If it's Controversial, it's on the Second Floor at Toronto Reference Library

April 17, 2014 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The four upper floors of the Toronto Reference Library are divided into subject areas. There's Arts on 5, Language & Literature on 4, Business, Science & Technology on 3.  All pretty self-explanatory.

But what's Humanities & Social Sciences on 2?

Remember it this way.  You know those topics you're supposed to avoid on first meetings and at polite dinner parties?  Politics, religion, and sex?  In a nutshell, that's what you'll find in the Humanities & Social Sciences Department.  Oh, there's a few other somewhat less volatile subjects like psychology, history, law and sports:)  Overall, if it's something people can fight over, complain about or ponder endlessly, it's probably on the second floor.  All the crazy, obsessive, self-serving things people do, as well as all the noble, uplifting, unselfish acts that humans and the societies they build are capable of.

That said, here are some of the newest spring titles in the Humanities & Social Sciences Department.  Politics, religion, or sex anyone?

Tragedy in the commons


Tragedy in the Commons: former Members of Parliament speak out about Canada's failing democracy.

Alison Loat and C. Michael MacMillan


Also in eBook



How Jesus became God

How Jesus became God: the exaltation of a Jewish preacher from Galilee

Bart D. Ehrman


Also in eBook

and eAudiobook


Holy misogyny


Holy misogyny: why the sex and gender conflicts in the early Church still matter

April D. De Conick




Everything I ever needed to know about economics


Everything I ever needed to know about economics I learned from online dating

Paul E. Oyer




Imagine there's no heaven


Imagine there's no heaven: how atheism helped create the modern world

Mitchell Stephens




Behind the shock machine.cover


Behind the shock machine: the untold story of the notorious Milgram psychology experiments

Gina Perry


Also in eBook


The eh List Author Series: Tales from The Dark Side - Thrillers

April 14, 2014 | Monika | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



This thrilling evening is just what every book lover needs to make their blood run cold. With authors Craig Davidson (aka Nick Cutter) (The Troop); Jennifer Hillier (Freak); Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist); and Brad Smith (Shoot the Dog).

 Thursday, April 17, 7 PM

 Toronto Reference Library Atrium Stage




Environmental Stress on Ontario Lakes

April 4, 2014 | Zoe | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...


Lew Molot


Wednesday, April 9

6:30 – 8:00 pm

Toronto Reference Library Beeton Auditorium

Free! All are Welcome!


Questions? Call Answerline: 416-393-7131


Dr. Lew Molot, Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, speaks on the effects of multiple environmental stresses on lakes in Ontario, particularly in the Muskoka-Haliburton area. Dr. Molot explains the effects of cottage development, acidification, climate change and ultraviolet radiation - all of which affect the landscape simultaneously.

TRL Program Calendar April 2014

March 31, 2014 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Meet rock legend Randy Bachman, drop in on Innovator in Residence Derek Quenneville, and learn to map a fictional world with Writer in Residence Marina Endicott.

Click on each image to enlarge, or Download The April 2014 @ TRL as a pdf file.

For a full list of library programs to browse or search, please check out our Programs, Classes and Exhibits page.

April 1 April 2 April 3 April 4 April 5

Nunavut Marks Its 15th Anniversary

March 20, 2014 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Map of Nunavut
April 1, 2014 is the 15th anniversary of the proclamation of the Territory of Nunavut, which means “Our Land” in Inuktituk. It came into being after decades of hard political work, negotiation of Inuit land claims, plebiscites, and recommendations to form a government responsive to the Inuit majority in the eastern Arctic. 

The working languages of the government are Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun and English, and French is also an official language. Nunavut (along with the North West Territories) has a consensus style of government rather than the more common one of party politics, and all members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected as independents.

Nunavut, located in far northern Canada, with a polar climate and a small population scattered over a huge land mass, is remote and easily ignored by the denizens of southern Canada. Yet this is a cutting edge place, where new forms of government, new ways to maintain and revitalize language and culture, and innovations to combat the challenges of climate, distance and poverty are capturing the attention of scholars worldwide.

Here's a guide to learning more:


Searching the Library Website

    Suggested Titles

The Arctic promise : legal and political autonomy of Greenland and Nunavut

Achieving a national purpose : improving territorial formula financing and strengthening Canada's territories

Like the sound of a drum: Aboriginal cultural politics in Denendeh and Nunavut

Nunavut : rethinking political culture

Nunavut : Inuit regain control of their lands and their lives

Nunavut : a health system profile

Names and Nunavut : culture and identity in Arctic Canada

Ilagiinniq : interviews on Inuit family values from the Qikiqtani Region

Inuit education and schools in the Eastern Arctic

Inuit prints : Japanese inspiration : early printmaking in the Canadian Arctic

Uuturautiit : Cape Dorset celebrates 50 years of printmaking = Cape Dorset célèbre 50 ans de gravure 

Baffin Island: the ascent of Mount Asgard

The Arctic Promise Inuit Education and Schools in the Eastern Arctic Names and Nunavut Nunvaut-rethinking political culture







        Suggested Magazines and Journals

Up Here

Up Here Business

Inuktitut (Hard copy back issues 1966-2002 in Toronto Reference Library)


Inuktitut (Current issues and back issues from 1959)

Kivalliq News

Nunatsiaq Online

Nunavut News

    Suggested Article Databases

You can find magazine and newspaper articles on Nunavut by searching the library’s electronic databases. Suggested databases include CBCA Complete, Canadian Periodicals Index (CPIQ), and Canada in Context.  These resources can be searched from library computers, or from home or school using your Toronto Public Library card.

    Additional Online Sources

Government of Nunavut

Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

Fact Sheet on Concensus Government

Nunavut Department of Justice-Statutes and Regulations

Nunavut Bureau of Statistics

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami--Canada's National Inuit Organization

Canadian Encyclopedia

Project Naming (The identification of Inuit people in the photographs of Library and Archives Canada)

Nunavut Tourism

Nunavut Public Library

Nunavut Flag

 For further assistance contact:

Humanities & Social Science Department, Toronto Reference Library
trlhss @ torontopubliclibrary.ca



Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province's First Peoples - Wednesday April 2nd

March 19, 2014 | Richard | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



Connect with working historians and discover the surpising ways in which the past shapes the present.

Join us Wednesday April 2nd for a panel of distinguished researchers to explore the latest archaeological insights into the lives of Indigenous people in Southern Ontario prior to contact with Europeans (event details are listed below). At the centre of this discussion will be the book launch of the very recently- released work Before Ontario : the archaeology of a province. (ebook version is here)

Before Ontario there was ice. As the last Ice Age came to an end, land began to emerge from the melting glaciers. With time, plants and animals moved into the new landscape and people followed. For almost 15,000 years, the land that is now Ontario has provided a home for their descendants: hundreds of generations of First Peoples.

The photograph above, and the two photos below, are copyright of Archaeological Services Inc.

With contributions from the province's leading archaeologists (see below), Before Ontario provides both an outline of Ontario's ancient past and an easy-to-understand explanation of how archaeology works.

The authors show how archaeologists are able to study items as diverse as fish bones, flakes of stone, and stains in the soil to reconstruct the events and places of a distant past - fishing parties, long-distance trade, and houses built to withstand frigid winters.


Presenting new insights into archaeology’s purpose and practice, Before Ontario bridges the gap between the modern world and a past that can seem distant and unfamiliar, but is not beyond our reach.



The Panelists


Neal Ferris, Ph.D.

University of Western Ontario/ Museum of Ontario Archaeology

FerrisNeal Ferris specializes in the archaeology of the Great Lakes region, from the Late Woodland period through interactions among communities of Aboriginal Nations and European colonizers.  Before arriving at Western, he worked for Ontario's Ministry of Culture for two decades; as a result, he brings a unique perspective on the challenges and value of preserving and interpreting archaeological heritage.


Susan M. Jamieson, Ph.D.

Trent University

JamiesonSusan Jamieson recently retired after a long career as an archaeologist at Trent.  Her research touches on social aspects of leadership in Aboriginal societies, the pitfalls of studying ethnic identity in the past, and relationships between First Nations and archaeology today. 



Anne Keenleyside, Ph.D.

Trent University

KeenlBiological anthropologist Anne Keenleyside carries out research on the health, disease, and diet of past peoples through the study of skeletal remains.  In addition to working in Ontario, she has brought her skills to archaeological projects in Bulgaria, Romania, Tunisia, Siberia, and the Canadian Arctic.


Marit K. Munson, Ph.D.

Trent University

MunsonArchaeologist Marit Munson is a faculty member at Trent who specialises in ancient art from New Mexico and other parts of the US Southwest.  A former director of the Trent University Archaeological Research Centre, Marit collaborated with Susan Jamieson to edit the book Before Ontario, which grew in part out of her desire to learn more about the archaeology of her new home province.


Kris Nahrgang

Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation

NahrKris Nahrgang, chief of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation, is an award-winning sculptor who became interested in archaeology when he found a 1,400 year old Native pot while scuba diving in cottage country.  He has since studied archaeology at Trent, becoming a knowledgeable and vocal critic of the effect that archaeology can have on First Nations communities and an advocate for changing provincial laws related to the protection of archaeological sites.


Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.

Strata Consulting

AndrewTrained in geography and anthropology, Andrew Stewart is a geoarchaeologist who studies the ancient landscapes of the Great Lakes area, especially around the end of the last Ice Age.  He has also worked in the Canadian Arctic, as well as in Southern Ontario.


Ronald F. Williamson, Ph.D.

Archaeological Services Inc.

WilliamRonald F. Williamson, founder and managing partner of Toronto-based cultural resource management firm Archaeological Services Inc., has published extensively on the pre-contact and colonial history of the Great Lakes Region. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Toronto and Western University.  


ShawnThe panel will be moderated by Shawn Micallef, a noted journalist and Toronto Public Library's Writer-in-Residence in the Fall of 2013.






Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province's First Peoples


A Panel Discussion




Is brought to you by Heritage Toronto, an organization that works to celebrate, interpret, and educate on our collective heritage:


Wednesday April 2, 2014
6:30 p.m.

Atrium - 1st Floor
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street
Toronto (At Yonge and Bloor)

This is a free event. All are Welcome.

Sign up for the Heritage Toronto eNewsletter
Like Heritage Toronto on Facebook
Follow Heritage Toronto on Twitter
Subscribe to Heritage Toronto on YouTube
Join Heritage Toronto for the unveiling of two houses at the Don Jail


CanoemuseumLogo from the Canadian Canoe Museum




TRL Clearance Book Sale March 13-15, 2014

March 12, 2014 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Table 2
Friends of Toronto Public Library

Clearance Book Sale


All items are 10 to 50 cents


Thursday, March 13,  10 AM-8 PM

Friday, March 14, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM

Saturday, March 15, 9 AM -4 PM


Toronto Reference Library

Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium (First Floor)

789 Yonge Street


All proceeds support Toronto Public Library programs


Celebrate Toronto's 180th Anniversary

March 6, 2014 | Kathryn | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

On March 6th, 2014 the City of Toronto celebrates the 180th anniversary of its incorporation. Why not take a peek at how our city looked in its infancy. 

Here are a few images from the Canadian Historical Picture Collection in the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre at the Toronto Reference Library.


Pen and ink drawing by Owen Staples (1866-1949)


Front Street West

 Pen and ink drawing attributed to Owen Staples (1866-1949)

The original watercolour by John George Howard (1803-1890) hung in the City Hall, Toronto.



  Photograph of watercolour painted by John George Howard (1803-1890)  


Maps of early Toronto have been digitized and can be viewed online or in person at the newly opened Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library.


Government second sale of lots in the city of Toronto, May 1834

  Lithographed map drawn by Henry James Castle



Toronto in 1834

 Map drawn from Alpheus Todd's own measurements when he was 13 years old. Alpheus Todd (1821-1884)



City of Toronto and Liberties

 Manuscript map drawn by James Grant Chewett (1793-1862), dated 24th June 1834



City of Toronto

   Manuscript map drawn by James Grant Chewett (1793-1862), 1834


Toronto Public Library has a virtual exhibit on the history of Toronto. Share your memories of Toronto by participating in the Your Yonge Street project.

TRL Program Calendar March 2014

February 28, 2014 | Katherine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

 Come for the latest Digital Innovation Hub Open House, help keep yourself healthy with Reliable Health Information on the Internet, and start your own business with Be Your Own Boss

Click on each image to enlarge or Download The March 2014 @ TRL as a pdf file.

For a full list of library programs to browse or search, please check out our Programs, Classes and Exhibits page.

March 1 March 2
Please call 416-393-7209 to register for all programs in the Le@rning Centre.

March 3 March 4


100 Years of Light! - A Thought Exchange Program with Dr. Steven Shubert on Tuesday March 4th

February 27, 2014 | Richard | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Centre bottomBannerintro

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Ontario Museum, Exterior 1 Dr. Steven Blake Shubert will trace the story and meaning behind the ancient Egyptian domestic scenes depicted in the University of Toronto’s Lillian Massey Building’s beautiful stained glass windows (see below for event details). Lillian Massey provided money to the University to establish the Department of Household Science, pictured in the background to the right. The lovely windows inside were created by the British pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday (1839-1927).

In his talk, Dr. Shubert will highlight corespondence in the ROM Registration Department between Charles T. Currelly, Holiday, and Lillian Massey, the benefactor.

Originally Lillian Massey was thinking to commission windows with an ancient Greek theme in line with the neo-Classical architecture of the building. But, clearly something changed along the way . . .

Stairs below
The approching view

Dr. Shubert notes, "Lillian Massey Treble never seems to have approved the Egyptian subject matter of the window". The ROM opened in March 1914, the windows were dedicated in October 1915, and Lillian Massey died before she was ever able to see the final result.





We are told that "the theme of domestic arts relates to the function" of the building, and thus, "the three panels of the window are devoted respectively to the culinary arts on the north, the textile manufacture arts in the center and the clothing care arts to the south. Each panel is divided into an upper and lower section; while the lower scenes render outdoor activities, those on the upper level appear to be indoors, as indicated by a series of lotiform colums supporting a roof".


Left window
Left 'north' window depicting culinary arts

Right window
Right'south' window depicting clothing care arts

Centre window
Centre window depicting textile manufacture arts


During his talk, Dr. Shubert will show that Holiday had a rudimentary knowledge of Egyptian hieroglyphic writing which he employed in the window design:

Upside Down
But somehow these centre panels were installed upside down! . . . ?


Steven S Feb 13Program title:

"100 Years of Light - Explanation of the Stained Glass windows in the Lillian Massey Building, University of Toronto"

Presenting Steven Shubert, PhD
With new photos by John Elmslie
Tuesday March 4th, 2014
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Beeton Auditorium, 1st Floor
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street
Toronto (At Yonge and Bloor)

Free Event . . . All are Welcome.

Dr. Steven Shubert has recently accepted a position in
 The Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre

 Dr. Shubert's research is fully explained in an article entitled
"Egyptianizing Stained-Glass in Toronto"
 published in the Spring 2014 issue of KMT A modern Journal of Ancient Egypt.









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