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Store-wide Half Price Sale at Book Ends in NYCL

November 16, 2015 | Ann | Comments (0)

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.

Colleen Jones Roars Into the Library!

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

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  

Events That Reign Supreme

August 31, 2015 | Ann | Comments (0)

 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.  

Picture Labour Day...Over A Century Ago

August 29, 2014 | Ann | Comments (0)

  More Labour Day images from The Toronto Public Library Pinterest website

Labour Day in Toronto along Queen Street West near Claremont Avenue in 1905 (Photo courtesy of The Toronto Public Library)

Hours of Operation

Welcome to the first day of September which happens to fall on the first Monday of the month.  As this day marks the Labour Day statutory holiday, all public libraries, post offices, government buildings, and private businesses are closed for the day. The library will re-open for regular hours on Tuesday.  Sunday hours will resume for District branches and Research and Reference libraries including North York Central Library and the Toronto Reference Library.  Sunday, September 7, 2014 is the first Sunday the library will open in the Fall at 1:30 pm and close at 5:00 pm.


Picture Labour Day in 1905 (close-up view)

Going back one hundred and nine years ago, visualize standing on a raised wooden platform from the main street and looking up at the cool misty grey sky. A photographer gages the weather and scans the procession.  Beside him, balanced on a tall wrought iron tripod, rests an early-period camera.  He peers through the camera lens and squeezes a rubber bulb connected to the camera.   A crisp image materializes showing marchers moving westward along Queen Street West with crowds gathering on sidewalks across the north and south sides of the street.

A conductor leads the parade and he exhibits stern confidence.  Behind him, the musicians keep pace while performing on their trombones, tubas, trumpets, and drums.  The band appears loosely dispersed along the street to ensure enough space to safely perform, march, and read their sheet music.

Drawn forward by the rousing tunes from the band, hundreds of men marching are decked out in suits, peaked caps, and what appears to be long cloth pendants pinned and draping from the marchers' left breast pockets.  These uniformed men line and fill several street blocks.  

The women in the crowd wear long flowing dresses with big fancy bonnets worn over their hair.  The girls are adorned in knee-high dresses with their pretty hair beribboned and braided in flattering bows.  The men observing the parade appear immaculate in their dress suits and assorted hats--consisting of bowlers, panamas, and fedoras.  Some men are seen whispering quietly amongst themselves. On the upper right-hand side in the photograph, the crowd gathers under opened umbrellas and store awnings to avoid the drizzling rain.  Behind the wooden post on Claremont Avenue, a man sits in his horse-drawn carriage watching the parade go by.


Queen Street West and Claremont Avenue a Century Later (Google Maps Image)

The current image of Queen Street West and Claremont Avenue shows some structural changes since 1905.  For instance, the building that housed the Bunker Brothers Carriage and Wagon Works on the northwest side of Claremont Avenue in 1905 no longer exists.  In its place currently stands a Starbuck's coffee shop.  On the northeast side stood the Cairo Bros. store in 1905.  Today, the Sanko Trading Co., which sells Japanese food and various types of artifacts, maintains the original building in fine condition.  


Celebrate Labour Day (Google Images of Past Parades)

Fair pay, safe working conditions, fair rights for all workers, and the ability for employees to voice their concerns continue to be important issues for workers' unions to address, negotiate, and achieve with employers.  For more information on the history of Labour Day in Canada, please have a look at the website, Canada's History - The First Labour Day.

In March 2012, The Toronto Public Library defended against budget cuts and library closures as discussed in Maureen O'Reilly's March 14, 2014 Toronto Star article, When will the city learn to love its librarians?  The library continues to provide programs, print and online resources, and an environment for the public to learn, relax, and connect.  

Listed below are some worthy titles pertaining to labour, work, and industry:

The workers' festival - a history of Labour Day in Canada by Craig Heron A good day's work - in pursuit of a disappearing Canada by John DeMont All labor has dignity by Martin Luther King, Jr. Work, industry, and Canadian society by H. Krahn
Social work under pressure - how to overcome stress, fatigue and burnout in the workplace by Kate Van Heugten Working without committments - the health effects of precarious employment by Wayne Lewchuk Work - a very short introduction by Stephen Fineman The quality of work - a people-centered agenda by Graham S. Lowe

Every year on Labour Day Monday, the marchers gather between University Avenue and Dundas Street West in the morning.  By 1:30 pm the parade proceeds south to Queen Street West and then westbound towards Dufferin Street and finally southbound through the Dufferin Gates into the CNE.  Come see and support us on our march along the way!

Would you like a free education?

October 30, 2012 | Irene | Comments (2)

Do you feel your body getting ready to go into hibernation? While many of us may not be as physically active as we might want to be over the coming months it is the perfect time to exercise our brains. With the following site recommendations you can learn at your own pace or just procrastinate with some enlightening and stimulating material no matter what your interests are.


Coursera offers free undergraduate and graduate level courses. You watch lectures by world class scholars online at your own pace. There are assignments and deadlines and your work is evaluated by your peers.  Some, but not all, of the Universities involved include: Penn State, Michigan, U of T, Caltech and Duke. Several courses are for credit but you need to make sure that the other institution that you are attending will accept Coursera credits. Subjects range from  Cryptography, to  How Things Work 1  to  Introduction to Philosophy. I am currently enrolled in Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. I will let you know how it goes.

The University of Toronto recently became a partner. Here is an article from the Toronto Star  about that.


Khan Academy

"Learn almost anything for free." This is the goal of The Khan Academy! The academy accidentally started in 2004 when Salman Khan agreed to tutor a cousin in math. Salman lived in Boston and his cousin lived in New Orleans so he posted tutorials online for her. You can watch Sal talk about the advent of the academy via his Ted talk. Now, with 3500 videos you can learn about math, the humanities, finance and economics, science, computer science and a selection of math test preparations. There are also resources for teachers and anyone else who wants to use the materials and principles in any kind of classroom. Also, check out Salman Khan's new book The One World Schoolhouse: education reimagined.


 W3 schools

Have you ever wanted to learn basic programming or just plain old HTML? This web development education site has excellent tutorials for beginners and experts alike. The tutorials are easy to follow and there is an editor that you can use as you learn.


Academic Earth 

Some, but not all, of the partners include Yale, MIT, Stanford and Berkley

Watch lectures by international scholars as they presented their material in class. Subjects range from business to art and design. The site is easy to search and use. I have really enjoyed their Playlists, thematic groups of lectures on timely issues and events.


TED Talks 

Ted Talks are pure unadulterated mind candy for everyone. You may have heard of TED X and have always meant to check it out so now is your chance. Search by topic, country or most viewed.  Every talk is guaranteed to be enlightening and stimulating. Here is a sample: Susan Cain talking about her book Quiet . It is all about the power of introverts. Get it as an eBook.

For great local events check out  TED x Toronto


Internet Public Library    

Of course I have to include something with library in the title! This is a great general source for resources on just about any topic and for any age.

Life as Queen Victoria

May 15, 2012 | Ann | Comments (3)


Monday, May 21, 2012 is Victoria Day to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday and observed by Canadians as the unofficial day to welcome in the summer season.  Toronto events for this long weekend are updated regularly on Toronto Hogspot,, and

For history buffs wanting to read up on Queen Victoria, here are some suggested titles from our collection. 


The Young Victoria


Alison Plowden (1931-2007), biographer and historian, has written several popular titles on the Tudor period including this impressive biography on Queen Victoria's early reign as taken from Victoria's own personal letters and family portraits.

A brief synopsis from the History Press Publisher website is provided below: 

'I delight in this work', wrote the young Victoria shortly after she became Queen. She was an engaging creature, high-spirited and eager to be 'amused'. But her early years were difficult ones. Fatherless from the age of eight months, she was brought up at Kensington Palace in an atmosphere thick with family feuds, backbiting and jealousy - the focus of conflicting ambitions. Though her uncle William IV was anxious to bring her into Court circles, her German mother and the calculating John Conroy were equally determined that she should remain under their control. The 'little Queen', who succeeded to the throne a month after her eighteenth birthday, was greeted by a unanimous chorus of praise and admiration. She embraced the independence of her position and often forced her will on those around her.  She met and married Albert, marking the end of her childhood and the beginning of a glorious legend." (information retrieved May 5, 2012)

Here is the link to the ebook title:




there is a (2009) DVD movie based on Allison Plowden's book starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend


Who was Boy Jones?


According to Jan Bondeson, author of Queen Victoria's stalker: the strange story of the Boy Jones, he may have well been the first reported stalker in history.  Boy Jones was fascinated with Queen Victoria and Buckingham Palace to have successfully broke into the Palace three times.  In one visit, he stole a pair of Her Royal Highness' underwear.  Boy Jones was only 14 years old when he started his illegal visits and was arrested after each visit.  The authorities decided to ship him off to Australia after the third time.  Eventually Boy Jones fell off a bridge in a drunken stupor and landed on his head on Boxing Day in 1893.  He was 70 years old when he fell to his fate.  For a detailed review of this title, check out the Guardian UK article.


Abdul Karim



Queen Victoria developed many interests in her life but in her last remaining years, Karim Abdul became a major focus as a companion, teacher, and a close confident to the Queen until her death in 1901.  Shrabani Basu, in her 2010 book, Victoria & Abdul : the true story of the queen's closest confidant tracked down Queen Victoria's diaries that were smuggled out of England to India then finally back to Pakistan and she describes what these diaries reveal about the relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim. 

The BBC News South Asia wrote an (March 13, 2011) article, Queen Victoria and Abdul: Diaries Reveal Secrets and provides an excellent summary of this title. houses a weekly podcast show called, Stuff You Missed in History Class with hosts Sarah Dowdey and Deblina Chakaraborty.  The (May 23, 2011) podcast episode called, Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim is based on Ms. Basu's book which is worth listening to.  You may listen to the podcast episode from CastRoller here or access the podcast episode from the iTunes directory here.

Have a wonderful Victoria Day weekend spending it reading, viewing, or listening to some Victorian history or spending it outdoors and enjoying the warm weather with family and friends.

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