Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

« January 2016 | Main | March 2016 »

February 2016

International Women's Day Film Screening: It's A Girl

February 29, 2016 | Emoke | Comments (0)

It's a girl

International Women's Day (March 8th) is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The United Nations started celebrating International Women's Day on March 8 during International Women's year, 1975. In 1977, the General Assembly declared March 8th as United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed by Member States.

"International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities." (

If you would like more details about this year's theme: "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality", please visit the UN website: http://www.un/org/en/events/womensday/.

In honour of International Women's Day, the North York Central Library will be hosting a film screening entitled: It's A Girl, a documentary directed by Evan Grae Davis, on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 (6:45 - 8 pm) in the North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street. To register, please call: 416-395-5660.

This film explores the tragic concept of gendercide -- the killing, abandonment and abortion of girls, simply because they are girls.

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned because of their gender. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called "gendercide".

Shot on location in India and China, the film It's A Girl reveals the issue. It tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters' lives, and of mothers who would kill for a son. Global experts and grassroots activists put the stories in context and advocate many paths towards change.

And check out the following titles on women's rights at the Toronto Public Library:


  Women's oppresion today  A vindication of the rights of woman  About Canada- women's rights  Defying convention-US resistance to the UN women's rights treaty

Headscarves and hymens- why the Middle East needs a sexual revolution  No-image-dvd  Between birth and death -female infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China  Death by fire -sati, dowry, death, and female infanticide in modern India

Nine degrees of justice -new perspectives on violence against women in India

And the Oscar for Best Film Book of 2015 Goes to...

February 26, 2016 | Maureen | Comments (2)

It's Oscar season! Academy Awards were handed out on Sunday February 28th. Meanwhile, far from the glamour of sunny Hollywood, a lowly librarian has been agonizing over her list of 2015 film books while sleet pelts her windows in chilly Toronto. This year, there were so many contenders for best film book of 2015, that narrowing them down to a short list has been a feat that involved an uncomfortable amount of mental turbulence. How do you choose between misfits, dreamers, wildflowers, comedians, Hollywood super agents, kidnappers, A-list actors, D-list actors, legends and movie loving dictators? Books were regretfully voted off the island, then, on second thought, were brought back into the fold, forcing another book to get the sadly administered boot. Depending on your interests, YOU might vote any one of these books best film book of the year. Here then, are just some of the outstanding books published in 2015 about the bigger than life world of film.

How to watch a movie Dietrich and Riefenstahl A Kim Jong-Il production The Wes Anderson Collection

How to watch a movie by David Thomson.

Start preparing for TIFF now, film fans. Come September, you'll be able to impress your friends by speaking in knowing tones about frames, shots and cuts. "From one of the most admired critics of our time, brilliant insights into the act of watching movies and an enlightening discussion about how to derive more from any film experience." Author of many works on film, including Have you seen...? : a personal introduction to 1,000 films. From Library Journal Review: Highly readable and wickedly smart. Also available as an eBook.

Dietrich & Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives by Karin Wieland.

"Leni Riefenstahl and Marlene Dietrich both came of age in Weimar Berlin, a time of great political ferment. In the 1930s, Riefenstahl became the official filmmaker of the Third Reich, a progenitor of fascist symbolism. Dietrich's slender and androgynous beauty made her a fashion icon. Wieland brings to vivid life a time of international upheaval, chronicling radical evolutions of politics, fame, and femininity on a grand stage." From James Wolcott, Vanity Fair columnist: "...a double-decker biography about a pair of sacred monsters that motors the length of a century, through two world wars, countless affairs, still-burning controversies, and white satin streams of Hollywood lore." Also available as an eBook.

A Kim Jong-Il production: the extraordinary true story of a kidnapped filmmaker, his star actress, and a young dictator's rise to power by Paul Fischer.

"Fischer recounts the 1977-78 abductions of South Korea's leading director, Shin Sang-Ok, and his ex-wife, the movie star Choi Eun-Hee. The two were abducted on the orders of North Korea's movie-obsessed crown prince Kim Jong-Il, who wanted them to upgrade the government's wooden propaganda films with pizzazz and higher production values. The story combines harrowing hardships -- Choi endured house arrest and constant Kafkaesque "reeducation" exercises; Shin was starved and tortured in prison after escape attempts -- with dizzying reversals of fortune as the couple are rehabilitated to make hit films under Kim's sponsorship and later plot a nerve-racking flight to the West." (Publishers Weekly Review)

The Wes Anderson collection: the Grand Budapest Hotel by Matt Zoller Seitz

If you're a fan of auteur director Wes Anderson (and really, why wouldn't anybody be?) or were enchanted by his multi Oscar-winning movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, you'll want to have a look at this book, which explores "the wide variety of sources that inspired the screenplay and imagery — from author Stefan Zweig to filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch to photochrome landscapes of turn-of-the-century Middle Europe." Described as "eye-popping" in the New York Times Book Review, the book features photos, artwork and ephemera from the film. This book is the author's follow-up to the well reviewed The Wes Anderson collection, an overview of Anderson's work.

The first King of Hollywood Wildflower Becoming Richard Pryor The big bad book of Bill Murray

The first king of Hollywood by Tracey Goessel.

The biggest star of his generation, Douglas Fairbanks was the original swashbuckler who performed his own stunts in classic films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood and The Mark of Zorro. He challenged the entrenched studio system, co-founding United Artists along with America's sweetheart Toronto-born Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and director D. W. Griffith. The author had exclusive access to a collection of Fairbanks' love letters to Pickford (found in a box in Pickford's mansion) allowing her to illuminate their tragic love affair. The Huffington Post put this biography on their list of best film books from 2015.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore.

"Drew Barrymore shares funny, insightful, and profound stories from her past and present told from the place of happiness she's achieved today. Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years." "…Pure delight… If until now you merely liked Barrymore…you’ll adore her once you read this series of personal essays.” -- New York Times Book Review.

Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul.

"Richard Pryor may have been the most unlikely star in Hollywood history. Raised in his family’s brothels, in Peoria, Illinois, by a grandmother who often threatened to kick him upstairs with her size-twelve shoes, he always considered himself a bottom dog. He took to the stage originally to escape the tough realities of his childhood but later discovered he could alchemize his stand-up by delving fully, even painfully, into the “off-color” life he’d known. He brought that vitality to a movie career whose best moments flowed directly out of his spirit of creative improvisation. The major studios considered him dangerous. Audiences felt plugged directly into the socket of life." "Pryor has had the good fortune to fall into the hands of a writer with the smarts to understand both his greatness and his madness...a first-rate biography." -- Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders and Raging Bulls. Also available as an eBook.

The big bad book of Bill Murray by Robert Schnakenberg.

"Bill Murray's extraordinary career is rich with fascinating anecdotes, contradictions, and mystery, from his early success on Saturday Night Live and the biggest blockbusters of the 1980s to his reinvention as a hipster icon in the early 21st century. This A-to-Z compendium is part biography, part critical appreciation, part love letter, and all fun." "Schnakenberg, a huge fan, does a great job of collecting some great snarky quotes and wacky trivia facts about one of America’s most beloved comedic actors." — The New York Post. Also available as an eBook.

Can I go now My first time in Hollywood It's the pictures that got small Orson Welles's last movie

Can I go now? by Brian Kellow.

A biography of Hollywood's first superagent. "She got her start as a secretary at a powerful talent agency, where her brash, ballsy attitude got her noticed and promoted to talent agent at a small agency. At the end of the 1960s, Mengers made the leap to a larger agency in Los Angeles, where she represented such luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, and Faye Dunaway." (Book List Review) Picture Joan Rivers with less of a filter, bulldozer-setting ramped up to 12, shpritzing venom alongside comic abuse. Imagine that, and you’ll start to get a vague idea of the lioness named Sue Mengers. . . . immensely readable and full of dish. (Scott Eyman, The Wall Street Journal) Also available as an eBook.

My first time in Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp.

"Over forty legends of the film business recount their first trip to Hollywood. Actors, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and editors -- half of them women -- recall the long journey, their initial impressions, their struggle to find work, and the love for making movies that kept them going. Each story is intimate and unique, but all speak to our universal need to follow our passions and be part of a community that feeds the soul." "What a priceless parade of evocative and highly entertaining memories. Once you start reading you won't want to stop." -- film critic and historian Leonard Maltin

"It's the pictures that got small" by Charles Brackett, edited by Anthony Slide.

"Anthony Slide has culled from Brackett's voluminous diaries a treasure trove of scenes and wit from Golden Age Hollywood, 1932-1949. The playwright and novelist's reflections feed curiosity about his primary collaborator, Billy Wilder, and about others too. The diaries record spats, feuds, put-downs, and studio machinations. A book to be skimmed and referenced--but primarily relished." (Maurice Yacowar, University of Calgary).

Orson Welles's last movie: the making of The other side of the wind by Josh Karp.

"In the summer of 1970 legendary but self-destructive director Orson Welles returned to Hollywood from years of self-imposed exile in Europe and decided it was time to make a comeback movie. Coincidentally it was the story of a legendary self-destructive director who returns to Hollywood from years of self-imposed exile in Europe. Welles swore it wasn't autobiographical. Welles planned to shoot it in eight weeks. It took twelve years and remains unreleased and largely unseen. A fast-paced, behind-the-scenes account of the bizarre, hilarious and remarkable making of what has been called "the greatest home movie that no one has ever seen." "Like some semi-mythic warlord, Welles lays about him, bullying, terrifying, charming, lying, cheating, cajoling, manipulating, destroying, creating in pursuit of a goal he himself barely unputdownable read." -- Welles biographer Simon Callow. Diehard Welles fans may want to check out the well-reviewed 2015 book on Welles, Young Orson: the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane and the 2015 DVD Magician: the astonishing life and work of Orson Welles.

Silver screen fiend I lost it at the video store Sick in the head Woody Allen a retrospective

Silver screen fiend by Patton Oswalt.

"Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakable addiction. It wasn't drugs, alcohol or sex: it was film. After moving to L.A., Oswalt became a huge film buff (or as he calls it, a sprocket fiend), absorbing classics, cult hits, and new releases at the New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton's life schoolbook, informing his notion of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships." "This fine downright impossible to put down." -- Book List Review

I lost it at the video store: a filmmakers' oral history of a vanished era. Interviewer Tom Roston.

"Tom Roston interviews the filmmakers -- including John Sayles, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell and Allison Anders -- who came of age during the reign of video rentals, and constructs a living, personal narrative of an era of cinema history which, though now gone, continues to shape film culture today." "Informative, hilarious, a little sad, but mostly just exuberant: This chronicle of a lost era details not just how the video-rental revolution shaped a generation of filmmakers, but how it changed the ways we watch and talk about film. It may even make you nostalgic for rewinding." -- Stephanie Zacharek, Chief Film Critic, The Village Voice

Sick in the head: conversations about life and comedy by Judd Apatow.

"Before his name became synonymous with a new style of comedy; before he had written, directed, or produced his first movie or TV show Judd Apatow was a kid in Syosett, Long Island who was utterly obsessed with comedy. That obsession has made him one of the most recognizable and influential comedic filmmakers working today. This book is a collection of 30 years worth of conversations -- always funny, often poignant, and incredibly intimate. Featuring interviews with luminaries like Mel Brooks and Chris Rock and modern icons like Louis CK and Amy Schumer, this is a book for fans of comedy, from the nerdiest fan of all." Also available as an eBook.

Woody Allen: a retrospective by Tom Shone.

"Woody Allen is a uniquely innovative performer, writer and director with nearly fifty movies to his credit, from cult slapstick films and romantic comedies to introspective character studies and crime thrillers. In this timely retrospective, Tom Shone reviews Woody Allen's entire career. His informed commentaries are combined with many classic quotes from Allen that define the directors self-deprecating humor and acute thinking about his life and times.  A fitting tribute to one of the masters of modern cinema, published to mark Woody Allen's eightieth birthday."

For the true cinephile, here are a few more noteworthy film books from 2015:

Production design/art direction:

William Cameron Menzies: the shape of films to come by James Curtis.

About Hollywood's first production designer, he won the first Academy Award for Art Direction.


Maggie Smith by Michael Coveney.

Maggie Smith's incredible career in film, theatre and television spans six decades, and includes a four-season run at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival. This biography focuses on Smith's professional life.

Two more books have been published in Cahiers du cinéma's Anatomy of an actor series:

Johnny Depp: anatomy of an actor by Corinne Vuillaume.

Leonardo DiCaprio: anatomy of an actor by Florence Colombani.


Hitchcock lost and found: the forgotten films by Alain Kerzoncuf.

A lot of ink has been spilled writing about Alfred Hitchcock's life and iconic films. This book takes a less traveled road, looking at the legendary director's forgotten, incomplete and lost productions.

Film fashion:

Creating the illusion: a fashionable history of Hollywood costume designers by Jay Jorgensen.

"Presents the history of fashion on film, showcasing not only classic moments from film favorites, but a host of untold stories about the creative talent working behind the scenes to dress the stars from the silent era to the present day."

Film and society:

Envisioning freedom: cinema and the building of modern black life by Cara Caddoo.

"Viewing turn-of-the-century African American history through the lens of cinema, Envisioning Freedom examines the forgotten history of early black film exhibition during the era of mass migration and Jim Crow."

Film process:

Fantasia of color in early cinema

"We normally think of early film as being black and white, but the first color cinematography appeared as early as the first decade of the twentieth century. In this book, the editors present a treasure trove of early color film images from the archives of EYE Film Institute Netherlands, bringing to life their rich hues and forgotten splendor." "I could gaze at the images in this book for hours. They are as fascinating as illuminated manuscripts or magic lantern slides." -- Martin Scorsese

The dawn of technicolor, 1915-1935 by James Layton.

"Traces the first two decades of the Technicolor Corporation and the development of its two-color motion picture process." Lavishly illustrated with 428 images. 

History of women in film:

Lois Weber in early Hollywood by Shelley Stamp.

"Among early Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers, Lois Weber was considered one of the era’s "three great minds" alongside D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. Despite her accomplishments, Weber has been marginalized in relation to her contemporaries, who have long been recognized as fathers of American cinema. Stamp demonstrates how female filmmakers who had played a part in early Hollywood’s bid for respectability were in the end written out of that industry’s history."

Related posts:

Shiny new books for movie lovers

2016 Oscar Reading List

New Cars, Used Cars and Car Repairs

February 19, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (4)

My husband recently bought a new SUV. It took him several months of researching to finally find, what he calls, his perfect car. Initially, he spent countless hours scouring through the web for reviews and watched countless road test videos on YouTube. Then, I introduced him to the resources at the library.

If you’re looking for a new or used vehicle and need professional reviews, look no further than the always popular and trusted Consumer Reports. This resource is available in print and online. Available in print are the monthly magazines, which contain reviews, ratings and information on consumer products and services, the New Car Buying Guide and the Used Car Buying Guide.

Consumer Reports     Consumer Reports New Car Buying Guide     Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide  

Then there is the online database, Consumer Reports Online. In additional to advice, ratings and recommendations, the database contains videos, blog posts and reports. There you can find vehicle information including specifications, ratings, test drive videos and reliability, owner satisfaction and owner cost information. You can even compare similar vehicles to help you make your decision.

Consumer Reports Online - New Car Shopping

Another popular resource is the Lemon-Aid New and Used Cars and Trucks which contains an encyclopedic lineup of the best and worst cars, trucks and SUVs, information on secret warranties, confidential service bulletins and new-car buying tips.

Lemon-Aid New and Used Cars and Trucks     Canadian Red Book     Canadian Older Car Truck Red Book

Looking for the value of a vehicle? We have the Canadian Red Book and the Canadian Older Car/Truck Red Book for your reference. Find the average wholesale and average retail value of vehicles using this resource.

If your car needs repairing, the library has resources for that too. We have many car repair manuals available and also an online database called Chilton’s Auto Repair. There you can find step-by-step repair procedures, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) maintenance schedules, wiring diagrams, recalls and Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for automobiles and light trucks from 1940 to the current year.

Chilton's Auto Repair

Not looking to purchase a vehicle but enjoy reading about them? We have books and magazines for your reading pleasure. Here are some books about cars:

Dodge 100 years   Ferrari 308, 328 and 348   Inside the BMW factories   Jaguar cars

Mercedes-Benz   Porsche turbo   Rolls-Royce   Sports cars

And here are some magazines. Most of these titles can also be accessed online through Zinio:

Car and Driver   Motor   Motor Trend   Road and Track

Modern Dating

February 15, 2016 | Aleks | Comments (1)

Online dating
Image from Vancouver View

I am no expert at dating in any capacity. I can only speak of experiences and what trending dating books and articles I have read. The days when you can meet your future husband next door or at school seem to be over. I look through my Facebook timeline and notice that fewer and fewer couples of yesteryear stayed together, let alone have gotten married. 

With each passing generation there are new rules to dating and when taking a step back it can be quite humorous. The taboo of online dating has slowly changed: Generation Y seem to be more open to its sea of fishes. It has really opened new doors for singles looking for… well, whatever their preference is. This is one of the few questions required on your dating profile next to age and sex. A brief description, "I love cats, books and board games," and I am a ready player in the online dating world. 

There are also many different dating phone apps available with a plethora of functions and intentions. Some allow for casual meet ups over coffee or a bagel, or the possibility for making a connection through visiting the same places. So if I visit the museum every other weekend, well, I have a chance to be matched to like-minded people. 

Once you've found someone online to date, there is the awkwardness of talking through text. Who texts who first? Should I wait one hour to text him back so I don't seem desperate? Are my blocks of text the same size as his so I don't seem too eager? Should I research him on social media or not? 

Ghosting is a whole other issue; defined from the Urban Dictionary site as, “The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone who you are dating, but no longer wish to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.” Technology has allowed us to hide behind our phones. We can break things off by pretending it never happened. What about having some closure? The only closure someone can get is by sitting down with a friend and analyzing what happened and coming to the conclusion, he's just not that into you. 

Some conversations remain online; friendships or relationships build over time but the face to face sometimes never happens. There is something about meeting someone in person that cannot be replaced. And that is where I stand; it is time to disconnect from dating apps and put yourself out there. Attend adult colouring events, join social sports teams, visit board game cafes, conferences, take up salsa dancing and many more. This BlogTO article gives you great ideas for meeting new people in the city.

What I found dating comes down to is that the focus should be on yourself. This is told again and again in articles, books and blogs. Being the best you that you can possibly be. This will allow you to be at the right capacity when you meet the right person. 

Don't just listen to my experiences, there are some great books out there to help you decipher the strange dating world. 

Act like a lady, think like a man He's just not that into you Men are from Mars, women are from Venus Modern romance Why men love bitches Not your mother's rules Things I wish I'd known before we got married Why him why her

Talk: Crossover Dreams: Motown Records in the 60s

February 12, 2016 | Muriel | Comments (2)


Talk: Crossover Dreams:

Motown Records in the 60s

Tuesday, February 23 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

North York Central Library Auditorium

Please register for this free program by calling 416-395-5639.

Berry Gordy Jr. established Motown/Tamla Records in Detroit
in 1959 with a clear goal in mind: to present the music of
black songwriters, producers and artists in a way that would
appeal to black and white audiences, effecting what was
known in the business as a "crossover."  He succeeded
wildly, establishing a widely known sonic brand and a 
reputation for high quality, catchy pop music.  No less
than 79 Motown singles hit the Billboard Top Ten between
1960 and 1969.  In this fascinating and music-filled talk,
Dr. Mike Daley, York University, reveals the secrets of the
Motown formula, and explains why its classic hits still
resonate today.  

To Be LovedMotown the Early Years  Motown

Motown 25  Motown in Love  Motown 50th Anniversary Songbook

 Dancing in the Street Mercy Mercy Me Mary Wells The Supremes

Come and listen to vinyl records on the fifth floor of the
Toronto Reference Library.  There are over 15,000 LPs available. 

Also, be sure to visit NAXOS, the online music library available
through Toronto Public Library, and listen to great music
medieval to modern - classical, jazz, electronic,
world music and more, and find expert educational content.
There is a free iPhone/iPod Touch app available in the
iTunes App Store which can be used with the user's playlist
login information.  The app will give you streaming playback
access to the entire library of music and saved playlists. 
A wifi or cellular data connection is required. 

Pet Therapy

February 5, 2016 | Carolyn | Comments (6)

  Let's count the ways in which pets are good for us:

  • they provide companionship
  • they give purpose to our days
  • they diagnose life-threatening illnesses

Come again?

It seems there may be some truth to stories about pets that sniff out tumors; there's enough anecdotal evidence that clinical trials are being conducted to test the ability of dogs to detect volatile cancer-related compounds. So when I saw Heal: the vital role of dogs in the search for cancer cures on a new book display recently, I was intrigued.

The author, science journalist Arlene Weintraub, spent two years researching the ways dogs are being used not only to detect human cancers but also to develop new therapies. Reading this fascinating book, I learned:

  • researchers working with dogs that find can tumors are hoping to identify exactly what they are detecting and develop a diagnostic tool with the same ability to identify cancers in early stages
  • dogs are ideal subjects for cancer studies, and in the field of research known as comparative oncology veterinarians and oncologists are working to apply knowledge gained from studying cancers in pets to develop new tools and therapies that will benefit both animals and humans                                                                              

Heal put me in mind of another book about dogs and cancer that I came across a couple of years ago. The author of Lucky Dog: how being a veterinarian saved my life is a veterinary surgical oncologist who tells the story of her diagnosis with thyroid cancer, and her treatment and recovery. I appreciated the way Sarah Boston conveys the warmth she feels for the animals in her care and her ability to find humour in her own journey as a patient. Comparing her experiences with those of her canine patients, she reaches conclusions about what our health care system could learn from the timely and compassionate care vets are able to provide to those pets whose owners are able to pay for it. In a 2014 Globe and Mail interview Sarah Boston discusses what we can learn from animal health care.


If you're interested in reading more about the ways in which pets can benefit human health:

The Role of Companion Animals in Counseling and Psychology: discovering their use in the therapeutic process. Book

Free Science Events in Toronto for February 2016

February 2, 2016 | Jeannette | 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 February calendar (PDF).

February's highlights include:

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

At the library, February's highlights include:

Can't attend a program or want to read more about the topics covered? Try some of these books:

Respiratory   Spider silk   Ice carving 101   Spark

Good germs, bad germs   Winter blues   Cut your energy bills now   Teach yourself visually Excel 2013


Slavery, Antislavery and Resistance in 19th Century Toronto

February 1, 2016 | Carrie | Comments (0)

Many Canadians are unaware that slavery existed here during the colonial period and that a number of prominent families in the Town of York (as Toronto was called until 1834) were slaveholders.

Upper Canada's first lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe attempted to abolish slavery in the colony but faced resistance from members of his legislative assembly, many of whom were slave owners themselves. He was able to pass a compromised version of his proposed legislation in 1793 which allowed for gradual abolition of slavery and prevented the further introduction of slaves into the province.

Toronto was also an important terminal of the Underground Railroad and became a hub of abolitionist activities. St Lawrence Hall was an important meeting place of the abolitionist movement and hosted the famous "North American Convention of Colored Freemen" in 1851.

The North York Central Library is excited to have Karolyn Smardz Frost on Wednesday, February 17 for her program entitled "Slavery, Antislavery and Resistance in 19th Century Toronto."  This seminar explores the experiences of the enslaved in the early Town of York,  and describes the resistance mounted by African Canadians against both slavery and racial oppression up to the time of the American Civil War.

Karolyn Smardz Frost is the Harrison McCain Visiting Professor at Acadia University, Nova Scotia, and a Senior Research Fellow for African Canadian History at the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University, Toronto. She was formerly the Bicentennial Visiting Professor for Canadian Studies (2012-2013) at Yale University. Smardz Frost won the Governor-General's award for English language non-fiction in 2007 for "I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad".

What: Slavery, Antislavery and Resistance in 19th Century Toronto

When: Wednesday, February 17 from 7:00-8:00 pm 

Where: North York Central Library, in the Concourse

For more information and to register: Please call the Society and Recreation Department at (416) 416-395-5660

Check out the other Black History Month programs happening at branches across the city during the month of February.

If you would like to read more about the history of blacks in Canada, check these out:

  The Promised Land   Black canadians   Ontario's African-Canadian Heritage   Black refugees in Canada
  I've got a home in a glory land   Underground railroad   Race on trial   The Underground railroad

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.