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August 2011

Parenting (Re)adventures

August 19, 2011 | KJ | Comments (0)

I’m about to admit something embarrassing. When I’m stressed, I research. Not eat a chocolate bar or even bite my nails.  I research whatever is causing me anxiety.

Enter new parenthood – one of the most anxiety-provoking situations around.

In one year, I read nineteen books on parenting.  Sure I skimmed some, but mostly it was cover to cover.

Here are some highlights from my reading list:

Your Baby’s First Year: Week-by-Week by Glade B.Curtis
Easily digested for your sleep deprived brain, this reassuring book discusses milestones and the practicalities of caring for a wee one. 

The Mother of All Baby Books: An All-Canadian Guide to Your Baby’s First Year by Ann Douglas
So, there you are with your new baby – and what next? Douglas answers that question and many more in this comprehensive guide. There are plenty of personal reflections from moms too.

Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler by Ann Douglas
Douglas’s books are funny, well-researched, Canadian and informal. It’s like you’re chatting about parenthood and its joys and insanities over tea.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.
Straightforward short chapters make this an easy read between feedings.  I found both reassurance and helpful suggestions on colic and sleep (the baby’s, not yours!) from this doctor and parent.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
As the mother of a baby who frequently awakens, I was desperate for sleep strategies. Although we never quite got the hang of the “no cry” part, I liked her gentle and compassionate approach.

The Baby Sleep Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby - From Birth to Age Two by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears
I’m a big fan of Bill and Martha and their philosophy worked well for my high-touch baby. “Attachment Parenting,” is not for everyone, but most parents will find something that strikes a chord.

I hope this list provides inspiration and ideas.  In the end, it’s not about “experts” but you and your child.

Your Babys First Year- Week by Week The mother of all baby books An all-Canadian guide to your babys first year Sleep solutions for your baby, toddler and preschooler

The happiest baby on the block  the new way to calm crying and help your baby sleep longer The no-cry sleep solution  gentle ways to help your baby sleep through the night The baby sleep book  the complete guide to a good nights rest for the whole family

Join us - Read and Share - Downsview Book Discussion Group

August 17, 2011 | Paula | Comments (0)

 For the past 30 years Downsview has been the home to a group of keen minds who meet to share their love of literature. Every two weeks during the Fall and Winter months they gather to discuss a wide selection of books.  A trained leader presents a program of both classical and contemporary literature. Registration is required. A fee of $25, payable to the Toronto Public Library, covers the cost of the leader.  If you are interested in joining this lively group please pre-register at the Information Desk on the Main Floor of call Downsview 416-395-5720.

 Here are the titles to be read this Fall:
 Fall-Winter 2011

Book of negroes Come thou tortoise  Lighthouse 2 Zoo

Life is an adventure... Explore a provincial or national park!

August 8, 2011 | Diana L. | Comments (1)

Seeing as we’ve had some gorgeous weather for the month of July, how many provincial or national parks have you visited this summer?


Provincial Parks – Ontario Parks Ontario Parks

Did you know that there are over 330 provincial parks in Ontario?

One of my favourite Ontario Parks is Killarney. The white quartzite cliffs of La Cloche are gorgeous and some of the trails that lead up to the top can be a fun challenge!

Another popular park that I’m sure everyone has either heard of or has gone there for at least a day hike is Algonquin Park. One of my favourite things about Algonquin is that it’s got something for everyone – whether you just want to do an easy but scenic “walk in the park”, a technical mountain biking trail, or a 7-day canoeing trip, Algonquin is the place to check out!  

Here are some books I’ve used to get more information on the different Ontario Parks:

Ontario Parks Trail Guide



For more information on other provincial parks and the different activities you can do within them, visit the Ontario Parks website.


National Parks – Parks CanadaParks Canada

Did you know that this year, Parks Canada celebrates its 100th year of service?!
Did you also know that Parks Canada is the oldest national park service in the world?

Established in 1911, there are currently 42 parks administered by Parks Canada. Rather than attempt to describe them, here are three I’d like to visit one day:

Moraine Lake Banff

  Monolithes de L'Archipel de Mingan, Quebec

Tanquary Fiord, Nunavut

Can you guess the name and place of the parks?

Here are some books I've used to inspire and plan my next park adventure:

Guide to National Parks

National Parks

National Parks and Other Wild


Interested in reading about another person’s experience in Canadian parks?
Earlier in the year, Downsview Branch was lucky enough to have former Canadian diplomat and avid traveller and author Terry Keenleyside visit the branch for a program. His most recent book Roaming the Big Land: Flavours of Canada highlights historical sites and his travels through several Parks Canada administered sites. You can read more about the author and his book on his blog.

Interested in finding out more about national parks?
On Thursday November 17th, 2011, staff from Parks Canada will be at Downsview Branch to talk about their centennial celebration, the different national parks and historic sites as well as their conservation efforts. To register and for more information about this program, call 416-395-5720, e-mail or visit the branch.


With only a month of summer vacation time left (since many of us may find ourselves back in school), don’t start your hibernation mode early this year! I encourage everyone to explore a provincial or national park they’ve never been to before…and share your stories of adventure here!


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