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April 2014

Warm Days Ahead. Get Outside!

April 28, 2014 | Ann | Comments (0)

Butterflies Butterfly link Link to more butterflies
Image Credit:

The winter season gripped us in its long, icy, knobby ... knuckles.  Spring arrived on March 20th, but Winter refused to unleash its hold. But slowly, surely, the temperature outside lifted over the freezing mark.  The dingy remnants of pavement ice shrivelled away--as if from embarrassment for overstaying its welcome.  Pedestrians now glide freely across the dry majestic concrete.  No more slipups, tripups, or other ice-related injuries left to unnerve us on our travels.

The weather is slowly improving and warmer days will soon arrive.  Plans for outdoorsy activities await!  We have some fun ideas of things to do under the sun.  The Society and Recreation Department indulges you to enjoy the sportier side of living.  For the younger crowd, the Children's Department offers plenty of fun sporty books to boot!

Basketball titles Baseball titles

Golfing titles Volleyball titles
Bicycling titles Skateboarding titles Rollerskating titles Unicycling titles
Hiking titles Climbing titles Swimming titles Fishing titles

    Canoeing titles(Image credits:,, and

If travelling through the City interests you, come to the 3rd floor at the North York Central Library.  Receive your very own hiking and biking maps illustrating the finest scenic routes the City has to offer.  Both maps are free for the taking.


Exploring Toronto's Parks & Trails Toronto Cycling Map

We also offer travel guides, history books, travel/history videos, and road maps on those faraway places to see.

For those who want to leave the City and travel to a new town, province, or across the country, recommends some biking and hiking locales as well as some lodges to hang up your boots for the night.

Enjoy the continuing surge of warmer temperatures and sunnier days ahead.  Check The City of Toronto website for current and upcoming events. 

Now, go outside and have fun!

Free Science Events in Toronto for May 2014

April 26, 2014 | Emoke | Comments (0)

The Science and Technology Department of North York Central Library compiles a monthly calendar of free science and applied science events in Toronto. Applied science includes health, gardening, pets and food; all subjects found in the department's collection. Here is the May 2014 Calendar.

May's highlights include:

  • May 4: The Amazing Birds of the Park, part of the High Park Sunday Walking Tours. High Park Nature Centre. This tour will be lead by Brian Bailey. Walks are led by volunteer scientists, historians and local naturalists who will help you to understand and explore High Park's many significant features.
  • May 11: Hiking Healthy/Hills and Dales, part of the Evergreen Brick works Nature and Heritage Hikes. Walks in nature are proven to be beneficial for one’s physical and mental health. Come reconnect with nature and get outdoors and active at this healthy hike from Regent Park to Evergreen Brick Works.
  • May 24: Free Toronto Reiki Class, part of The Healing Team. Toronto Reiki and Counselling Services. Leader: Stephanie Norwich, M.Ed.(Counselling Psychology). Reiki Master presents a beautiful and inspiring reiki talk followed by a question period. Topics include: what is reiki, how it works, the history, usage/application, benefits, self treatment, the three levels of training, and steps to becoming a Licensed Holistic Practitioner. The class is also available for groups and organizations.

The Toronto Public Library also offers many free science and applied science events:

May's highlights include:

Canadian Opera Company Talk at North York Central Library: Don Quichotte

April 25, 2014 | Muriel | Comments (0)


 Canadian Opera Company Talk:

Don Quichotte

Tuesday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m.

North York Central Library Auditorium

Please call 416-395-5639 to register

Wayne Gooding, editor of Opera Canada magazine,
balances opera history and guided listening with images and
production insights in this exploration of Massenet's affectionate
portrayal of literature's ultimate dreamer, Don Quixote.

Massenet        DonQuixote

OperaCanada         OperaViva


 Be sure to visit NAXOS, the online music library available through
Toronto Public Library, and listen to great music spanning medieval to modern - classical, jazz, electronic, world music and more, and find expert educational content.

Landscaping with Trees and Large Shrubs

April 18, 2014 | Cathy | Comments (0)

Landscaping with trees and shrubs

Finally...finally...all the snow is gone and I can see my yard.  Every April, hope springs anew that this will be the year I finally get my garden into order.  There is an abundance of gardening titles for spring clean-up, garden maintenance, garden design, etc.:

Better Homes and Gardens Gardening Made Simple: the complete step-by-step guide The Curious Gardener: a year in the garden by Anna Pavord How to Cheat at Gardening and Yard Work by Jeff Bredenberg
Plant This Instead: better plant choices by Troy B. Marden Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form by Rebecca Sweet The Essential Garden Design Workbook by Rosemary Alexander

This spring, I plan to take advantage of the library's Ask an Expert series featuring Toronto Master Gardeners.  Toronto Master Gardeners are university-trained horticulturists who volunteer their time to share their expertise.  At North York Central Library, join us for a talk on selecting, maintaining, caring for large shrubs and trees, on Tuesday April 29 in Room 1.

Rodolphe el-Khoury: visionary architect of the "internet of things" to speak at North York Central Library.

April 11, 2014 | Maureen | Comments (2)

Imagine a future in which your blanket conspires with your curtains while you sleep. All night “blanky” has been monitoring and recording your every breath and movement, standing guard against the grim reaper, ready to call an ambulance if you suddenly fall dangerously ill. Your curtains check your schedule, noting that you have an early appointment. They check the weather report online, and see that it's going to rain. On such a gloomy day, you may need a little extra help waking up on time, your curtains decide. They are laced with a memory alloy, which allows them to come alive, gradually loosening to let light in, so that you wake gently. Yawning, you step out onto your balcony for a moment to see how the grapes are coming along. You are 50 floors up, and your balcony is framed by lovely vine leaves that span the entire building, a vertical vineyard. The grapes are almost ripe. The automated vineyard will send out a tweet when the grapes are ready. It won’t be long before you and the other residents are sampling the wine.

It’s time to leave for your appointment. As you walk toward the door, your umbrella glows blue to let you know about the coming rain. It has checked the weather report, or perhaps it has been "talking" with your curtains. Before you return in the evening, the swarm of robotic wall partitions in your small apartment will have checked your schedule and noted that you are expecting guests for dinner. In response, they will reconfigure themselves to create a space suitable for entertaining.

Every object in your apartment is part of a community of objects which are embedded with technology, can communicate with each other wirelessly, and are responsive to your needs. This "internet of things" extends beyond your apartment. It is all around you in the built environment. The very walls of the buildings in the city communicate, reporting on their own health.

This vision of "the internet of things" is based in Rodolphe el-Khoury's TEDx talk in Toronto in 2013. Rodolphe el-Khoury will be sharing his vision of the future at North York Central Library at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday April 22. Please call 416 395 5639 to register for this FREE program. To get an idea of his speaking style, watch his presentation at TEDx Toronto (see the link at the bottom of this post.) You'll see he's very passionate about a future in which even your clothes and skin may be connected to the internet of things. To anyone who watches Star Trek, this sounds like the first step towards humanity becoming Borg, creepy cybernetically enhanced hive-minded humanoids. But hey, maybe the best way to survive the robot apocalypse is by becoming a human-machine hybrid.


IM Blanky

Sensors, which give this blanket "primitive cognitive capacities" according to its designers, are embedded into it, in the shape of flowers.










This is a brief biographical movie about Rodolphe el-Khoury.    

Click on the link below to watch Rodolphe el-Khoury's fascinating presentation at TEDx in Toronto, at the The Royal Conservatory of Music.

Designing for the Internet of Things: Rodolphe el-Khoury at TEDxToronto



Unmasking Superfoods

April 9, 2014 | Cathy | Comments (0)

Image courtesy of

While Gwyneth Paltrow was recently in the news for her "Conscious Uncoupling", aka her separation from hubby Chris Martin, longtime fans have followed the actress through her lifestyle website, goop.   I am not a fan, longtime or otherwise, but was recently directed there by a friend who was on a 'cleansing detox.'  Really, I should know better, having a degree in nutrition, but it just seemed so easy to eat and feel better and maybe, even lose weight, by 'detoxing'.  

I thought my pantry was well-stocked, but apparently not-- all the trendy superfoods-- stevia, coconut nectar, quinoa (okay, I do have quinoa), kale and hemp hearts, listed in the recipes meant a shopping trip would have to happen before any cleansing or detoxing. 

But I am cheap and my logical, skeptical, scientific side finally kicked in.  Some of these ingredients are expensive ... more important, do they really work?  Fortunately, we can get the lowdown from Jennifer Sygo, the nutrition columnist for National Post and a registered dietitian, to boot.  (Please note that anyone can call themselves a 'nutritionist.') Jennifer has been writing about these superfoods in her columns and has just published a book, Unmasking Superfoods: The Truth & Hype about Acai, Quinoa, Chia, Blueberries and More.


     Unmasking Superfoods: ebook

Join Jennifer at North York Central Library, on Thursday April 17, at 7 pm to learn which superfoods, if any, we should be picking up at the supermarket.  Copies of her new book will be available for purchase and signing.

Spring is DIY time

April 4, 2014 | Carolyn | Comments (0)

Spring seems to bring out the do-it-yourselfer in a lot of people. We look around our homes after a long, dark winter and are inspired to build, repair and renovate. If you're thinking about tackling an indoor or outdoor project this spring the Library has lots of resources to help you get started.


Are you going to plan and manage a project yourself?


Need some design ideas?

The Complete Guide to Patios & Walkways: money-saving do-it-yourself projects for improving outdoor living space


Remodeled Homes: 39 residential remodeling projects from around the world




Are you a visual learner? We have DVDs as well:

The Best of Ask This Old House: 44 common household projects done right So You're Renovating! 9 Flooring

Do you like the convenience of eBooks? Have a look at these titles:


Finally, if you haven't tried Zinio, the eMagazine service available through the Toronto Public Library website, have a look at the some of the home and garden titles available to borrow:

Do It Yourself Canadian Home Trends Outdoor Projects

Welcome to North York Central Library. We're one of the City's most welcoming spaces, open to all for study, research, relaxation and fun.

Our extensive digital and print collections, programs and services are yours to use, borrow and explore. Expert staff are always on hand to help. Meet us in person or join us online.