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Free Science Events in Toronto for December 2015

November 24, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

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 December calendar (PDF).

December's highlights include:

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

At the library, December's highlights include:

  • December 1: Healthy Holiday Eating, at Woodside Square Branch. In this presentation by Toronto Public Health, you will learn how to maintain healthy eating by using the Canada Food Guide, while still enjoying the holidays!
  • December 2: 12,000 Canaries Can't be Wrong, at North York Central Library. Dr. Molot explains how the environment contributes to the development and progression of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and other pain disorders, and chemical sensitivity. He also shows how these disorders are just the tip of a giant iceberg, linking environmental conditions to the increasing number of cases of common chronic illnesses in adults and even in children.
  • December 7: Savvy Cybersecurity: How to Fight 10 Common Threats, at Yorkville Branch. At this session, you will conduct a self-assessment of your cyber-security knowledge, learn about the top 10 threats and leave with tips to protect yourself. Identity theft, credit card fraud, email scams and more are covered.
  • December 8: The Cutting Edge: How We Discovered a Hidden Genetic Code, at North York Central Library. Dr. Brendan Frey tells the story of how he and his Toronto research team, aided by a computer tool that uses machine learning, discovered a hidden genetic code that will revolutionize medicine.
  • December 16: Design an LED Bookmark, at Danforth/Coxwell Branch. Learn how to build a small circuit to power one or more LED lights. All necessary resources and supplies including bookmark templates will be provided, but feel free to design your own.

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

Hubble's legacy     The shark's paintbrush     The Lorimer pocketguide to Toronto birds     Cooking Light holiday cookbook

12,000 canaries can't be wrong     Cyber self-defense     Life's greatest secret     Brilliant LED projects

Store-wide Half Price Sale at Book Ends in NYCL

November 16, 2015 | Ann | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

image from
Courtesy of geralt at Pixelbay. License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ Free for commercial use / No attribution required

The festive season is arriving. Do you have enough books to read and share through the holidays? Do you love finding exciting and rare titles? Do you want to buy as many books for as little money as possible?    



Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library


 The Friends of Toronto Public Library, North Chapter

is hosting an amazing store-wide half-price three-day sale of their books with prices ranging from:

$0.25 to $0.50

(blue-dot, special-priced books excepted) 

This sale is at the Book Ends store which is located on the Concourse Level at the North York Central Library--which is located underneath (one floor below) the library's main entrance.  


SALE HOURS run from 10 am to 4 pm on:

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015
  • Friday, November 20, 2015
  • Saturday, November 21, 2015


North York Central Library, Concourse Level, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto


Please bring your own bag. Cash only. No exchange or refund.  


Once you have completed our Book Ends Sale in the North, five days later there will be another Book Ends sale in the South region (from November 26th to November 28th) at The Toronto Reference Library.  

Bill V.'s blog, The Best Christmas Present Ever... provides the details of their big Book Ends sale on great reads and gift giving suggestions.

Also don't forget to follow us on Twitter @bookendsnorth and on Facebook for our weekly sales.

Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada

November 9, 2015 | Carrie | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

  Ratna Omidvar

Join us on Monday, December 14 from 7-8 pm at North York Central Library to hear Ratna Omidvar read and discuss her book Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada. The book presents a collection of 30 interviews with refugees, their descendants, or their loved ones to document their extraordinary, and sometimes harrowing, journeys of flight.

The stories span two centuries of refugee experiences in Canada: from the War of 1812 - where an escaped slave and her infant daughter flee the United States to start a new life in Halifax - to the war in Afghanistan - where asylum seekers collide with state scrutiny and face the challenges of resettlement.

Ratna Omidvar is Executive Director and Adjunct Professor, Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University and Chair of Lifeline Syria. In 2010, she was named a Nation Builder of the decade for citizenship by the Globe and Mail.

To register for this program, please call 416-395-5660

If you are interested in reading more about the personal experiences of refugees in Canada, you may be interested in the following books:


  Lucky ones   Refugee sandwich Black refugees 
  Flight of the patriot   Citizens of nowhere  Boat people 

Colleen Jones Roars Into the Library!

October 31, 2015 | Margaret W. | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

On Wednesday, October 28th, North York Central Library hosted an eh List program featuring world curling champion and CBC television personality Colleen Jones. Colleen read from her new biography: Throwing Rocks at Houses: My Life In and Out of Curling. This book is also available electronically.

During her illustrious career, Colleen won two world championships and six Throwing Rocks at HousesTournament of Hearts Canadian Women's Championships. In 1989 the native Haligonian was inducted into the Curling Canada Hall of Fame.

Colleen is also well known as a weather and sports reporter for CBC. She has been with the CBC for 27 years.

However, Colleen's careers, and life, were threatened in December of 2010 when she contracted bacterial meningitis, a disease that can cause swelling around the brain. Hearing loss, brain damage, and even death, can occur. Luckily for Colleen, she survived.

For Colleen, the day she became sick was a life-changing event. As she read from her book:

"In that moment, on that one day in my life, I had this amazing epiphany that life is precious and it can be over in a second. And I realized the importance of taking advantage of simple things in life, like walking the dog or enjoying a cup of coffee. 

Curling taught me about competition and nurtured in me a desire to win, but my brush with a disease that had the potential to kill helped me to keep perspective. It might be my greatest victory of all." 


Colleen Jones
Colleen Jones (left) with an audience member at the Library event

A lot of people may have heard of curling but know very little about it. Bill Weeks, author of the book Curling for Dummies, does a nice job of summing it up.

He writes Curling for Dummiesthat "In its simplest form, curling is a game where two teams of four players each slide 40-pound granite rocks (also called stones) down a sheet of ice toward a target at the other end. Each team tries to get more of its stones close to the centre of the target than the other team."  

Of course, like any other sport, it's not as easy as it sounds! The technical aspects of curling can fill many books.

Curling is believed to have originated in Scotland, around the sixteenth century, although this has been contested. 

Soldiers of the 78th Highlanders brought curling to Canada in 1759. It took hold in Quebec and, with some growing pains, slowly spread to the rest of Canada. The first club in Toronto was established in 1837.

The name of the sport probably comes from the old Scottish word curr, which refers to the roaring sound of the rocks as they travel over the ice. It is this same sound that is behind the game's moniker: The Roaring Game.

Interested in learning more about curling? Check out some of these books, available in the Toronto Public Library system: 

Open House Curling, etcetera

Roaring Game


      Open House

Curling, etcetera The Roaring Game  

‘Spooky’ Asteroid on Halloween

October 30, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (6) Facebook Twitter More...

Tomorrow is Halloween. Are you ready? Preparations for parties, costumes, candies and fun are all underway. But did you know an asteroid, larger than a skyscraper, will also be zooming by Earth tomorrow?

The asteroid, 2015 TB145 or ‘Spooky’, is approximately 290 to 650 meters wide. Spooky will travel at a speed of 35 kilometers per second. That’s 126,000 kilometers per hour. 1,260 times faster than the legal speed limit on most Canadian highways. 787.5 times faster than a Via Rail Train. 142 times faster than a commercial airplane. 75 times faster than the speed of the Earth's rotation. 28 times faster than a speeding bullet. Wow!

Rest assured, Spooky will not make contact with Earth. It will pass by Earth at a distance of 483,000 kilometers which is slightly further than the Moon.

Unfortunately, if you want to observe the asteroid you’ll need a telescope. Hopefully, there will be clear skies this time around, unlike during the Supermoon lunar eclipse.

Although Spooky won’t be making contact with Earth, I can’t guarantee other spooky things won’t. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

If you want to read more about asteroids, take a look at these books:

Asteroids, a history  Asteroids   Asteroids, comets and dwarf planets   Asteroids, meteorites and comets

Are you ready for your Halloween party? Here are some ideas for great Halloween dishes:

Betty Crocker Halloween cookbook   A ghastly-good Halloween   Ghoulish goodies   A Halloween cookbook

Don’t have a costume? Don’t panic. Make your own. Here are some books on how to make costumes for kids:

Glue and go costumes for kids   Halloween costumes   Nifty, thrifty, no-sew costumes and props   Quick costumes for kids

Don’t worry, we have books for adult costumes, as well:

1000 incredible costume and cosplay ideas   The costume technician's handbook   Instant period costumes  The mask-making handbook

Free Science Events in Toronto for November 2015

October 27, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

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 November calendar (PDF).

November's highlights include:

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

At the library, November's highlights include:

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

Fossil fuels and pollution   The upward spiral   Developmental robotics   GMO food

Printing things   Good medicine   A clone of your own   Strength training bible

Citizenship/Settlement Programs at North York Central Library!

October 26, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Pass the Canadain Citizenship TestThe Toronto Public Library offers a vast variety of New to Canada and Citizenship Test Preparation classes and programs on an ongoing basis. The library website under New To Canada is a good place to look for information on: Learning English for all levels and ages, Citizenship Test, Settling in Toronto, Jobs, Training & Certification, Materials in Your Language, Your Library Card, and so on.

You can also do a search on the library website using the words "Citizenship" and you will find all the many library programs and classes and other materials and information and recommended websites that will help you with citizenship information.

The Citizenship Test Section of the website has some sample questions and answers and links to the booklet to help you study for the Citizenship test: Discover Canada. There is also a link to Learning Express Library, a database you can use with your library card even from home, with more citizenship tests.

The third floor of the North York Central Library usually keeps free copies of Discover Canada to hand out, and various other libraries also have copies to loan out or for use in the library only.

The Society and Recreation Department also has three major Citizenship/Settlement Programs: New to Canada? Speak to a Costi Representative!, Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation (name changing to: Canadian Citizenship Information in 2016) and Discover Canada Citizenship Mentoring Circle.

The first program, New to Canada? Speak to a Costi Representative! is held once a month, on the last Friday of the month. At the library sessions, a COSTI representative will answer your questions about employment, education, health, housing, and settling into your new environment. COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency which has been serving all immigrant communities and new Canadians for many years. Some of the topics of the most interest to newcomers are: finding a job, family sponsorship, continuing education at secondary and post-secondary levels, improving English, residency requirements to maintain permanent resident status, applying for citizenship, maintaining OHIP coverage, and OAS pension eligibility

Fridays, October 30th, November 27th, 2015 (1 p.m.- 2 p.m. in Farsi, 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. in English), North York Central Library Room 2/3. Free. Drop In.

And for next year:

Fridays, January 29th, February 26th, and March 25th, 2016 (1 p.m.- 2 p.m. in Farsi, 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. in English), North York Central Library Room 2/3. Free. Drop In.

The second program, Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation (name changing to: Canadian Citizenship Information in 2016) involves a representative from the Toronto District School Board discussing what it means to be a citizen, what to expect from the test, and how to prepare using the Discover Canada guide. You must bring your Permanent Resident card to the session.

In December, North York Central Library is having its last program called Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation. It will be on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the Auditorium at the North York Central Library. Register at 416-395-5660.

In the new year, instead of this one 2-hour session, North York Central Library will be dividing this program in two and having two 2-hour sessions. They will be:



Learn about the Canadian citizenship application process. Find out the latest information about eligibility (age, residency requirements, proof of language ability etc.), completing and submitting the forms, fees, application processing times and more. Presented by a Toronto District School Board representative. You must bring your Permanent Resident Card. It will be held on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library. Register at 416-395-5660.



Learn about the Canadian citizenship knowledge test. Get study tips and try some practice questions based on the Discover Canada study guide. Presented by a Toronto District School Board representative. You must bring your Permanent Resident card. It will be held on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 at 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library. Register at 416- 395-5660.

The third program, Discover Canada Citizenship Mentoring Circle, is 10 weeks long and is currently running. The dates for this year are:

Mondays, September 14th to November 23rd (except Monday October 12th), Room 1, North York Central Library. All sessions run from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Even though the program has started, you may still join in.

The dates for 2016 are: Mondays, January 18th to April 4th, 2016 (except February 15th and March 28th), Room 1, North York Central Library. All sessions run from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

In these sessions, you will review and discover the Discover Canada study guide with a CultureLink staff member and a team of trained Citizenship Education mentors. Every participant is matched with one mentor. Newcomers can improve their vocabulary and boost their confidence in speaking English by participating in conversations on various topics. Paricipants can also connect with local volunteers, network and share experiences and stories.

Provided by CultureLink. Free. To register, contact Hashem Rahin at 416-588-6288 x220 or

I hope you will find these sessions helpful and useful and that they help you pass your Citizenship Test and settle into Canada in a positive and successful manner!

Waking the Frog

October 16, 2015 | Carolyn | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


Tom Rand, author of "Waking the Frog: solutions for our climate change paralysis"
Tom Rand


Until recently I was probably one of the few people not familiar with the story of the boiling frog. It goes like this: if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put a frog into a pot of cold water and slowly heat it, the frog will be lulled to sleep before the water reaches the boiling point. The lesson from this bit of folk wisdom is that, like the frog, we can be unaware of dangers which result from slow, incremental changes - and not react to them in time to save ourselves.

On Tuesday October 27, Tom Rand, author of Waking the Frog, will be speaking at the North York Central Library. Mr. Rand is an entrepreneur focused on carbon mitigation technologies. His commentaries have appeared in the Globe and Mail and other print media, and he is a regular guest on The Exchange with Amanda Lang. He says on his website: "It is my belief that we have yet to have a serious, public conversation about the threat of climate change, and the economic opportunites afforded by the global transformation to a low-carbon economy."


Here are the details about his talk:

Date: Tuesday, October 27

Time: 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Location: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St., Room 1  


And here is some suggested reading about both the economic consequences of climate change and the opportunities it is creating:                                                                                                                                                                               





Image courtesy of

Ontario Garlic: The Story from Farm to Festival

October 2, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

I don't know much about garlic. When I think of garlic, I think about the food my mom makes (the vegetable stir fry that is loaded with minced garlic), the bad breath afterwards and my ability to ward off vampires with it. A bit silly, huh?

Well, garlic has actually been used throughout history for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

According to WebMD and the University of Maryland Medical Center, garlic is used to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases and conditions, including heart disease and common colds. It is also rich in antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system.

Garlic is native to central Asia. 68% of Canada’s garlic are imported from China. Here in Ontario, 2,500 acres of garlic are grown. If you want to grow your own, the best time is to plant them in the fall and harvest them the next summer.

To learn more about garlic, join author and Toronto Garlic Festival founder, Peter McClusky as he talks about the history of garlic and how it became one of the most popular spices in Ontario. He will also discuss the chemistry of garlic, tips for growing and cooking garlic, cultural stereotypes and much more.


What: Ontario Garlic: The Story from Farm to Festival

When: Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 – 8:00 PM

Where: North York Central Library, in Room 1

Registration: Call (416) 395-5649


In the meantime, to learn more about garlic check out these books:

Cooking well, garlic   Garlic   Garlic, an edible biography   Garlic and other alliums

Garlic, onion and other alliums   In pursuit of garlic   The miracle of garlic   Ontario garlic

The Search for Richard III: England's Lost King

September 29, 2015 | Carrie | Comments (6) Facebook Twitter More...


Portrait of King Richard III
Portrait of King Richard III. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.

Please join us at North York Central Library on Thursday, November 12 from 7:00-8:00 pm to hear a representative from the Richard III Society discuss the life of one of England's most controversial monarchs. Learn about the fascinating events that led to the discovery and identification of his remains in a car park in Leicester, England.

Richard III was king of England for a short period from 1483 until his death in 1485 at Bosworth Field. He was the last English monarch to die in battle and his death brought about an end to the Wars of the Roses and to the Plantagenet Dynasty.  

Described by Shakespeare as “that poisonous hunchback’d toad, ” Richard has often been portrayed as a physically deformed, evil tyrant who had his two nephews murdered to remove their claims to the throne.

The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower
The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower, 1483 by Sir John Everett Millais, 1878, part of the Royal Holloway picture collection. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.

After his death, Richard’s body was publicly displayed and buried in a Franciscan Abbey. However, with the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, his final resting place became uncertain for centuries and resulted in much speculation and rumours.

The publication of the popular mystery novel, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey in 1951 greatly helped to revitalize interest in Richard and by portraying him in a sympathetic light, helped to redeem his reputation.

It was really one woman, a screenwriter named Philippa Langley, that spearheaded the efforts to locate Richard's remains. After years of researching, raising money and convincing others to get on board, the archaeological dig finally began in 2012.

Find out more about this exciting discovery, how Richard's remains were identified and how the findings influence what we know about Richard III. Please call 416-395-5660 to register for this program.


Richard III: a royal enigma  The kings grave Bones of a king
Last days of richard iii Martyr or monster Road to bosworth Daughter of time








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