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Feeling SAD? Attend a Living Well Program!

November 2, 2015 | Loretta | Comments (0)

Now that we're heading into colder weather, most of us are starting to feel the winter blues kick in. The shortened days and decrease in daylight actually trigger the onset of a disorder called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Feeling unmotivated or moody? The library can help you take steps to keep your mood steady!

The Barbara Frum Library is hosting programs as a part of the Living Well series, geared around fitness, health & wellness, clinical counselling, and much more:

Memory & Aging
November 10th, 2015
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

   Nutrition Workshop:
Better Bones, Better You
November 12th, 2015
10:00 am – 11:00 am

Boost Your Willpower, Change your life
December 2nd, 2015
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Stress Management through Restorative Meditation
December 10th, 2015
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Have a Good Night's Sleep
January 12th, 2016
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

How to Live Happily to the Very End
February 9th, 2016
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Spoken Word Workshops for Teens
Every Tuesday
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

For more information on programs, please visit the library or call 416-395-5440.

Also, don't forget to check out the Living Well displays on both the first and second floors of Barbara Frum Library, featuring library picks on healthy living.

Living Well Display
Living Well Book Display at Barbara Frum Library



Embrace Your Inner Entrepreneur

September 8, 2015 | Loretta | Comments (0)

Up until recently, I've been toying with the idea of starting my own business. Living in an era where startups are the thing, it seems like every other person owns or is involved in a small business. In fact, self-employment now represents 15.6% of all working Canadians, as of January 2015, according to this Globe & Mail article

But it's way harder than it looks. First, what product or service can you provide that isn't already out there? Let's say you already have a business idea in mind. Good. But are you passionate enough about it to invest all your blood, sweat, and tears into it?

Don't know the answers to these questions? Fortunately for you, if you're stuck in this rut, there are a ton of resources out there that can help!

The Barbara Frum Branch is one of the three locations in Toronto that is hosting the Business Inc. program.

"Take part in an 8-week business program offered in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Business Devleopment Centre. Learn from professionals and get on your way to making your business dreams a reality!"

Not only will you get one-on-one access to a business advisor, you'll get the help you need in preparing your business plan. To apply, go to

To find out more about Business Inc., the Barbara Frum Branch is hosting an orientation session on Thursday, September 17, 6:30-8 pm. Sessions are also available at Fairview Branch and Bloor/Gladstone Branch.


Business Inc.
Business Inc.


Need more inspiration? 

Forbes' 30 Under 30 is a list of today's young game changers, movers, and makers, including entrepreneurs from a variety of industries. Also, don't forget to attend the annual Small Business Forum to network with other entrepreneurs and learn how to grow your business.

Check out Toronto Public Library's very own Business & Personal Finance blog to be kept in the loop with upcoming business programs and for further resources at the library.


Extra, Extra: News for Muggles and the Wizarding World

August 8, 2015 | Loretta | Comments (0)

This post is brought to you by Barbara Frum Library's children's librarian Amena, a huge Harry Potter fan!

Harry Potter

It has been eight years since the last Harry Potter book was published and four years since the last film, but “the Boy Who Lived” continues to make headlines.

Here’s the latest in Harry Potter (HP) news:

An HP spin-off film, possibly the first of a trilogy, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an adaptation of a Hogwarts textbook penned by the fictional magizoologist Newt Scamander. The film, set in New York, follows Newt on his adventures as he attempts to document magical creatures. Eddie Redmayne has signed on for the leading role and Colin Farrell is the latest addition to the cast.

In other film news, a fan-made short film titled Severus Snape and the Marauders will be released on YouTube this December. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Alan Rickman playing Snape but since the movie is set in 1978 (and is an independent, non-profit venture) I’m willing to refresh my mental image of Severus.  Set in a bar, we meet James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew (the Marauders) as they celebrate their graduation from Hogwarts – until Snape shows up.  Dun-dun-duuun!

And the latest theory that is currently blowing the minds of Muggles everywhere involves our beloved Dumbledore. To understand this we need to revisit the The Tale of the Three Brothers. Fans have posited that the three brothers are Voldemort (Elder Wand), Snape (Resurrection Stone), and Harry (Invisibility Cloak). But who represents Death in this tale?  Well, according to a Tumblr post that has resurfaced Dumbledore is Death

If you’re new to the Wizarding World or just want to revisit Hogwarts visit your local library to check out the ever popular series.

PS. If you happen to be a Harry Potter AND Taylor Swift fan you may find this trending video entertaining!

Buying Property in Ontario

July 23, 2015 | Loretta | Comments (0)

Find out about buying property in Ontario and the First Time Homebuyer Program. Sofia Uzlaner, Sales Representative of Right at Home Realty Inc., will provide all the information you need to know about making your first real estate purchase. Please register for this program by calling or e-mailing one of Barbara Frum Library's summer settlement workers:

Ariel Lopez (416) 294-2332 ( or Valentina Camilleri (647) 296-0963 (

When: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 6-8 pm

Where: Barbara Frum Library, 3rd floor, Room C

Real Estate

(image courtesy of

For more information on purchasing real estate, check out these additional resources:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation CMHC offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian consumers.

Canadian Real Estate Wealth


Canadian Real Estate Wealth is Canada's only monthly publication dedicated to Canadian real estate investors.




The Royal LePage Survey of Canadian Home Prices quarterly report on home prices in communities throughout the Canadian real estate market. Issues are posted online approximately one month after the close of each quarter.

More programs for new homebuyers.

Are you Keeping up with the Kardashians?

June 4, 2015 | Michelle S | Comments (0)

Caitlyn JennerEven if you're not, I’m sure you’ve heard about Bruce Jenner and the transformation into Caitlyn Jenner. After years of battling a gender identity crisis, Jenner finally got the courage and announced the decision to undergo gender transformation surgeries. You can see the beginning of her cosmetic transformation on the cover of July's Vanity Fair. Can't wait that long? Check out other magazines like People, Us Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and GQ. We have copies in branch or use Zinio and browse hundreds of magazines from the comfort of your home, free with your library card. Interested in other transgender celebrities? Check out our LGBTQ collection. The Toronto Public Library values diversity and equity and is proud to once again be participating in this year's Pride Parade taking place on Sunday, June 28th, 2015.  For more info click here.


Bright sparks in the book world

April 16, 2015 | Denise | Comments (0)

     Burial Rites           How to be both     The Lives of others    The Undertaking

Enjoy the delights that only a truly well-written book can offer - all of these titles have either been recently nominated for major international awards or have actually won them. Book Club reading, anybody?

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by McBride, Eimear

Americanah by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

Burial Rites by Kent Hannah

The Lowland by Lahiri, Jhumpa

The Undertaking by Magee, Audrey     

The Death of Bees by O’Donnell, Lisa

How to be Both by Smith, Ali,                               

The Lives of Others by Mukherjee, Neel

Nora Webster : A Novel by Tóibín, Colm,               

The Sound of Things Falling by Vásquez, Juan G.abriel

Absolution by Flanery, Patrick

The Detour by Bakker, Gerbrand

The Light of Amsterdam by Park, David

The Spinning Heart by Ryan, Donal

Traveler of the Century by Neuman, Andrés

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Flanagan, Richard

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Ferris, Joshua

We are all Completely Besides Ourselves by Fowler, Karen

The Woman Who Lost her Soul by Shacochis, Bob

The Back of the Turtle by King, Thomas (Canadian)

My October by Rothman, Claire (Canadian)

The Opening Sky by Thomas, Joan (Canadian)

Sweetland by Crummey, Michael (Canadian)

All my Puny Sorrows by Toews, Miriam (Canadian)

The Betrayers by Bezmozgis, David (Jewish Book Council Award) 

Betrayers    Mathematician's Shiva    Ever After of Ashwin Rao   Wondrous Woo

 The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Viswanathan, Padma (Canadian)

Tell by Itani, Frances (Canadian)

Kicking the Sky by De Sa, Anthony (Canadian)

The Hungry Ghosts by Selvadurai, Shyam (Canadian)

The Wondrus Woo by Leung, Carrianne (Canadian)

This is War by Moscovitch, Hannah (Canadian)

Cataract City by Davidson, Craig (Canadian)

The Mathematician’s Shiva by Rojstaczer, Stuart  (Jewish Book Council Award)

Computer Basics at Barbara Frum Library

April 9, 2015 | Loretta | Comments (0)

Ever wanted to learn how to search the Internet to find accurate and reliable information? Need help with computers but were too afraid to ask? We've got you covered! Barbara Frum Library now offers free computer classes in its brand new Le@rning Centre.

Learning Centre
Barbara Frum Library's Le@rning Centre

We offer a variety of hands-on computer classes to help newcomers, seniors, adults, teens & children (grades 2-6) learn more about the Internet, online resources, and research databases:

  • Computer Basics for Seniors
  • Web Basics
  • E-mail Made Easy
  • Microsoft Word Basics
  • Microsoft Excel Basics
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Basics
  • Social Networking
  • eBooks & OverDrive
  • Homework & Research Help

For the monthly class schedule, please visit or call the branch at (416) 395-5441. Tickets are distributed on a first-come first-served basis, 30 minutes before each class at the second floor reference desk. Space is limited. See you there!

Holiday stress? We can help!

December 8, 2014 | Cynthia | Comments (0)

Holidays and stress – for some people, these are almost synonymous. The Library has books with this subject heading, and of course, there are movies that spoof the stress of the holidays.

Writers use these humourous, and sometimes disastrous, happenings to show us that none of us is immune. 

Stress is not limited to Christmas; an internet search brings up many listings for Hanukkah stress as well. There is even a guide for atheists!

You’ll also be able to find articles in many magazines, aimed at helping people cope with the stress of dealing with the shopping, cooking, decorating and entertaining that many of us deal with at this time of year. 

We wish you a very happy and low-stress holiday season.

When Holidays Are Hell     Aholiday2     Aholiday3     Aholiday4

Aholiday5     Aholiday6     Aholiday7     Aholiday8

Make & Wonder at #MMFTO

November 13, 2014 | Loretta | Comments (0)

The Maker Movement is all the rage lately. Find out all about it at the third ever Toronto Mini Maker Faire, coming up soon on November 22-23 at its largest venue yet, the Toronto Reference Library.

According to the folks at Toronto Mini Maker Faire #MMFTO:

"Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers; they are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community."

"Toronto Mini Maker Faire is local celebration of makers and the things they make.  It's a two day festival held each year where makers gather to show off their creations to the public - with an emphasis on hands-on experiences for all.  Show & Tell happens at each exhibitor table, plus there are talks, workshops, lots of opportunities to get involved!"

Last week, I attended the launch party for #MMFTO and it was mind-blowing! We screen printed t-shirts, ate Vodka Sushi creations, went on the illuminated teeter-totter, and checked out the 3-D Maker Bots.

MMFTO launch party
#MMFTO Launch Party
Absolut's interactive installation
Absolut's interactive installation. By tweeting @AbsolutCanada with the colour of your choice (I picked green), the installation automatically changes to that colour.
Illuminated teeter-totter
The illuminated teeter-totter from the Pop-Up Playground which changes colour with speed.
Laser-cut lanterns
Laser-cut lanterns.

Read more about the launch party. And that was just the launch party. Seriously, get your free tickets now to the main event.

Also, check out Toronto Public Library's very own digital innovation hubs at the Toronto Reference Library and Fort York Branch, and the Digital Design & Technology blog for info on more maker programs offered by the library.

War is hell... let's sing!

October 21, 2014 | Cynthia | Comments (0)

Many songs and poems arise from the events of the world, and the Great War was no exception. For the first time, Canadians fought under Canadian commanders, and we were recognized as a country independent of the British Empire. Canadians, as well as the British and Americans, put their feelings in poems and songs, many of which we are familiar with today.   

The songs of this time offer insight into conditions at home and abroad, both pro and con, and serious to more lighthearted. Leon Botstein, president of Bard College in New York State, says that “music may have an even greater claim than the other arts to being indispensable in time of war.” Songs can inspire patriotism and bravery, and help people to feel like they are part of a larger effort. They can also provide a form of entertainment and socialization. People may not remember speeches, but more easily remember tunes and the lyrics to songs. Music can become the catalyst for governments to recruit soldiers, keep up enthusiasm among those already in the military, and gain support from civilians for the war effort.

“It’s a long way to Tipperary” was written in 1912, but became a popular marching song in 1914. “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag (and smile, smile, smile)” was another popular song of the day, aimed at boosting British morale. “Mademoiselle from Armentieres” was part of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry’s regimental march.

Songs could be used to oppose the war, such as “I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier” but later changed to “I didn’t raise my boy to be a coward" when recruitment and morale were flagging.

Later in the war, Irving Berlin wrote “Oh! How I hate to get up in the morning”, shortly after he was drafted in 1918. It provided some comic perspective on military life. The Rev. J.D. Morrow wrote “You bet your life we all will go” as an inspiration when recruiting slowed down later in the war.

Women were also important in the pro-war propaganda, featured in songs like, “If he can fight like he can love, look out Germany!”. And as more and more women took on traditionally male tasks and responsibilities, men were given the heads-up about what to expect when they returned with the song, “You’d better be nice to them now.”

Poetry of the First World War    When This Blood War is Over    In Flanders Fields     Songs of War



Related Posts:

World War I Centenary: Canada's Local Responses to the Great War - October 30

Laughter in the face of death: the trench newspaper, The Wipers Times

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