Leticia: I reconnected with the library through my local neighbourhood branch, Deer Park, after talking to a friend who had mentioned that she stopped buying books and only ever borrowed things she needs from the library. After our conversation I decided to pay a visit to my local neighbourhood branch. When I walked in again, for the first time in years, I was amazed at some of the treasures I found!

Melanie: What is it that you love so much about the library?

Leticia: Wow! Where do I start!? First of all, you have some amazing titles in your collection! On my first visit back I found titles like Change by Design by Tim Brown; Blog Inc. by Joy Cho; and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Also, you have a great holds reservation system and great borrowing privileges. I still can't believe that I'm allowed to borrow up to 50 items on my library card! You also have amazing magazines available for borrowing. And it's all free!

Holds Shelf

Melanie: What is your most memorable visit to the library?

Leticia: I'd have to say my most memorable visit to the library was definitely when I first visited my neighbourhood branch and reconnected with the library. When I first walked in, not only was I amazed at what the library had to offer, but I also felt bad that I had not been enjoying it to its full potential. One thing's for sure - I've rediscovered this marvelous treasure, and I don't plan on letting it go ever again! The library reminds me how lucky I am to live in Toronto!

Melanie: Leticia, thanks again for your time! Before we go, do you have any favourite titles you'd like to recommend, particularly to people who are new to Toronto Public Library?

Leticia: Yes! These are some of my favourite titles:

    Essays in Love     Harry Potter     Cooked     Change by Design

Flow    Moacyr Scliar - Collected Works     Machado de Assis - Selected Stories     Power of Habit

Have you reconnected with the library recently? Do you have any memorable library stories that you'd like to share? Let us know!


Welcome! This blog is written by librarians and provides information and resources available from the library and around Toronto to new residents of Canada. For more information see the Library's Help for Newcomers website