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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 (2) 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 VII, 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








Free Science Events in Toronto for October 2015

September 29, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (2) 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 October calendar (PDF).

October's highlights include:

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

At the library, October's highlights include:

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

The green industrial revolution   The foot book   Sex in your garden   The healthy pregnancy book

The real cost of fracking   The complete book of juicing   Robotics   Waking the frog

Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano

September 25, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Please join us at North York Central Library on Thursday October 15 at 7:00 pm to explore a topic that has fascinated generations – the destruction of the city of Pompeii by volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Paul Denis, Assistant Curator (Greek, Etruscan, Roman & Byzantine) at the Royal Ontario Museum, will take us back almost 2000 years, to look at the life – and death of Pompeii. For a complete list of Toronto Public Library branches that will have programs about Pompeii, go to the bottom of this post.

Mosaic of watchdogMosaic of watchdog - Creative commons

A vacation destination for many Romans, Pompeii was a busy city near the Bay of Naples, surrounded by fertile land that supported vineyards and farms. It boasted a port, a gymnasium, an amphitheatre, public baths, fountains fed by an aqueduct system, shops, bars and private homes. It was a city rich in beauty -- excavations have revealed wall paintings, highly decorated ceilings, lovely floor mosaics, and sculpture.

The only eye witness account of the destruction of Pompeii is by Pliny the Younger, who was 18 at the time. In a letter, Pliny describes the beginning of the tragedy. Just after midday on August 24, his mother pointed out “a cloud of unusual size and appearance.” It was shaped like a pine tree, rising high in the sky on a “long trunk” which “spread out into what looked like branches.” Despite this ominous sight, Pliny and his mother stayed at their home, which was about 30 kilometres west of Mount Vesuvius. He slept little that night, describing “earth tremors” so strong that everything around him seemed to be “turning upside down.”

By dawn, with the buildings all around them shaking, they decided to flee, joining a “stupefied mob.” Pliny’s mother begged him to leave her behind, to save himself, but he refused. Pliny’s descriptions are terrifying. He saw the sea "being sucked back" leaving many sea creatures stranded on the sand, and a "black and menacing cloud, split by twisted and quivering lashes of fiery breath." As they fled, Pliny looked back: "Dense blackness loomed over us, pursuing us as it spread over the earth like a flood.” Over and over they had to shake off the heavy ash that fell on them, or else be “buried and even crushed beneath its weight.” Pliny thought it was the end of the world.

Garden of the Fugitives, Pompeii
Garden of the Fugitives, Pompeii Photo by Lancevortex - Creative Commons

Dramatic plaster casts of victims of the disaster may be the reason the destruction of Pompeii has indelibly burned itself into our imaginations. In 1863, the director of excavations at Pompeii, Giuseppe Fiorelli, decided to capture impressions of people in their final moments using the same technique that had been used to create impressions of objects, such as furniture. One of his contemporaries, the politician Luigi Settembrini, said that Fiorelli had “uncovered human suffering and whoever has an ounce of humanity will feel it.”

But the story of Pompeii isn't only about how its people died. Excavations at the site also tell a story about how they lived. The layers of ash that destroyed Pompeii also preserved it, allowing future generations to get a glimpse into day to day life in a first century Roman city.



If you are planning to attend the exhibit on Pompeii at the Royal Ontario Museum and would like to read about the topic to enrich your experience, consider reserving one of these books:

Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum by Paul Roberts.

The fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii lost and found by Mary Beard.

From Pompeii: the afterlife of a Roman town by Ingrid D. Rowland.

The complete Pompeii by Joanne Berry.

Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum The fires of Vesuvius - Pompeii lost and found From Pompeii - the afterlife of a Roman town The complete Pompeii

 Here are two DVDs and a historical novel about the destruction of Pompeii:

Pompeii The last day Pompeii back from the dead Pompeii Robert Harris









Excerpts from reviews for the novel Pompeii by Robert Harris: Readers who like their historical fiction well grounded in fact won't be able to put this down (Library Journal Review). Harris vividly brings to life the ancient world on the brink of unspeakable disaster. (Book List Review) ...expertly rendered historic spectacle (Publishers Weekly).

Toronto Public Library branches with programs about Pompeii:     

Pompeii: in the Shadow of the Volcano, at North York Central Library on Thursday October 15, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Speaker: Paul Denis, Assistant Curator, Royal Ontario Museum, World Cultures (Greek, Etruscan, Roman & Byzantine)

Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano at Toronto Reference Library on Monday October 5, 1:00 pm - 3:00pm. Presenters: Outreach team of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Volunteer Committee.

Programs suitable for kids ages 5-12:

Cedarbrae, Saturday October 24, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Woodview Park, Saturday November 7, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Amesbury Park, Saturday November 21, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

You can get a family pass for the Royal Ontario Museum at 50 Toronto Public Library branches. The Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) lets you and your family (two adults & up to five children) explore the best of Toronto's arts and cultural treasures for free.

Science Literacy Week is Back!

September 15, 2015 | Cathy | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Science Literacy Week Sept 21-27, 2015


Well...almost.  Toronto Public Library is celebrating its second annual Science Literacy Week, from September 21-27, 2015 with a whole slew of programs and displays for library-goers of all ages.

Scientific literacy is defined as "the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity" (definition from Science Literacy - Why is science literacy important?  Some people follow 'celebrities' such as Dr. Oz and the Food Babe for medical news and advice, but is it wise?  According to some health professionals, the answer is no. It is best to have a good grasp of basic concepts so that you can make informed decisions.

North York Central Library is pleased to be hosting a program by York University professor, Georg Zoidl on The Beautiful Brain: How Do We See the World on Tuesday September 22. You can also attend Science Literacy Week programs at branches throughout the city.

If you'd like to bone up on your science concepts or if you are a science geek like me, check out one of the following books:



Health Force Ontario – A Type of Matchmaking

September 8, 2015 | Jane | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Canada is a country that thrives on immigration. So there are systems in place to help immigrants move into their new lives in Canada as easily as possible. In fact, new changes in immigration processes (some of them controversial) allow skilled and highly educated immigrants to be “fast-tracked” into Canada to fill specific labour vacancies. Many of the 50-or-so designated occupations are in health fields.                                            

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.06.47 PMpicture credit: CanStockPhoto

This is where Health Force Ontario comes in. It is an agency whose role is, as Citizenship and Immigration minister Chris Alexander puts it, “matchmaker” to the health needs of Canadians and foreign-educated health workers who wish to come to Canada, to Ontario in particular.

Health Force Ontario “ensure[s] that Ontarians have access to the right number and mix of qualified health-care providers, when and where they are needed, now and in the future”.

On the other end, it executes the strategy by certifying the highly trained people who can fill these health care jobs, and who want to be in Canada.

The requirements for and process of certification can be confusing. If you are an internationally educated health professional, and would like to learn more about how to smooth the path to professional practice, come and see what the Access Centre for Internationally Educated Health Professionals may have to help.  

North York Central Library is hosting a session with a representative from Health Force Ontario/Access:

Are You an Internationally Educated Health Professional?

Tues. September 15, 2015

2:00 to 3:00 pm

North York Central Library

5120 Yonge Street

Toronto M2N 5N9

Room 2/3 (2nd floor, west side of atrium)

 To register, please call 416-395-5649


Outdoor Survival and Urban Disaster Preparedness

September 4, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Walking in woods

Do you know what to do if you were lost in the woods? Can you survive before help can find you or you can find it? I've always thought about this when I take a walk in the woods. Although, the woods in my neighbourhood is by no means extreme wilderness but I've always had this thought. Would I have to eat bugs? Would I be able to build a fire? Can I eat the leaves from the bush? How can I get help?

How about at home? Would you be able to survive during an extended power outage due to severe weather? Do you have enough food and water? How do you keep warm?

Not to worry! There is help…

The North York Central Library’s Science and Technology department is hosting a workshop to help you get prepared. Learn how to construct bug-out survival and safety kits, how to select proper backcountry clothing, what types of backup power alternatives are available (e.g. solar invertors, gas generators, etc.), and how to formulate a survival game plan for the outdoors and at home. 


What: Outdoor Survival and Urban Disaster Preparedness

When: Saturday, September 19 at 1:00-3:30 pm

Where: North York Central Library, in the Concourse

Registration: Call (416) 395-5649


Join us to learn all you need to know to be prepared to survive in the wild and in urban disasters.

To read up on outdoor survival and urban disaster preparedness, check out these books:

Complete survival manual   Disaster preparedness   Disaster survival guide   Epic survival

How to survive outdoors   Man vs. wild   Modern survival   Outdoor survival guide

The Practical Preppers complete guide to diaster preparedness   Preparedness now   Serious survival   The ultimate survival manual

Urban emergency survival plan   Wilderness secrets revealed   Wilderness survival for dummies   Your survival


Events That Reign Supreme

August 31, 2015 | Ann | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

 A brief history of the Dufferin Gate at the CNE grounds Posted by Chris Bateman / JANUARY 28, 2012 on blogTO

Dufferin Gates - CNE Grounds, Toronto (September 1, 2005) from Wikimedia Commons. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Today marks the end of August. The CNE season is nearing its end of another successful run.  

As seasons go, the hot and heavy humidity along with the gloriously warm sunshine will eventually be replaced by shorter days, cooler temperatures, and bright yellow and red hues of autumn.

As the weather transitions, three upcoming events are worth anticipating.  

But, before delving into these three events for September, please take a moment to remember the passing of a significant historical figure. Joseph Bloore passed away on August 31, 1862 at the age of 73.  He was laid to rest in Toronto's Necropolis Cemetery. Toronto's Bloor Street was named after this early Canadian businessman and brewer. Historical records appear unclear as to whether or not Joseph Bloore chose to attach the "e" to the end of his surname or explain the reason for his fierce searing gaze.  

More historical images of that period relating to Joseph Bloore are available from the Toronto Public Library website or through a direct link from Joseph Bloore's portrait below. 

More resources from the Toronto Public Library pertaining to Joseph Bloore
Picture taken in 1850.  Image courtesy of the Toronto Public Library

Also, have a look at this interesting article on Joseph Bloore written on May 8, 2015 called, Early brewer the basis for Bloor Street’s name, by the Gleaner Community Press newspaper and Chris Bateman's October 26, 2013 article on BlogTO called, What Yorkville looked like when it was still a village.

Here is a suggested title written by Cynthia Patterson and published by the Toronto Public Library in 1986 called, Bloor-Dufferin in pictures, which provides a detailed historical account along with a lush collection of pictures on the local history of that area.

Bloor-Dufferin in pictures by Cynthia Patterson


The first event in September arrives on Monday, September 7, 2015. Labour Day is recognized as the last civic holiday ending the summer season and welcoming the beginning of the Fall season and a brand new school year. This day also means that the library and many other establishments will be closed for this holiday.  

For more information on Canada's Labour History, please visit the Canadian Museum of History website. Here are some worthwhile titles on various types of Labour in Canada:

A good day's work:  in pursuit of a disappearing Canada Discounted labour: women workers in Canada, 1870-1939 Canadian working-class history: selected readings, 3rd ed. Working people, 5th ed. rev. and updated
Labouring Canada: class, gender, and race in Canadian working-class history Rebel Youth: 1960s Labour Unrest, Young Workers, and New Leftists in English Canada Workers and Canadian history Hard time: reforming the penitentiary in nineteenth-century Canada

The second event arrives two days after Labour Day into the midweek. On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth II will officially break the record for the longest reign by any British monarch in history. Queen Victoria, Elizabeth's great great grandmother, over a century ago, held the longest reign which was 63 years, seven months and two days long. To appreciate these two fabulously long-living female monarchs, glance through their lives from their detailed biographies listed below:

Queen Victoria: a life of contradictions Becoming Queen Queen Victoria: gender and power Shooting Victoria: madness, mayhem, and the rebirth of the British monarchy
Our Queen Dressing the Queen: the Jubilee wardrobe Long live the Queen! - Britain in 1953 The Queen: Elizabeth II and the monarchy

The third event is the return of Sunday hours after the Labour Day weekend. The hours for Sundays will resume from 1:30 pm to 5 pm at the District and Reference libraries including the North York Central Library on Sunday, September 13, 2015. For students beginning a new year, these extra hours means a big difference in the quality of time for study and research. For students requiring a boost of insight on improving their studying skills, here is a list of useful titles:

How to study, 5th ed College rules!: how to study, survive, and succeed in college The complete idiot's guide to study skills Study smarter, not harder
Critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and argument Study skills for dyslexic students The secrets of top students: tips, tools, and techniques for acing high school and college Presentation skills for students

As events go, this post hopes to address an appreciation of the history of the man behind the Bloor Street name, the importance of human labour, an interest in the history of the monarchy, and the resumption of Sunday library hours to aid in developing study skills in preparation for the new Fall year.  

Free Science Events in Toronto for September 2015

August 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 September calendar (PDF).

September's highlights include:

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

At the library, September's highlights include:

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

The hot sauce cookbook   Bird sense   Pluto   Food junkies

Wild city   The kingdom of fungi   Healthy brain, happy life   The astronomy bible


Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, 1762-1850

July 31, 2015 | Ann | Comments (10) Facebook Twitter More...

This upcoming civic holiday honours the first Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe. A detailed biography on John Simcoe is available on the Historical Narratives of Early Canada website which provides a good account of his military and historical achievements.  

Blog: Celebrate Simcoe Day. Scenic Sensations Await!
John Graves Simcoe. Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario. 

Credit in the development of Upper Canada could be shared with his adoring young wife, Elizabeth. This post will glance through Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe's unique contributions in art, writing, and her support in shaping this new Canadian frontier.  

The Toronto Project: The Elizabeth Simcoe Archives
Elizabeth Simcoe, 1790 and drawn by her friend, Mary Anne Burges  in water colour taken from The Library and Archives Canada, no. 1972-118-2

Born in Northamptonshire, England on September 22nd in 1762, Elizabeth arrived into the world filled with bittersweet anticipation. Her father, Colonel Thomas Gwillim passed away several months before Elizabeth's birth while posted to Germany on January 29, 1762.  No specified cause was recorded on the manner of his death. Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth Sophia Gwillim, died within 24 hours after childbirth. In this midst of this deep sadness, her aunt, Margaret Spinkes, took over the care of her baby niece. Both the aunt and the aunt's mother chose to name her Elizabeth Posthuma--her first name in honour of her mother and her middle name to reflect the passing of her parents. 

On June 14, 1769, her aunt Margaret married Admiral Samuel Graves. They met in the previous winter. The Admiral was 56 years of age and a childless widower. Margaret Spinkes was 42 years old. The Admiral saw Elizabeth as the child that he was unable to have and both aunt and uncle raised Elizabeth with the best of all intentions. 

Entry on Samuel Graves in the Fort Lauderdale Chapter Newsletter Vol. 45, No. 2 (February 2012)
Admiral Samuel Graves (1713-1787), by James Northcote. This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

As Elizabeth was growing up, her family encouraged her to develop a positive outlook on life by providing various resources for her to explore. She developed her writing skills and wrote voraciously to family and friends far and wide; she explored the countryside on foot and on horseback and wrote copious details of her journeys; and she developed her artistic skills in sketching and painting. She also studied botany and that knowledge dovetailed nicely with her interest in painting landscapes.   

In 1777 when Elizabeth turned fifteen years old, she met a handsome commanding officer twice her age. At the age of 30, the wounded Lieutenant Colonel, John Graves Simcoe, returned to England to convalesce after the British Army's defeat in Yorktown. Admiral Graves extended an invitation for John Graves Simcoe to stay at Hembury Fort House while recuperating. Since Elizabeth had a large dowry, the aunt and uncle paid careful attention to the men who showed an interest in her.  In John Grave Simcoe's case, John's parents were close friends. Admiral Graves was the godfather of John Simcoe and had Admiral Graves' surname for his middle name.  

Over time and daily interaction in residence, both John and Elizabeth quickly fell in love to the delight of Margaret and Admiral Graves. The two remained in contact and by September 1782, John and Elizabeth became engaged. On December 30, 1782 they were married. Soon after they were married, Elizabeth purchased five thousand acres of land and built a forty-room mansion and called it Wolford Lodge.

Fast forward to nine years later, after the births of five daughters between 1783 and 1790, her first son, Francis, was born in 1791--two more daughters (one in Toronto and the other in England) and one more son was born (in England) later for a total of nine children). In the same year, her husband accepted an assignment to travel to Upper Canada as the new Lieutenant Governor. Ensuring that her children were cared for, her children either remained at Wolford Lodge and stayed with other family or they came along with her.  

Elizabeth Simcoe began painting Canadian landscapes and waterways. She captured the Magdalene Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on her journey to Quebec City.

Isle of Entry [one of the Magdalene Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence] by Elizabeth Simcoe, Archives of Ontario, I0006864
Isle of Entry in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario

When the couple arrived in Quebec on November 11th of 1791, Elizabeth sketched her first sleigh ride which she expressed as quite 'jolty' and the journey as very cold.   

Officers and Canadian Carrioles, Elizabeth Simcoe on Aquarelle paper
Officers and Canadian Carrioles. Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario

As the Simcoes settled in Quebec, on December 26th, The Constitutional Act of 1791 came into being and was the first step in amalgamating the land for this new country. On June 5, 1792, the Simcoes continued on their journey through Upper Canada in Ottawa and stayed at the Chateau de Ramezay which could be one of the oldest buildings in Canada.  

Government House: Chateau de Ramezay, Montreal by Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, 1792
Government House, Chateau de Ramezay in Montreal. Courtesy of This work is in the Canadian public domain.

She wrote in her journal:

Sun. [June] 17th—The joy I felt in finding myself in spacious apartments was checked the next day by finding the heat more insufferable than I had ever felt. The thermometer continued at 96 for two days, and the heat was not ill-described by a sentinel who exclaimed, "There is but a sheet of brown paper between this place and hell." In the town are abundance of merchants' storehouses, the doors and windows of which are iron, and many of the houses, as well as churches, are covered with tin. By these circumstances, I believe, the heat is increased. The Government House is built on arches, under which are very large offices, which might be made very comfortable summer apartments. (The Diary of Mrs. Simcoe, 1911)

The Simcoes traveled to Kingston and briefly considered Kingston as the capital of Upper Canada but the location and geography did not appear to be suitable.  Days later, they sailed to Niagara where Elizabeth captured the breathtaking Falls in water colour. The family stayed here in Newark (today is called Niagara-On-The-Lake) for several months. On January 16, 1793, her daughter, Katherine, was born.

Niagara Falls, Ontario by Elizabeth Simcoe, summer 1792  item reference code F 47-11-1-0-71
Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario.  

She wrote in her journal her impression of the Falls:

On the American side the river passing over a straight ledge of rock has not the beauty of the circular form or its green colour, the whole centre of the circular falls being of the brightest green, and below it frequently seen a rainbow. (The Diary of Mrs. Simcoe, 1911)

Even today, her words appear to ring true. Many current visitors can attest to the same visual beauty from its roaring depths.

In July, her ship, the Mississauga, entered the Toronto Harbour.  

Looking south towards Gibralter Point, showing firing of salute
Looking south towards Gibraltar Point. Courtesy of the Toronto Public Library

John and Elizabeth explored this region by canoe, horseback, and on foot and John noted that this harbour appears well protected by the Toronto Islands in the south and he named spit on the Island, Gibraltar Point.  

Sadly, not all of Elizabeth's journey was positive. Elizabeth's daughter, Katherine perished on April 1792 at 14 months old.  She was buried in the Old Garrison Burying Ground which is currently a park renamed Victoria Memorial Square near Fort York.    

On a happier note, her first son Francis Simcoe survived the Frontier. The family created a lovely castle in his honour and named it, Castle Frank.  

Elizabeth Simcoe Watercolour: Castle Frank, 1796 in Archives of Ontario
Castle Frank, 1796. Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario

Sadly, Castle Frank is no longer standing and through time, several changes to the landscape occurred. On September 11, 1796, the family returned to England and never returned to Canada to enjoy this residence.    

Elizabeth's diary entries are worth reading and revisiting. Consider perusing these interesting titles to appreciate her remarkable journey:

Elizabeth Simcoe's Canadian journey Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, 1762-1850: a biography John Graves Simcoe, 1752-1806: a biography Toronto During The French Regime
"Our young soldier": Lieutenant Francis Simcoe, 6 June 1791-6 April 1812 Toronto: biography of a city The Niagara companion - explorers, artists and writers at the Falls, from discovery through the twentieth century Mrs. Simcoe's diary

On this special day, consider riding to the Toronto Islands by ferry and visiting Gibraltar Point, gaze down the brilliant green Falls in Niagara, Ontario, stroll through Fort York and watch the British soldiers march in formation, and reflect on Elizabeth's journeys as you wander along the Castle Frank Brook on your travels. Much of the Canadian and Toronto traditions were inspired by John Simcoe and then brought to life in muted colours and lively written text by Elizabeth Simcoe centuries ago.  

Enjoy the long weekend!

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.