Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

« July 2011 | Main | September 2011 »

August 2011

Are you Bothered by your Green Conscience? Books to Help you Live a Greener Lifestyle

August 31, 2011 | Kate S. | Comments (2)

Bothered By My Green Conscience We are all guilty of making choices based on convenience, and ease of use, rather than taking into account the impact it will have on the health of the planet.  Are you ready to challenge yourself to make greener choices, but don't quite know where to start? 

Local Toronto artist Franke James’ book, Bothered by My Green Conscience, is an inspiring look at some of the changes she made to live a greener lifestyle.  James' beautifully illustrated visual essays explore what prompted her to choose a greener path, and some of the challenges she has faced. While we may not all be willing, or able, to give up our cars and create a “green” driveway like James, there are lots of other small changes we can all make.  Living greener can save you money, improve your health, and can even be fun!

Take a look at one of these books for tips on how to use less water, save energy, buy environmentally friendlier products, and make other small, but significant changes:

True Green


 Eco-Friendly Teen's Guide
True Green: 100 everyday ways you can contribute to a healthier planet by Kim McKay

by Adria Vasil

The eco-friendly teen's
guide to saving the planet
by Jenn Savedge

Environmentally friendly products sometimes come with a high price tag, and many of them use misleading labels which make you think you are making a greener choice, when really you are not.  Why not try making your own homemade cleaners and other products which work just as well, at a fraction of the cost.  These helpful books will get you started:

Recycling projects for the evil genius

     Clean home green home

  Natural alternative
Recycling Projects for the
Evil Genius
by Russel J. Gehake
Clean Home
Green Home
by Kimberly Delaney
Natural Alternatives for
You and Your Home
by Casey Kellar

Are you crafty and creative? Do you have old items and clothes around the house that aren’t quite suitable for donation, but you can’t bring yourself to throw them into a landfill? Or, perhaps you just can’t part with your daughter’s first blankie, or that tie with a stain that you got for father’s day.  Try reusing your possessions to create one of the wonderful projects in these books:

Recycling fabrics as you learn to quilt

Eco-chic home

Remake restyle reuse

Quilt Blocks and Quilts from
your Favorite Fabrics: Recycling
Fabrics as you Learn to Quilt

by Kate Perri

Eco-Chic Home
by Emily Anderson
Remake Restyle Reuse:
Easy ways to Transform
Everyday Basics into
Inspired Design

by Sonia Lucano


Keep Busy this Fall, Start Your Dream Business

August 24, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (3)

Small-business-startup-ideasEmotions are high for students returning to school this September, while some are excited, others are cringing to the last couple of weeks of school-free summer. 

For the first time in perhaps a very long time, recent graduates are exempt from having to feel this way.  Now with more time on their hands, what opportunities are available for the out-of-school crowd this fall?  Sure there are parties, cultural events and countless number of ways to spend money, but how can one secure the act of continuously building for the future? 

If you are ‘Type A’ personality (don’t know what your personality is like, try these resources) and you exhibit a competitive, aggressive, controlling and business-like mentality then perhaps you should consider starting your own business.  There are many community resources that support small business start-ups, I'll tell you about a few.

In a General LHION meeting I attended last week, a spokesperson from Urban Arts Toronto delivered a talk about the Youth Microloan Project (YML) available to youth aged 14-24 who live in a priority neighbourhood.  The program is looking for interested youth that have a solid business idea, who’ve taken the initial steps to materialize their business, and who demonstrate a need for financial support.  Accepted participants receive a loan of up to $5,000 CAD, individual mentorship and training, and a laptop with internet access and business software.  Download YML SUMMER PROJECT 1.

If you are not ready to apply for a business loan but you are thoughtfully thinking the business out, the Barbara Frum Library is offering two creative business seminars that will steer you in the right direction.  We are happy to invite Helen Kontozopoulos, owner of The Creative at Work, to coach you on the fundamentals of a business plan scheduled for Tuesday September 6, 2011 at 7 pm.  Helen has experience coaching and mentoring artists that want to start their own business.  Her seminars add flavour and creativity to an otherwise mundane topic.  She will return on Tuesday September 13, 2011 at 7 pm for a high-energy workshop on marketing essentials to make your business come alive.

You might also want look at some of these recommended library resources:

  Business Plans that Work

     Small Business for Dummies

Start fast start right
Busiess Plans that Work
Canadian Small Business Kit Start Fast Start Right

Digging for Data on the Lawrence Heights Neighbourhood?

August 17, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (1)

Flemington Park

Welcome to lawrence heights

   Lawrence Heights

250px-Lawrence_Heights_mapIn a recent encounter with a researcher, I was asked about information resources on the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood.  With proposed revitalization, there is growing interest in data that describes the community.  Thanks to a concerted effort by local community agencies and residents, new reports have been generated that give quantitative and qualitative analysis about the neighbourhood.

For all scholars, researchers, residents and the like, below is a listing of resources that may support your endeavours.

City of Toronto – Be sure to check out the Lawrence- Allen Revitalization Project on the City of Toronto’s Website.  There you will find a string of reports mostly on baseline data about the physical environment and proposed changes (see the official revitalization plan) but also demographic and economic profiles of the area..  There is also an extensive chronology of documented community events which are part of the revitalization process.

BePartIs a group of community agencies and residents that researches the experience of residents from the Lawrence Heights and Neptune Neighbourhoods.  Check out the BePart website and see the Collaborative Research Report 2010 ; the results of a survey conducted in 2009.

LHION – Checkout the Lawrence Heights Inter-Organization Network’s (LHION) website for reports on the neighbourhood.  On the website, you will find a 2006 Census Canada Report that gives population, demographic, diversity, household characteristics and more.

UNISONUNISON produced a community scan of residents in their catchment areas, including Lawrence Heights.  The report “reveals the needs, strengths and opportunities for change within communities UNISON serves.”  See the full report here.

JVS Toronto & Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) JVS organized the development of LIP in Lawrence Heights.  For data on newcomers and immigrants in Lawrence Heights see the Immigration and Settlement Report.  The report gives first-hand accounts on the concerns and issues faced by newcomers living in the area.  Or look at the Lawrence Heights Settlement and Employment Strategy and Action Plan.

Toronto Public Library - If you’re looking for past reports for let’s say, a comparison between Lawrence Heights then and now, the Toronto Public Library has reference resources that are worth looking at.  Also make sure you Download The Lawrence Heights Bibliography sent from a Colleague at the Urban Affairs Library.  I've taken the liberity of hyperlinking the resources with records in our online catalogue to make the retrieval process easier for you.  And as mentioned in a previous blog article, check out the ‘Lawrence Heights’ information files at the Barbara Frum Library.

Debt Fever is Spreading, Will it Affect You?

August 10, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

I’m sure you’ve been hearing it everywhere: debt fever is spreading... and spreading quickly. As the U.S. economy continues to dwindle, and the spread of the debt crisis diffuses in Europe, what does this mean for Canadians?

In our recent Seniors Group meeting, the ‘world’ debt crisis was brought up as a forefront international political issue.  Why should we as Canadians be concerned about it anyway?  Some really solid points were discussed at the meeting, including the key question of whether Canada’s economy will weaken to the extent of their counterparts.  How is Canada acting to avoid this pitfall?  Another one of our seniors brought up that Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s recent activity in Latin America noting an increase in trade with bolstering economies like Brazil.  Whatever the forecasted changes may be, for all money borrowers take full advantage of the current low interest rates.

I know this sound like some heavy material, but for the record, the Barbara Frum Seniors Group has open conversations about political, lifestyle and community issues.  Everything from local to supranational politics, general lifestyle questions, community programs and even activities that require no thinking at all.  At our meeting yesterday, we invited a local musician to perform live classical music.  Seniors noted that it brought enjoyment to their lives and was a great way of “reducing stress” and opening their minds to “precious moments in the past.”

The next Seniors Group meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 13 at 2 p.m.  We’ll have more open-ended conversations about issues concerning seniors.  If you know a senior that may be interested, refer them to Barbara Frum's Seniors Group.

For more information about National Debt and International affairs, check these out. 

  Debtor-nation-the-history-of-america-in-red-ink        Westlost         Debt deficits
       Debtor Nation                    How the West Was Lost        Debts, Deficits and the Demise... 


And don't forget that with your Toronto Public Library card you get full-access to newspapers around the world including the Globe and Mail.



Welcome to the Barbara Frum District Blog! This interactive space is filled with information about your community and your library. We will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in the community and on the newest library events, resources and programs.

We want you to be part of our blog too. We invite you to reply and post comments. Also, remember to subscribe to the RSS feature which will enable you to receive blog updates without having to search for them. How the RSS feeds work