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Is Spring Your "New Year"? Two May Programs that Support Positive Change

April 29, 2016 | Carolyn | Comments (0)

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I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions. January 1, falling during the coldest and darkest time of the year, just doesn't feel like the right time for new beginnings. In the spring, signs of new growth and new life are all around, so it has always been my personal "new year" -- a time to take stock and make changes. 

If you find yourself thinking of making changes in your life at this time of year, two May programs at the North York Central Library may interest you.

On Wednesday May 4 we're presenting Finding Skin Care Products that Work. If you're as confused as I am about the hundreds of products available, and as skeptical about their claims, take control by learning how to identify the right products for your skin type. Chemist Louise Hidinger will discuss the ingredients and formulations to look for to tackle a range of specific issues, including acne, sensitive skin, hyperpigmentation, sun exposure and aging. Learn how to identify products that contain effective amounts of active ingredient and get tips on how to make the most of them.

Here are some books and eBooks about skin care products available in library branches or through our website:


Program details:

Finding Skin Care Products that Work
North York Central Library - Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm

If you're concerned about the physical effects of tension and stress, a second May program may interest you.

On Thursday May 12, learn about the Mitzvah Technique at Physical Solutions to Posture Problems, Tension and Stress. Susan Green, a certified Mitzvah technique instructor, will explain and demonstrate practical ways to develop and maintain a healthful and youthful posture. In this participatory workshop, suited to all ages and fitness levels, you'll learn how to apply the technique to your daily activities. Anyone can benefit from this practical session, but if you're concerned, as I am, about the health consequences of spending too much time sitting, it should be especially helpful.

If you'd like to learn about the benefits of improving your posture, try one of these books:


Program details:

Physical Solutions to Posture Problems, Tension and Stress

North York Central Library - Room 1
5120 Yonge Street
Thursday, May 12, 2016
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

No registration is required for either of these programs. So come to the North York Central Library in May and learn how to make some positive changes in your life.


Free Science Events in Toronto for May 2016

April 28, 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 May calendar (PDF).

May's highlights include:

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

At the Library, May's highlights include:

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

The Orchid Whisperer   Make - The Annotated Build-it-yourself Science Laboratory   Running Injury-Free   Small-Space Container Gardens

Atoms Under the Floorboards   The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products   Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living   The Allergy Book


Looking for Life in the Cosmos

April 18, 2016 | Jane | Comments (0)

Let’s grapple for a moment with another of the universe’s eternal puzzles. Is there life elsewhere, besides here on earth? Neil deGrasse Tyson at NASA says that “most astrophysicists accept a high probability of there being life elsewhere in the universe, if not on other planets or on moons within our own solar system. The numbers are, well, astronomical: If the count of planets in our solar system is not unusual, then there are more planets in the universe than the sum of all sounds and words ever uttered by every human who has ever lived. To declare that Earth must be the only planet in the cosmos with life would be inexcusably egocentric of us.”

When astronomers and astrophysicists ask this question of themselves, a strategy is to identify celestial bodies that have conditions similar to those we know here on earth. There’s some clear logic to this. There is also plenty of hard work that goes into pinning down the hard science. It isn’t reasonable to send someone to find out . . . so instead scientists build extraordinary telescopes like the Hubble, the Spitzer and the James Webb. These can identify planets or moons that are the right distance from stars to allow for the presence of liquid water, one of the key necessities for life, at least for life as we currently understand it. It’s complicated. But Dr. Michael Reid of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at University of Toronto will be on hand next week to explain some of it.

Life in the Cosmos

Tue Apr 26, 2016

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


North York Central Library, Auditorium

5120 Yonge Street


This program is a part of the Thought Exchange series. Take a ride into the final frontier . . .                                                                                                               

 Hubble'sAmazingRescue  SpaceStarsandtheBeginningofTime  400YearsoftheTelescope Gravity's Engines

  AYearIntheLifeoftheUniverse  Hubble'sUniverse  HubbletheYearsofDiscovery 

Life in space  TheCosmos  TheHubbleCosmos  TheLastoftheGreatObservatories    

TelescopeHuntingtheEdgeofSpace  TheUniverseThroughtheEyesofHubble  HubbleImagingSpaceandTime Thelivingcosmos

Our Fragile Planet: Magazines to the Rescue

April 15, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (4)

Our Fragile Planet display at North York Central Library

It's Earth Month 2016 and the time has come to take seriously our impact on the planet. Toronto Public Library is happy to present the best of our collections on environmental education, geared to children, teens and adults. Watch for environmental displays in branches across the city and pick up some reading material. At the same time, please join us for Our Fragile Planet, our free environmental programming series. Learn about issues that impact our city, and what you can do to tread lightly on our planet.


Next Friday is Earth Day.

The library has been celebrating all month through the Our Fragile Planet environmental programming series and displays at the branches. The displays feature books, magazines and DVDs on topics such as conservation, recycling, sustainable living, gardening and more.The goal is to get people thinking about the environment and what we can do to make a difference.

While we should be thinking about the environment throughout the year, Earth Day is a great way to remind us of our impact on the natural world. Magazines are a great way to get us thinking about the issues. With thought-provoking articles and stunning images, it’s a good place to start.

Here are some magazines on the environment available at the library:

Canadian Field-Naturalist   Earth   Nature   On Nature

There are also wildlife magazines:

Audubon   BBC wildlife   Birding   Canadian Wildlife

Try growing your own vegetables or planting flowers to attract wildlife. Here are some gardening magazines:

Canadian Gardening   Garden Making   Mother Earth News   Ontario Gardener

Want to read something right now? The library has magazines available online through Zinio that can be read on your computer, tablet or phone: (Don’t know Zinio? Here’s a guide.)

Environment and wildlife magazines available online:

Audubon   Earth   National Geographic   Smithsonian

Gardening magazines online:

Better Homes and Gardens   Canadian Gardening   Garden Making   Mother Earth News

It’s always important to be mindful of how we impact the environment. So let’s take this chance to make a difference.

Biggs the Fig Pig

April 4, 2016 | Jane | Comments (0)

Mr. Stephen Biggs is a self-described fig pig.Stephen Biggs He seems to have been born to the role, suited as his name is to his vocation (at least if you like rhymes). But what is it that draws a man to a fruit tree with such passion and commitment? 

He isn't alone, as it turns out, and the thing that holds the rest of us back is our impression that a fig will not grow in our Toronto climate. Biggs will set us straight on this score when he’s here at North York Central Library to give a talk about all kinds of fig trees  – how to propagate them, how to prune them, how to keep them alive over Toronto winters.


North York Central Library (5120 Yonge Street)
Room 2/3
Tues April 12, 7-8 pm


While fresh figs taste wonderful with just a bit of honey over them, or maybe with a dollop of ice cream, you may have more elaborate plans for yours, once you have them in backyard abundance.  

 Grow Figs Sweet Middle East Roast Figs Sugar Snow  A Platter of Figs

Some more tips for growing fruit trees:

Growing Fruit Trees Holistic Orcharding Home Orchard Handbook Growing Organic Orchard Fruits

Sonia Faruqi's Personal Journey Investigating Animal Farms

March 29, 2016 | Carrie | Comments (0)


This image is in the public domain


After losing her job as an investment banker on Wall street, Sonia Faruqi decided that she could use some rest and relaxation and thought an idyllic farm setting would be the perfect place to recharge her batteries.

She made arrangements to stay at an organic dairy farm for two weeks and what she witnessed completely shocked her and led her on a personal journey around the world to expose animal cruelty and find solutions that would benefit animals, the environment and human health.

Sonia Faruqi will read from her book Project Animal Farm and discuss her personal experiences investigating animal farms around the world.


What: My Personal Journey Investigating Animal Farms

When: Wed Apr 6, 2016 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Where: North York Central Library, Auditorium

To Register: Call the Society and Recreation Department at 416-395-5660



Project Animal farm  Book








If you would like to read more about animal ethics:


 Farm Sanctuary   Cafo   Animals and ethics




Free Science Events in Toronto for April 2016

March 29, 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 April calendar (PDF).

April's highlights include:

  • April 3: Ontario's Badgers - Learn about these endangered mammals and the steps being taken to understand badger ecology.
  • April 14: Women's Health & Gynecologic Cancers - An evening discussion about gynecologic cancers by leading Sunnybrook experts.
  • April 21: Posture: Does it Matter? - Does the way you stand and sit affect your health? A discussion about posture and if it matters.

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

At the library, April's highlights include:

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

Badger   Women's cancers   The posture workbook   Safe passages

Positive options for colorectal cancer   Grow figs where you think you can't   Wear this, toss that   Blue hope


Why Did the Deer Cross the Road? Road and Ecology in Cities

March 18, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (0)

Deer crossing road
Photo by Chinmayisk [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever driven past road kill and wondered “why did it risk its life crossing the road?” Well, the answer is usually quite simple. The animal probably needed to survive.

From an animal’s perspective, Toronto is a patchwork of green spaces linked by river valleys but often separated by dangerous roads. Due to roadway design which often fragment natural habitats, species are confined to small areas and denied access to resources such as shelter, food and mates and eventually die out. The consequences are severe.

Come and join us for a talk on how road networks relate to ecological processes in cities and how transportation planning can affect urban biodiversity.

Namrata Shrestha, a professor at the University of Toronto’s School of the Environment, will discuss how her work and research as a landscape ecologist can reduce the impact of infrastructure networks on wildlife.


What: Road & Ecology in Cities: The Effect of Transportation Planning on Wildlife

When: Saturday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM

Where: North York Central Library, in the Auditorium

For more information: Call the Science & Technology Department at (416) 395-5649


For more information about road ecology, here are some books:

Creating green roadways   Road ecology   Roads and ecological infrastructure   Safe passages

This video by the Ontario Road Ecology Group explains what road ecology is and what we can do to help:


Free Science Events in Toronto for March 2016

March 1, 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 March calendar (PDF). 

March's highlights include:

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

At the library, March's highlights include:

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

How we'll live on Mars   Atmosphere   Outsmart diabetes 1-2-3   A doctor's guide to alternative medicine

Our daily poison   GIMP for absolute beginners   Bicycle repair manual   A visual guide to sushi-making at home

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

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.