Your Money Matters: Personal Finance Programs for Fall 2018 and Winter 2019

August 31, 2018 | Diana L.

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Whether you're trying to make more money or manage your money better, our FREE personal finance programs have you covered this fall and winter! 

Personal Finance 2018-2019 Speakers Collage

With thanks to VISA, Toronto Public Library is able to offer additional financial literacy programs and workshops year-round and beyond our Personal Finance Campaign which runs from January to March.

VISA Practical Money Skills Canada Logo

No matter what stage of life or financial situation, our expert-led programs can help you achieve your financial goals. 


Here's a highlight of the topics you can look forward to: 

Barry Choi

Budget Travel: How to see the world without breaking the bank

Personal finance and budget travel expert, Barry Choi will talk about affordable vacations he's taken and how you too can travel without breaking the bank. 


Jessica Moorhouse

How to Become a Side Hustler

Earn some extra income or crush your debt quicker with a side business! Presented by Jessica Moorhouse, millennial personal finance expert and award-winning blogger. This program is back by popular demand! 


Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

Presented by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), learn more about the DTC, a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay.



John Stapleton of Open Policy Ontario

Retiring on a Low Income

John Stapleton of Open Policy Ontario shares how to get the most from income security programs such as Old Age Security (OAS), Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Learn how these programs interact with each other and with other financial products such as RRSPs and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA). Read more about this program here.


Woman getting car keys
Photo source: OMVIC

Buying a Car? Know Your Rights

From dealership contracts to consumers rights when buying cars privately, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) will talk about everything you need related to purchasing a vehicle.


Tax Benefits for Indigenous Peoples

A representative from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will talk about benefits, credits, and where to get help filing your taxes.


Investing 101 

Also back by popular demand, a financial coach and planner from the New School of Finance will give you unbiased financial planning info on investment markets and the different types of products out there, and the risks involved. 

  • Palmerston - Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 to 8:00 pm  

 You can also learn to Work Your Finances Like a Boss with the New School of Finance! 


Tax Credits for Newcomers and Emigrants

A representative from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will talk about benefits, credits, filing obligations of newcomers and more.

  • York Woods Branch - Friday, September 28, 3:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Burrows Hall Branch - Saturday, October 27, 2:00 to 3:00 pm
  • Riverdale Branch - Tuesday, February 19, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
  • Centennial Branch - Saturday, March 9, 2:00 to 3:00 pm


 Mike Drak

Victory Lap Retirement Workshop 

The old idea of a full-stop retirement going from 100% work mode to 100% leisure mode is now neither sustainable nor desirable. In this 2-hour workshop, author Mike Drak will help you rethink retirement - you can still enjoy it while bringing in an income! Not ready for the workshop? Attend the 1-hour presentation to learn more about what Victory Lap Retirement means. 


Kathryn Meisner

Salary Negotiation Strategies for Women

Career & Salary Negotiation Coach Kathryn Meisner will talk about what a typical salary negotiation and counter-offer process look like, as well as top tips and the biggest mistakes to avoid.


Jordan St. JacquesIntro to Cryptocurrency

The last two years have introduced cryptocurrency to the mainstream, and it's here to stay. Learn about blockchain, mining, trading, initial coin offerings, protection, and more! Presented by Jordan St. Jacques, Startup Tech Founder operating out of the Carleton University CGR Cybersecurity Wing at Bayview Yards in Ottawa.


  Alan Dustin  Book cover of How to Profit From the Next Bull Market by Alan Dustin

The Five Biggest Investment Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Alan Dustin, author and investment advisor with over 25 years experience will share tips from his book, How to Profit From the Next Bull Market to help you become a better investor faster.

Alan will also be presenting:

How to Make Your First Million in the Stock Market 

Understanding Fundamental & Technical Analysis for Stock Market Mastery


Money Matters - an introductory financial literacy program

Whether you are interested in learning about budgeting, banking, borrowing or saving, Money Matters guides you through concepts in a casual and judgement-free environment. Presented by ABC Life Literacy Canada.

  • Bridlewood Branch - Thursday, October 18, 25, and Thursday, November 1, 8, 6:00 to 7:30 pm (4 sessions)
  • Albion Branch - Thursday, November 8, 15, 22, 29, 7:00 to 8:00 pm (4 sessions)
  • Cedarbrae Branch - Monday, November 12, 6:00 to 8:00 pm


Make Financial Lemonade

Managing your money can be frustrating and confusing. Life is expensive. A financial coach and planner from the New School of Finance will help you feel less broke by discussing what guilty spending, overspending and unhappy spending is and offering tips on how to get your money under control. 


Gord Stein   Cashflow Cookbook cover 

Cashflow Cookbook: How to Free Up Cash and Build Wealth (Updated with new branches and dates)

Gordon Stein presents easy financial "recipes" from his Cashflow Cookbook that anyone can use to reduce their spending with minimal sacrifice, and apply savings to debt reduction or investing.



Larry Bates  image from

Beat The Bank: The Canadian Guide to Simply Successful Investing 

Make the big banks work for you, not against you! Former senior banker and investment industry insider, Larry Bates will share tips from his new book on how you can build a larger retirement nest egg and not lose your investment returns in fees. 

Lisa Okun Roger Travassos Kristin Carvalho

First-Time Home Buyer's Speaker Panel

Drawing on the knowledge of a mortgage specialist, realtor and real estate lawyer, this presentation and discussion will help first-time home buyers find out what they need to know and do to ready themselves to enter the housing market. Presented by Lisa Okun, a licensed mortgage agent, Roger Travassos, a GTA real estate agent, and Kristin Carvalho, a lawyer specializing in real estate, wills & estates, and Landlord & Tenant law.

  • North York Central Library - Tuesday, January 22, 6:30 to 8:00 pm 
  • S. Walter Stewart Branch - Tuesday, February 26, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
  • Bloor/Gladstone Branch - Thursday, March 21, 6:30 to 8:00 pm (Moderated by Liz Schieck, certified teacher & financial coach from the New School of Finance, an unbiased financial planning and financial coaching firm based out of Toronto.)


Rubina Ahmed-Haq

Get Your Finances Ready for 2019

Saving money is always a top New Year's resolution, and January is the perfect month to get your money matters in order. CBC business columnist, Rubina Ahmed-Haq will talk about how to get started on a road to better financial health and how to stay motivated and on track all year long.

Rubina will also help you Get Ready for RRSP and Tax Season at Deer Park Branch on Monday, February 11, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 


Money Management Essentials for Freelancers

As a freelancer, it’s important to focus on getting that next job, but it’s even more important to have a good money management system in place too. Millennial personal finance expert and award-winning blogger Jessica Moorhouse will talk about how to ensure your business expenses are actually helping your business to grow, how to prepare for tax time, and more.

Looking for another program geared for freelancers? Check out Freelance Finances at Beaches Branch on Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm (date changed due to weather conditions). 


Dan Bortolotti

Become a Smarter Investor

Humans aren't hard-wired to be good investors: we all have instincts and biases that sabotage the way we manage money. One of our most popular personal finance speakers is back with a new presentation - Dan Bortolotti, a portfolio manager and popular writer, explores the common mistakes investors make and explains how you can avoid them.


Matthew Siwiec terrylknox PRO tk IMG-117

Financing Your Child 

Having a child can be one of the most challenging financial times for a family. Matthew Siwiec, financial literacy coach and instructor at University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies will share tips on how to financially plan for your child and things to take into consideration such as maternal/parental leave, employment benefits, government grants, and a Registered Educational Savings Plan (RESP).

Personal Finance Programs for Youth

Our programs are open to all ages, but we do have some for youth-specific programs as well: 

Money 101 - Financial Literacy for Youth

A lively personal financial management workshop designed for youth! Find out about financial concepts that matter to you now and in the future such as debit and credit cards, bank accounts, budgeting and saving, investing and more. Presented by Michael Goldberg, winner of the 2011 Outstanding Educator in Financial Literacy Award and the 2017 Ontario Business Educators’ of Ontario Award of Merit. 

More youth programs will be added - check back soon! 

Partner Organizations

We would also like to acknowledge some of our partnered organizations that are offering a broad range of personal finance topics: 

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA), the national organization representing the Canadian accounting profession is offering programs for adults, seniors, newcomers and small business owners. Some of the topics covered include: 


Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit credit counselling agency that focuses on debt management will be offering presentations about: 

  • Borrowing 101: Financing Basics - Thinking about leasing vs. buying a vehicle? Mortgages? Student loans? Learn more about the various types of financing and interest.
  • Debt Solutions - Learn various solutions to debt consolidation, reducing debt loads and debt repayment plans.
  • The Truth About Credit - Learn about credit reports, ratings, scores and more! 


WoodGreen Community Services, one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto will present on: 


Last year, we asked Torontonians through feedback forms and on Reddit what financial topics they'd like to learn more about. Don't see a topic you're interested in? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment section below. 

We'll be adding more programs throughout the year so check back for more info! 

Visit the Toronto Public Library website for a list of all Personal Finance programs

An audience attending a Personal Finance program at a TPL branch.


Updated December 20, 2018. Added links for Winter 2019 programs.