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We're back

July 23, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

After a bit of a break, the York Woods District Blog is back!

Keep your eyes (or RSS feed) here for updates on branch programs, reading lists, and more.

Welcome Back

In the meantime, here's something to get you through:


March Break Mania at Downsview

March 4, 2014 | Sarah | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

March Break is right around the corner!

Struggling to figure out how to spend the week with your kids?

Come visit Downsview Library for FREE programs all week long. Limited tickets are available 30 minutes before the program.

Here's the line-up of exciting programs:

Tuesday, March 11th (2 - 2:45p.m.)

Mad ScienceOurhistory04

A spectacular science-themed show where the performer will conjure dry ice storms, float a MAd Science hovercraft, make magic mud, alter sound waves, and much more!


 Wednesday, March 12th (2 - 3p.m.)

PuppetStories and Puppets in French


Thomas invites you to help George and Josephine, his puppet friends, teach Malmain (Sneaky Hand) how to be a friend.

*This program is in French*





Thursday, March 13th (2 - 3p.m.)                


 BalletBallet 101 with Ballet Jorgen


This exciting program gives kids the chance to learn basic positions, see brief dances performed by professionals and try out some steps. Kids can also explore costumes and pointe shoes.



Friday, March 14th (2 - 3:30p.m.)


CroodsMovie: The Croods


Kick back on Friday and join us for 

The Croods and some yummy popcorn!










Interested in more March programs?

Baby Time (Tuesdays, Apr.1 - May 6 @ 11-11:30a.m.)                                             

Ages 0 - 18months *Registration Required*


Living and Learning with Baby (Wednesdays, Mar.26 - May 7 @ 1 - 3p.m.)    

Ages 6 weeks - 6months 

*Registration Required with Toronto Public Health Nurse, Jeanie at 415-338-8675*


Toddler Time (Thursdays, Apr.3 - May 8 @ 11:00 -11:30a.m.)

Ages 19 - 36months *Registration Required*


Family Time (Saturdays, Feb.1 - May 31 @ 11:00 - 11:30a.m.)

Ages 2 - 7, Drop-in *Puppet shows on March 22 & April 19*


Chess Club (Tuesdays, Feb.18 - May 13 @ 5:00 - 6:00p.m.)

Ages 7-12 *Registration Required*


P.A. Day BINGO (Friday, Mar.7 @ 2:00 - 3:00p.m.)

All Ages   *Tickets given out 30mins before the program*


Hope to see you there!

For more information or to register please call 416-395-5720 or by emailing 

Saturday Storytimes are Back at Downsview!

January 29, 2014 | KJ | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

  Kids Cold Winter

Brrr…nothing like another cold day and some cooped up kids.

If you want to liven up Saturday mornings, why not visit Downsview Branch for stories, songs, rhymes and a monthly puppet show!

Every Saturday from 11-11:30 one of our talented Children’s Librarians will entertain the kids while you exhale. Sounds pretty win/win.

Take note – Family Storytimes begin this Saturday, February 1st at 11 a.m.  A special Valentine’s Family Time will happen the following Saturday on February 8th.  Our monthly puppet show, starting with the classic, Strega Nona, will be on Saturday, February 22. All again at 11 a.m.

We can’t wait to see you there!

P.S. Want an outing with your baby or toddler? Register for our Babytime on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. or our Toddler Time on Thursdays at 11 a.m. by calling 416-395-5720 or emailing

Beat the winter blahs with good books and lively discussions

December 18, 2013 | Paula | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Downsview Book Club Image                   Fight off the winter blahs with good books and lively discussions.  Join with the members of the Downsview Book Club and discover new authors or revisit classics with new eyes.

                    If this list appeals to you please register at the Information Desk on the main floor or call Downsview 416-395-5720.  All readers welcome. 


Winter Session 2014  Wednesdays 9:30 – 11:30   

February 5      The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks/ Rebecca Skloot

February 19    The lacuna / Barbara Kingsolver

March 5            People of the book / Geraldine Brooks

March 19         Trespass / Rose Tremain

April 2           The reluctant fundamentalist / Mohsin Hamid
                        ONE BOOK - TBA February 7, 2014

April 16          In the garden of beasts: Love, terror … / Erik Larson

May 1               Two solitudes / Hugh MacLennan

May 15            The wind in the willows  /  Kenneth Grahame




December at Downsview Branch!

December 11, 2013 | KJ | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

SnowflakeDownsview Library is having fun this holiday with seasonal crafts, movies and story times!

If your child enjoys making holiday crafts join us to make a cute reindeer decoration, sparkly gift tag or a creative wreath - maybe they’ll make all three!! Saturday December 14th 11:00 a.m. to Noon. Children ages 3-7 are welcome to come by, no registration is required.

We're starting the holiday break early by showing a compilation of 7 holiday films from the National Film Board on the PA Day Friday December 20th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Children ages 4 and up will be able to attend. Limited free tickets available at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments provided

And the fun continues on Friday January 3rd with our FIRST movie of 2014! From the makers of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, comes a winning story about a humble garden snail who attains miraculous powers. With his newfound super speed Turbo wants to achieve his biggest dream – becoming the fastest snail in the world and winning the Indy 500. Join us for popcorn, drinks and fun! This movie is for children ages 3 and up. Limited free tickets available at 1:30 p.m.

Come join us for some festive holiday fun! We look forward to seeing you there!  Happy Holidays!


Bata Shoe Museum Visits Downsview Library!

October 17, 2013 | KJ | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Kids ShoesHave you ever wanted to touch a shoe made from a tire? What about examine official museum objects up close?

Come to Downsview branch on Saturday, October 26 from 2-3 p.m. in the Upper Program Room and you’ll get your chance! Bata Shoe Museum staff will be on site to entertain with fascinating shoe stories and to help kids create their very own shoe-shaped magnet craft to take home.

This program is a part of Toronto Public Library’s MAP Saturdays. Click here to learn more.

To register for this fun program call 416-395-5720 or email

See you (and your shoes!) here at Downsview on October 26!

Downsview Heritage: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

September 20, 2013 | D!ana | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

On Thursday October 10th, 2013, the North York Community Preservation Panel and the North York Historical Society will be at the Downsview Branch for a special presentation that will highlight different aspects of Downsview's story. A panel of guest speakers will be talking about Downsview's rich historical past, as well as current and future developments.

Wilson Ave. looking east from Keele St., 1955
Wilson Ave. looking east from Keele St., 1955

T.T.C. bus #1904 on Keele St. at Wilson Ave., 1955
T.T.C. bus #1904 on Keele St. at Wilson Ave., 1955

Keele St. looking north from Wandle Ave., 1955
Keele St. looking N from Wandle Ave.

*Images from Toronto Public Library's Digital Archives.


I got a chance to talk to Geoff Kettel, Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel, about the special upcoming heritage program:


D!ana: Why is it important for people to learn more about Downsview's heritage?

Geoff: Downsview’s history is interesting, many layered, and unique. The Downsview of today is the result of several periods of settlement and shifting demographics starting with the Aboriginals, then the settler farmers, the railway and industrial development, military air base and aircraft production, and post-war Modern development including the York University campus.  Downsview is now in a growth phase again with the condos and other developments at Sheppard and Dufferin on the edge of Parc Downsview Park.



Downsview United Church, 1954
Downsview United Church, 1954
D: What do you find most fascinating about Downsview's history?

G: There is a variety of buildings and landscapes in Downsview reflecting the layering of many different backgrounds and influences. Take places of worship, both located on Keele Street, for example. The Downsview United Church was built in 1870 to serve the farming and village communities of the time; the Bar Am Synagogue (Ramses  Shriners Temple) built in the 1960s, appealed to recent Jewish immigrants who wanted to make a new life for their conservative community away from the inner city. 



D: What buildings in Downsview have been declared as “heritage”?

G: There are 3 buildings in Downsview that are listed in the city’s Inventory of Heritage Properties: Downsview United Church at Keele and Wilson (1870), George Jackson House also on Keele (1885), and North Park Nursing Home at 450 Rustic Road. In addition there are several buildings on the York University campus that are listed [Click here for a PDF listing of the buildings]. There are also several buildings at Parc Downsview Park such as 65 Carl Hall Road which was formerly occupied by the Canadian Air and Space Museum that are in need of protection.


D: What are some of the interesting facts about Downsview?

G: Did you know...

  • John Perkins Bull’s Farm was called Downs View – it was located on the highest point in the area.
  • Early settlers depended on farming for their livelihood.  They planted potatoes, turnips, and Indian corn.     
  • There were 3 saw mills in the area.  As an example, John Boake bought and received a contract for sawing lumber for the New Plank Road, in 1854.
  • The first (log) school in Downsview, was built in 1817 on the south-east corner of Lawrence & Bathurst. It was replaced in 1864 by a solid brick one-room building at a cost of $655.00.
  • In the 1950s Downsview's only inn was a brick tavern run by Robert Hiscocks,
    north of Weston, on the corner of Albion and Weston Roads, east of the bridge
    over the Humber.
  • Downsview was the site of production of the Mosquito aircraft during the second world war.
  • Downsview was NOT where the AVRO Arrow was built (it was built in Malton) but the Canadian Air and Space Museum at 65 Carl Hall Road was the home of the full scale metal replica.
    *UPDATE: An e-newsletter from the Canadian Air & Space Museum announced that the AVRO Arrow would be moved from Downsview back to its birthplace in Malton on September 21/22, 2013.

    For more information about the AVRO Arrow, check out:

    For more information about the move, check out:

Thank you Geoff for the sneak preview to the special Downsview Heritage program!


If you're looking for some interesting resources with Downsview-related information:

North York Modernist Architecture

Case Downsview

Pioneering in North York: a history of the borough -

Downsview Lands Community Voice Association -


Keele & Wilson
Can you guess the location of this photo? Click to find out!

Don't forget to check out Toronto Public Library's Digital Archives for some historical images of the Downsview area -


Come to the Downsview Heritage: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow program and learn more interesting facts about the Downsview area! 

Join us for light refreshments at 6:30 pm and get a chance to chat with the speakers before and after the presentation.  

For more information about the speakers and to register for the program, please contact the Downsview Branch at 416-395-5720 or visit the branch at 2793 Keele Street.   





 Did you live in the Downsview area?

Do you have memories of growing up, going to school or doing something fun in the Downsview area?

Do you currently live in the Downsview area?

Then you may be interested in our upcoming Culture Days @ the Library program - Your Story! Learn about creating a video of your story + memories with Anna-Louise from Tree of Life video!

Join us on Saturday September 28th at 1:00 pm to learn how you can put your stories and memories into videos to share with friends and family!

Please call the branch at 416-395-5720 for more information and to register.



Join the Downsview Book club

August 2, 2013 | Paula | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



G&m bookclub


Join the Downsview Book Club and discover a new author or explore a classic you may have missed.  This fall’s reading list has a fine mixture for all tastes. If this list appeals to you please register at the Information Desk on the main floor or call Downsview 416-395-5720.  All readers welcome.

Fall Session 2013  Wednesdays 9:30 – 11:30

September 4           A good man / Guy Vanderhaeghe   

September 18        Sense and Sensibility / Jane Austen & Jane Austen / Carol Shields 

October 2               Out of the blue: A memoir / Jan Wong 

October 16             The woman in white / Wilkie Collins 

October 30             The cunning man / Robertson Davies 

November 13          The view from Castle Rock: Stories / Alice Munro 

November 27          The tiger: A true story  of vengeance and survival / John Valliant 

December 11          The frozen Thames / Helen Humphreys

Let's Celebrate Italian Heritage Month!

June 10, 2013 | D!ana | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

June is a pretty exciting time of the year!

It’s Aboriginal Celebration Month, Senior’s Month, and also Bike Month!

But did you know that it is also Italian Heritage Month?

 Italian Heritage Month Poster

On October 7, 2010, the Provincial Legislature passed Bill 103, officially declaring June as Italian Heritage Month!

Recently, Mr. Michael Tibollo, president of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians, gave a presentation about Italian Influences in the Modern World at the Downsview Branch.

Mr. Tibollo spoke of culture as a "badge of honor that we should all wear...regardless of what country we come from," and with cultural celebrations such as Italian Heritage Month, it is an opportunity for people to learn about different cultures.


And on that note, you are all invited to check out the special programs at the Downsview Branch in celebration of Italian Heritage Month!


The Mystery of San Nicandro” Film Screening
Thursday June 13th, 1:00 pm

A timeless story about identity, family and belonging. In the words of producer/executive producer Vanessa Dylyn, "'The Mystery of San Nicandro' is ultimately a testament to the inexorable force of the past, how it shapes our identity and sense of belonging, and how the echo of our DNA reaches across centuries to claim us. That echo is universal — no matter what our differences, we all have an ancestral journey and a past." The film is 75 minutes with a special Q&A session. For more information about the film, visit


Learn Italian!
Thursday June 20th, 1:00 pm
Enjoy a lunch time language learning session with Pino & Eleonora from Toronto’s Italian language school, Tutorino! Learn the correct pronunciation of every day Italian treats such as espresso, tiramisu, gnocchi and more. You'll definitely impress your Italian-speaking friends after this program!  

 Italian Heritage Month Logo

The Italian Immigrant: A Musical Journey
Saturday June 29th, 2:30 pm
Come enjoy the music of Tino@Vivo who will perform "The Italian Immigrant Experience in Ten Songs Plus One" on his acoustic guitar! Enjoy a selection of modern and classic Italian songs about the immigrant experience.


All of the above programs are FREE!
Please contact the branch at 416-395-5720 to register and for more information.


Also, from now until June 22nd, be sure to stop by the Downsview Branch to see the beautiful artwork from members of the Golden Age Academy! Their 2013 art exhibit is called Pride of Heritage and features beautiful paintings and arts & craft pieces that is on display throughout the branch. Come check out the talent of local Downsview artists!


Lastly, I'd like to share one memorable moment from a program earlier this month - Happie Testa from Rainbow Caterpillar books came to the branch as a featured Family Time storyteller to read to kids in English and in Italian. By the end of the program, both kids and parents who didn't speak Italian as their first language were repeating the Italian words they had just learned from the children's books she read! It was wonderful seeing kids and parents revel in the joys of learning a new language together.

Family Time in Italian

You can look for a branch that has materials in your language here -

Eager to start learning a new language? Try this.


How will you be celebrating Italian Heritage Month?

March Madness at Downsview

March 4, 2013 | stephen | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ncaa-march-madness_bigMarch Madness is in full effect at Downsview this March break with a full slate of children's programming.



Here's a full breakdown of the week ahead:


Saturday March 9 Dr. Seuss Storytime 11:00-12:00pm

Oh the stories you'll hear when we celebrate the one and only Dr. Seuss. And to Think I Heard It on Keele Street!


Monday March 11 Reptilia 2:00-3:00pm

Would you like to meet a Python? Join us on Monday March 11 for Reptilia!

Chameleon    Reptilia features a wide variety of reptile from tortoises to alligators! Free limited tickets will be available 30 minutes before the start of the program


Tuesday March 12 The Secret Life of Arrietty 2:00-3:30pm

Based on the book The Borrowers, Arrietty and her parents are tiny people who live under the floor boards of a human house. Free limited tickets available 30 minutes before the start of the program


Wednesday March 13 Game-A-Ganza Day 1 2:00-3:30pm Sack

Join Downsview Branch this March Break for some carnival type games.  See if you can beat the "skill" testing games. Win some prizes! Have some fun!  Free limited tickets available 30 minutes before the start of the program.

Thursday March 14 Game-A-Ganza Day 2 2:00-3:00pm

Thursday's event will feature a Wii-Archery competition. The tournament will be played round robin style and a prize will be awarded to the winner!  Free limited tickets available 30 minutes before the start of the program.


Magic-wandFriday March 15 Spectacle de Magic 2:00-3:00pm

Dans un spectacle hautement interactif que vous ne serez pas prêt d'oublier, vous tomberez sous le charme du seul et unique Jean Deshaies.Billets gratuits disponible 30 minutes avant le spectacle. All welcome but please note program is in French.



Saturday March 16 Seed Planting Program 11:00-12:00pm

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?  Visit us for storytime and find out!  Afterwards, children will be given seeds to plant in order to grow their own plant.


Come to Downsview for March Madness week.





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