Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Read, Watch and Listen : More on the Pan Am Games

July 31, 2015 | Cynthia | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am

The Pan American Games are an Olympic-style competition for athletes from all nations of the Americas held every four years, always one year before the Olympic Games. Until this summer, many of us did not know much about the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. The exposure to such a variety of athletes and sporting events has generated a lot of interest.

First edition of the Pan American Games held in 1951 in Buenos Aires

The first edition of the Pan American Games was held in 1951 in Buenos Aires. The Parapan American Games started in November 1999 in Mexico City. Similarly, the Parapan American Games became a qualifying event for the Paralympic Games. Over the years, the Library has kept a record of the games through clipping files, books, reports, magazines, music and video. 





The Pan American Games This bilingual (English/Spanish) book lists by sport the results of the Games from 1951 to 1999. Listings include a chronology of the sport in the context of the Pan American Games and the gold, silver, and bronze winners for each year.

Charts show how many medals each country won for that sport in each set of games. Also included are lists of medals by country, medals by sport, sports by years contested, countries of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), presidents of PASO, and a chronology of the Games. 




Tracing the history of Canada's participation in the Games? See the Official report of Canada's participation in the Pan American Games, by the Pan American Games Committee of Canada beginning with Canada's first year of participation in 1955 up to 1971. 

If you are really keen, you can read the 344-page Pan American Games Canadian team handbook 1979 : San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 1-15 = Jeux panaméricains equipe canadienne bottin 1979 : San Juan, porto Rico, 1-15 juillet.

Pan Am Games  Canadian Team at the Panamerican Games 1979

Cities often prepare years in advance to bid and host major events like this. We have the 1992 report called A festival of sport for the Americas : the 1999 Pan American Games in Metropolitan Toronto : presentation to the Canadian Olympic Pan American Games  by the 1999 Pan American Games Bid Committee of Toronto. It took years before we got the games. And years to plan and construct some of the venues. 

This 2011 report North side of Ellesmere Road, east and west sides of Military Trail, east of Morningside Avenue, Pan Am Games Aquatic Centre official plan and rezoning applications : final report preceded our new "Olympic-ready" state-of-the-art aquatic centre.

And if you wondering if anyone pays attention to money, check out the Toronto Pan/Parapan Am Games host city showcase : program & major special event reserve fund. 

Researching the history of sporting events? Ask at the Humanities and Social Sciences information desk for books, reports and our files on the Pan Am games. You will find newspaper clippings, programs, pamphlets and more. Search for articles on our databases; come to us for the print copies.

Pan Am Newspaper Collage

Opening & Closing Ceremonies Music of Pan American Games


Did you know that we even have videos, CDs and sheet music? Ode to the athletes : music from the 1999 Pan American Games : music and lyrics, for 2 sopranos, chorus and orchestra is one of a number of pieces by Victor Davies written for the 1999 games in Winnipeg. And The spirit of the games is a CBC video on the Winnipeg Games. These are found in the Arts Department, 5th floor.







Pan Am Games Schedule of Events and Locations 1967

Although books make up a large part of our sports collection, we have all kinds of special things to delight and surprise you. Be a good sport. Walk, ride or race to the Toronto Reference Library and see what you can discover.

  Pan Am Schedule of events 1967









TRL Program Calendar August 2015

July 30, 2015 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

August starts huge with two days of Maker FestivalToronto's Sporting Past continues at the TD Gallery, and don't miss the Sports on Film series.

Click on any image to enlarge or Download The August 2015 @ TRL as a pdf file.

For a full list of programs to browse or search visit our Programs, Classes and Exhibits page.

August 1 August 2 August 3 August 4

Summer Reads for City Escapes

July 30, 2015 | Winona | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Escaping the hustle and bustle and sweltering heat of summer in the city is a sacred annual tradition for many Torontonians. When the long weekend comes there are few things that make a city dweller like me happier than the prospect of slowing right down and spending a lazy day sitting by the water, or under a tree, with the warm sun on my face and a good book in my hand.

Whether you're heading to the cottage, the Islands, the pool, or the park, or just looking for a bookish getaway for your summer staycation, here are a few summer reads for city escapes.


For a sweetly poignant escape to a childhood summer at the family cottage in the 1950s:

Barefoot at the Lake by Bruce Fogle

Barefoot at the Lake: A Boyhood Summer in Cottage Country by Bruce Fogle

(also available as: ebook)

An idyllic summer at the cottage in the 1950s, as revealed through the eyes of a boy on the cusp of adolescence: experiencing his first crush, discovering the joy of nature, and struggling to understand grown-ups. Every year, from the end of June to the end of August, Bruce and his family go to their cedar-clad cottage on the blue, wide lake. At first, this summer of 1954 seems like any other: floating in the row boat with Grace from next door, jumping off the diving raft, eating peach pie, exploring with Angus the dog, watching the seagulls, frogs and herons and catching crayfish. But just when he realizes life is perfect, everything starts to change. (Publisher's description.)


 For a contemplative escape to the perfect stillness of summers lost in north Ontario:

Summer Gone by David MacFarlane

Summer Gone by David MacFarlane

(also available as: talking book for print disabled patrons)

When Bay Newby is twelve he is sent north for the first time, and he falls in love with the life of ritual, beauty, and stark privilege of summer camp. Then the death of his baby sister calls him home, and it will be twenty-three years before his next “perfect summer.” The summer he spends with his young son will contain loss also, but also discovery and redemption. Summer Gone is a novel of layered experience, of life, death and love as seen through the eyes of a young boy as he grows into a wiser – and more haunted – man. (Publisher's description.)

Read the starred book review in Quill and Quire.


For a tragicomic escape to a vacation lodge in Prince Edward Island, complete with family secrets, mathematics, and...Harpo Marx? 

The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis von Konigslow

The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis Von Konigslow

Mathematician Emily Kogan's family is good at keeping their secrets. But when she uses her visit to the vacation lodge they own to conduct research for a graduate thesis on measuring the influence of interpersonal relationships, she learns far more than she bargained for. During her investigation at the Treasure Island Lodge - a resort that has catered to the Jewish community since the early 1930s, when their clientele would have been turned away from segregated hotels - she discovers long-buried clues to the mystery of her family's true identity, and how old friends, kind neighbours and even the famous Harpo Marx all played their roles in an astonishing tale of ill-fated love, extraordinary courage and a daring transatlantic escape. (Publisher's description.)

Hear the author read from her book in this video clip.


For an epic escape that combines the story of an idyllic summer home on the coast with the story of the Danish resistance against the Nazis in WWII:

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon

(also available as: ebook )

In this beautifully written tour de force of a novel, Beth Gutcheon takes readers to the coastal village of Dundee, Maine. There, in a Victorian summer house called Leeway Cottage, we witness the scenes of a long twentieth-century marriage. (Publisher's description.)

Read an interview with the author about this book.


 For a feel-good, romantic escape to Nantucket Island, the beach, and a second chance at love:

The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

(also available as: audiobook | ebook | talking book for print disabled patrons)

Nancy Thayer whisks readers to Nantucket in a delightful novel about two single parents who accidentally rent the same summer house—and must soon decide where their hearts truly lie. (Publisher's description.)

Read an excerpt from this book. 


For an adventurous escape through the Barrens of the Canadian North in a canoe, with romantic entanglements, longing, and danger:

Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

love and longing, otherness and belonging, bookishness and radio, seasons and change. - See more at:

Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

(also available as: audiobook | eaudiobook | ebook | talking book for print disabled patrons)

It's 1975, and the town of Yellowknife in Canada's Northwest Territories is in the middle of a dispute over a pipeline through the area. The small local radio station who reports on the controversy is undergoing some changes of its own. Hard-edged veteran broadcaster Harry Boyd has taken over as manager, and he has his eye on beautiful young Norwegian transplant Dido. (Publisher's description.)

Late Nights on Air
ISBN: 978-0-7710-3811-2
“Elegiac .... exquisite .... Hay creates enormous spaces with few words, and makes the reader party to the journey, listening, marvelling, breathing, fearing.”
—Globe and Mail
Winner of the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize
2008 Ottawa Book Award
2008 Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year
Notable Book of the Year, Globe & Mail, Quill & Quire
About the book
Harry Boyd, a world-weary, washed-up television broadcaster, has returned to a small radio station in the remote reaches of the Canadian North. There, in the golden summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real Dido Paris is even more than he imagined
- See more at:
Harry Boyd, a world-weary, washed-up television broadcaster, has returned to a small radio station in the remote reaches of the Canadian North. There, in the golden summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real Dido Paris is even more than he imagined.

Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric and fascinating characters, all transplants from elsewhere, who form an unlikely group at the station. Their loves and longings, their rivalries and entanglements, the stories of their pasts and what brought each of them to the North, are at the heart of the novel.

Then one summer, four of them embark upon a long canoe trip into the Barrens, a mysterious landscape of lingering ice and almost continuous light. In that wild and dynamic arctic setting (following in the steps of the legendary Englishman John Hornby, who starved to death in the Barrens in 1927), they find the balance of love shifting, much as the balance of power in the North is being changed by a proposed gas pipeline that threatens to displace Native people from their land. - See more at:

Read an excerpt of this Giller Prize-winning novel.


For a postmodern meta-fictional escape to the summer of 1969:

When Fenelon Falls by Dorothy Ellen Palmer

When Fenelon Falls by Dorothy Ellen Palmer

A spaceship hurtles towards the moon, hippies gather at Woodstock, Charles Manson leads a cult into murder and a Kennedy drives off a Chappaquiddick dock: it’s the summer of 1969. And as mankind takes its giant leap, Jordan May March, disabled bastard and genius, age fourteen, limps and schemes her way towards adulthood. Trapped at the March family’s cottage, she spends her days memorizing Top 40 lists, avoiding her adoptive cousins, catching frogs and plotting to save Yogi, the bullied, buttertart-eating bear caged at the top of March Road. (Publisher's description.)

Read an excerpt (PDF)


For a tender, melancholy escape to a cottage community and a summer friendship on the brink of adolescence:

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

(also available as: ebook)

Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. (Publisher's Description.)

View an excerpt of this Governor General's Award-winning graphic book. 


For a retro pulp escape to small-town carny life and a paranormal mystery in the summer of 1973:

Joyland by Stephen King

Joyland by Stephen King

(also available as: audiobook | eaudiobook | eaudiobook | ebook | talking book for print disabled patrons)

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. (Publisher's description.)

Read an excerpt.


For a thrilling, blackly comic escape to a nail-biter of a long weekend in the country with a group of old friends:

Harmless by James Grainger

Harmless by James Grainger

(also available as: ebook)

Set over the course of a single day and night, Harmless is a tense, provocative, and psychologically astute first novel about a weekend reunion of old friends that takes a terrifying turn when two teenage girls go missing. (Publisher's description.)

Read the starred review in Quill and Quire.

Catch the author reading at the Annette Street branch on October 6th at 6:30 p.m.


For a classic, brain-tickling escape to a private island where an odd assortment of strangers are being murdered one by one:

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 

(also available as: audiobook | ebook | large print | public domain ebook)

And Then There Were None is the signature novel of Agatha Christie, the most popular work of the world's bestselling novelist. It is a masterpiece of mystery and suspense that has been a fixture in popular literature since it was originally published in 1939. First there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to any of them, is nowhere to be found. The ten guests have precious little in common except that each has a deadly secret buried deep in their own past. And, unknown to them, each has been marked for murder. Alone on the island and trapped by foul weather, one by one the guests begin to fall prey to the hidden murderer among them. With themselves as the only suspects, only the dead are above suspicion. (Publisher's description.)

Enjoy the trailer for the 1945 film adaptation below:


An idyllic summer at the cottage in the 1950s, as revealed through the eyes of a boy on the cusp of adolescence: a first crush, the joy of nature, and the struggle to understand grown-ups.

To ten-year-old Bruce, the summer of 1954 seemed, at first, like any other in cottage country: floating in the rowboat, eating peach pie, watching the seagulls, frogs, and herons, and catching crayfish. But just when he thinks that life is perfect, everything starts to change, and over the summer both the harshness of the adult world and the patterns of the natural world reveal themselves. By the time the weather turns he will be a different child and will have chosen his own path to understanding the wilderness that waits behind the family cottage.

- See more at:
An idyllic summer at the cottage in the 1950s, as revealed through the eyes of a boy on the cusp of adolescence: a first crush, the joy of nature, and the struggle to understand grown-ups. - See more at:
An idyllic summer at the cottage in the 1950s, as revealed through the eyes of a boy on the cusp of adolescence: a first crush, the joy of nature, and the struggle to understand grown-ups. - See more at:

Forgotten Fiction: the Other Winston Churchill

July 25, 2015 | Raimo | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Everyone knows Winston Churchill (1874-1965) the British Prime Minister during the Second World War. But there was another Winston Churchill (1871-1947), an American novelist, whose fame at the turn of the century surpassed that of his British contemporary.

Winston Chruchill (Novelist)  Winston Chruchill (Statesman)

Winston Churchill (Novelist) and Winston Churchill (Statesman): Wikimedia Commons

Churchill's first published novel was The Celebrity (1897). It became a minor bestseller in spite of having a risible plot involving wealthy people, yachts, disguises and romance. But it was when Churchill turned his hand to writing historical fiction that he produced a series of blockbusters that made him the bestselling author of his generation.

His most popular work, the historical novel Richard Carvel (1899), sold over two million copies, a phenomenal number for the time. It takes place in colonial America, before, during and after the Revolutionary War and skillfully combines fictional and real life characters. Distinguished by a breadth and accuracy of historical detail, Richard Carvel set a benchmark for the historical novel. In addition to his thorough historical research, Churchill also visited the locales he wrote about so he could describe them effectively.

Churchill followed up Richard Carvel with The Crisis (1901) another historical novel. Set in the period around the American Civil War, it was again the bestselling book of the year.

Richard Carvel   The Crisis 

After these historical novels, Churchill published two reform novels about New Hampshire politics, Coniston (1906) and Mr. Crewe's Career (1908). Churchill had been elected to two terms in the New Hampshire legislature and drew on this experience to compose these bestsellers.

Coniston Mr Crewe's Career

Churchill then changed course and began writing fiction that addressed social, religious and moral issues. A Modern Chronicle (1910), The Inside of the Cup (1913) and A Far Country (1915). But Churchill's popularity was now beginning to wane slightly. While The Inside of the Cup was the top seller of the year, A Modern Chronicle and A Far Country were the second bestselling books in the year they were published.

Modern Chronicle Inside of the Cup Far Country

Churchill's final novel was The Dwelling-Place of Light (1917), another exploration of moral and religious themes. It sold well but not at the level of his earlier efforts. Sometime after finishing The Dwelling-Place of Light, Churchill retired from both writing and politics. He withdrew from public life and devoted himself to water-colour painting. Some two decades later he did publish one non-fiction book about religion, The Uncharted Way (1940). The book was rather esoteric and the reading public had already largely forgotten about Churchill during his absence from publishing. Consequently it garnered little interest and sold poorly.

Churchill passed away in March 1947 while staying in Winter Park, Florida, having been entirely eclipsed by the great British statesman, who had become and would remain the Winston Churchill to the world.

Let the Games Begin and Continue!

July 24, 2015 | Cynthia | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The encyclopedia of world sportsFun and Games. Here in Toronto. The Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games. Sports from A to Z. Forty eight sports in 17 days.

Some of us like to participate in sports; some of us just like to read about it. At the Toronto Reference Library, you can find out about "sport" itself: individual and team sports, sport history, famous and infamous athletes and coaches, the sociology and psychology of sport and more. The Toronto Reference Library collects on all aspects of sport. Today we will look at a few books.




Let's start with some basics and get an overview. Encyclopedias, for instance: 

Encyclopedia of sports in America : a history from foot races to extreme sports Berkshire encyclopedia of world sport Encyclopedia of world sport : from ancient times to the present









 The sociology of sport:

A sociology of sport  The sociology of sports : an introduction Canadian sport sociology








The history of sports:

Sports in the Western world A history and philosophy of sport and physical education : from ancient civilizations to the modern world Sports in the 21st century 








The history of sport in Canada:

Canada : our century in sport The 100 greatest moments in Canadian sports histor Sport in Canada : a history 








The psychology of sport:

Achieving excellence in high performance sport : experiences and skills behind the medals How champions think : in sports and in life The champion's mind : how great athletes think, train, and thrive









And one last title:

Canada's top 100 : the greatest athletes of all time!!

  Canada's top 100 : the greatest athletes of all time


We hope that we've inspired you to come to the Humanities and Social Sciences Department to have a look at what we have here. Stay tuned for more posts on our Sport Collection.

Toronto’s First Sporting Hero: Ned Hanlan

July 15, 2015 | Nicole | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Today you can catch the Men’s Single Sculls Final at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. Did you know that back in the late 19th century, single sculls rowing was one of the most popular sporting events in the city? In fact, Ned Hanlan, a handsome and mustachioed young sculler from Toronto is widely regarded as Canada’s first national sporting hero.

  Ned Hanlan GlassEdward Hanlan (1855-1908), W. Williamson, Albumen portrait on glass, 1876

This stunning portrait of Ned Hanlan is one of the highlights of our new exhibition, Toronto's Sporting Past, on now at the TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library. The portrait has been applied and hand-painted on a piece of glass, a 19th century photographic process known as a crystoleum.

Edward (Ned) Hanlan was born in 1855 to parents who operated a hotel on the west part of Toronto Island, later known as Hanlan’s Point. The waterways around the island became his training ground and he began sculling competitively by the age of 18. 

  Hotel Hanlon
Hotel Hanlon, Hanlon's Point, Toronto, Canada, Valentine & Sons' Publishing Co. Ltd., postcard, 1910

At the time, singles sculling was one of the most popular sporting events in the city, attracting thousands of eager spectators to Toronto’s waterfront. These popular races offered generous prizes for the competitors and high-stakes winnings for those who gambled on their success.

Hanlan’s talents attracted the attention of a group of prominent Toronto businessmen Jack Davis, H.P. Good, J. Rogers, Col Albert Shaw, and Dave Ward, who joined together to finance his burgeoning sporting career. His supporters also equipped Hanlan with a new boat featuring cutting-edge innovations: swivel oarlocks and a sliding seat.

  Hanlan-Plaisted International Rowing Competition
Ned Hanlan racing Fred Plaistad, Toronto Bay, Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith, 1846-1923, Albumen print, 1875

Known as the “Boy in Blue” because of his racing colours, Hanlan quickly garnered national and international attention for winning a series of high profile championships in Canada and the United States. He was also known as a flamboyant showman who tried to narrow his margin of victory to keep spectators (and gamblers) on their toes. 

In 1880, Hanlan defeated Australian world champion Edward Trickett on the Thames River in London and became Canada’s first world champion. Hanlan successfully defended the title six times and went on to win over 300 races over the course of his career.

After retiring from his racing career, Hanlan went on to coach rowing and often served as a judge for regattas in the city. In 1898, he was elected city alderman and became a vocal advocate for bike lanes and paths in Toronto, public swimming pools, and a new public library!

You can see these delightful portraits of Hanlan and discover many more stories about the games, clubs, rules, and personalities from Toronto’s Sporting Past by visiting in the TD Gallery on the main floor of Toronto Reference Library. The exhibition looks back at the lively history of sport in Toronto up until the First World War, through historical documents, artwork, ephemera and rare books from the Toronto Public Library's Special Collections. It runs until September 5, 2015.

If you want to learn more about Toronto’s Sporting Past, be sure to visit our Virtual Exhibit. You can also explore many more images of sport and recreation on our Digital Archive.

The War in the Air: Summer 1940

July 8, 2015 | Katherine | Comments (8) Facebook Twitter More...

"It is certainly an awful sight to behold those ugly black bombers in rank after rank. Your mouth dries up like cotton wool. You lose all sense of space and time. We fought far above the clouds in a world of our own - a world of freezing cold, of limitless space traced with white plumed trails of wheeling aircraft as they fought. It was like skywriting gone mad. "
                    Ernest McNab, Squadron Leader, No. 1 Fighter Squadron, RCAF
                    Quoted from Canada: a people’s history 

            Roll Em Out

                                                                       Toronto Reference Library
One of the great battles of the Second World War commenced seventy five years ago this summer.   The evacuation of British, French and Belgium forces from Dunkirk in late May and early June, and the surrender of France on June 22, left most of Europe in the control of German forces.  Hitler set his sights on bombing Britain into submission, as a prelude to full invasion, or complete surrender.

Thus on July 10, 1940, commenced the Battle of Britain, the first major military battle in history to be fought entirely in the air.

For ten weeks, the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force fought in the skies over Britain.  While both air forces had roughly equivalent technical equipment, the number of German planes outnumbered Britain almost two to one. Britain was fighting over home territory, with ground support, while Germany’s operations were long range, unlike their previous air campaigns on the continent. And though both nations had Radar, it was Britain that used it to the greatest effect. Eventually, the advantage turned towards Britain.

Battle of Britain With Wings Like Eagles A Summer Bright and Terrible Battle of Britain Pilot







By mid-September, Hitler called off the offensive, and postponed the invasion of Britain indefinitely.  This did not end the bombing, but the strategy changed, and so began the Blitz—the indiscriminate bombing of British cities at night.  Still, the German objective of destroying British air power to allow an invasion from the sea was foiled.   It was the first serious check on German power since the war began.

Many Canadian pilots flew with the RAF, and it was during the Battle of Britain that No. 1 Fighter Squadron, RCAF, became the first Royal Canadian Air Force group to engage German planes. At battle’s end, the two Canadian squadrons (out of more than 70 British and allied squads) had destroyed an estimated sixty German planes, with another fifty listed as probably destroyed.

Last of the Few The Most Dangerous Enemy Dowding of Fighter CommandThe Many Not the Few







Toronto Public Library carries many accounts of the Battle of Britain.  Here's a short recommended list:


The Battle of Britain: five months that changed history, May-October 1940
by James Holland   Also in eBook

Battle of Britain Pilot: self-portrait of an RAF fighter pilot and escaper by George Barclay

Dowding of Fighter Command by Vincent Orange

Last of the Few: the Battle of Britain in the words of the pilots that won it by Max Arthur

The Many Not the Few: the stolen history of the Battle of Britain by Richard North   Also in eBook

The Most Dangerous Enemy: a history of the Battle of Britain by Stephen Bungay

A Question of Honor: the Kosciuscko Squadron: forgotten heroes of World War II by Lynn Olson

RCAF, the war years, WW II: Airt Forces reunion commemorating 40th anniversary, Battle of Britain by Don Henderson

Splendid hundred: the true story of Canadians who flew in the greatest air battle of World War II by Arthur Bishop

A Summer Bright and Terrible: Winston Churchill, Lord Dowding, Radar and the impossible triumph of the Battle of Britain by David E. Fisher

With Wings like Eagles: a history of the Battle of Britain by Michael Korda   Also in Large Print


The Battle of Britain

Defending the Realm: the Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain: the true story behind the aircraft that won it


This post has been modified from the original text.

TRL Program Calendar July 2015

June 29, 2015 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

This summer, cyber technology for SeniorsTeens and everybody else.  Or spend an afternoon at the movies.

Click on each image to enlarge or Download The July 2015 @ TRL Calendar as a pdf file.

For a full list of programs to browse or search, visit our Programs, Classes and Exhibits page.

July 1 July 2 July 3 July 4

Arthur Conan Doyle's Waterloo

June 24, 2015 | Tatiana | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Round the Red Lamp
A collection of short stories inspired by Conan Doyle's experience as a doctor.
Waterloo play
Cover of Waterloo by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This June 18th marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo which saw Napoleon’s final defeat and ended 23 years of warfare between France and major European powers. The battle was fought just south of Waterloo village, in present day Belgium. Inspired by this battle, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a series of Napoleonic fiction works including: A Story of Waterloo, a play adapted from the classic work A Straggler of '15 from Round the Red Lamp.

In commemoration of this famous battle, this year’s 14th Annual Cameron Hollyer Memorial Lecture will feature prominent Arthur Conan Doyle scholar, author and Chair of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Clifford Goldfarb, who will discuss Conan Doyle's Napoleonic writings including his play A Story of Waterloo. Acclaimed Canadian actor R.H. Thomson will give a reading of the play following the lecture. This special program will take place on Saturday, June 27, in the Toronto Reference Library’s Beeton auditorium from 2pm - 4:30pm.

Arthur Conan Doyle room

Prior to this event, please visit the Marilyn and Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre located on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library for free tours of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at 1 pm. All are welcome.

The Western: Fiction of the Frontier

June 23, 2015 | Raimo | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

When I think of Westerns, I think of films. Perhaps directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne on horseback and featuring views of Monument Valley. But the familiar features of the genre were first established in print fiction, and indeed many of the most classic Western films were originally Western novels.

Gary Cooper Virginian

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

"If you wanna call me that, smile"

VirginianA case in point is the novel The Virginian by Owen Wister. Wister's 1902 novel is generally accepted to be the first full length Western. It has been adapted for film or television seven times; the most famous version being the 1929 film featuring Gary Cooper as the Virginian, in his first sound picture. Misquoting Wister's iconic line "when you call me that, smile", Cooper drawls "if you wanna call me that, smile", further misquoted in popular culture as "smile when you call me that". The Virginian established many of the key elements of the genre, like the showdown gunfight between the good guys and the bad guys, familiar from Western films.




Ox-bow Incident Ox-bow IncidentDVDWalter Van Tilburg Clark's 1940 novel, The Oxbow Incident, explores the devastating effects of mob rule and frontier justice gone wrong. The 1943 film version starred Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda, and also featured Anthony Quinn and Harry Morgan. Directed by William A.Wellman, and filmed in somber black and white, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.



Shane ShaneDVDIn Jack Shaeffer's 1949 novel, a mysterious stranger named Shane helps homesteaders in Wyoming defend their farms against a violent land grab by an unscrupulous cattle baron and his hired gun. A reformed gunfighter, Shane reluctantly straps on his gun once again. The film version stars the diminutive Alan Ladd as Shane and features a truly intimidating Jack Palance as the cattle baron's hired gun.




True Grit True Grit John Wayne True Grit Jeff BridgesTrue Grit (1968) by Charles Portis is a comic, witty take on the traditions of the western novel. Fourteen year old Mattie Ross enlists the help of U.S. Deputy Marshal Rooster Cogburn to avenge the death of her father. John Wayne won the 1969 Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn in the first film version. Jeff Bridges later played Cogburn in the 2010 film from the Coen Brothers.

Lonesome Dove Book Lonesome Dove DVD Lonesome Dove was originally written as a script by Larry McMurtry for a film with James Stewart and John Wayne. When that film project was abandoned, McMurtry turned the script into a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. The novel was made into a magnificent television miniseries featuring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. Duvall and Jones play two former Texas Rangers who attempt to drive a stolen herd of cattle 3000 miles from Texas to Montana.  If you haven't read the book, you are in for a treat as it outshines the miniseries.


Welcome! Discover the rich and diverse world of the Toronto Reference Library through the eyes of its expert staff. Join us to see the many ways we are connecting with the city - through special events and exhibits, new books, digital information and innovative library services.

The Toronto Reference Library on Facebook