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Rediscover Toronto's Waterfront Heritage!

September 8, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

If you've been in Toronto for a while, chances are good that you've picnicked by the Scarborough Bluffs, gone ice skating at the Harbourfront or tanned at Woodbine Beach. But did you know what a long history some of these places have?

Come and find out more about Toronto's waterfront at a visit with author Jane Fairburn on Saturday, September 13th at 2 PM!

Historical Toronto Waterfront
Public domain image courtesy of Wikipedia

Local lawyer turned author Jane Fairburn has written a wonderful book exploring the history of our waterfront. 

Along the Shore: Rediscovering Toronto's Waterfront Heritage | Available in eBook too!

 Her book focuses on four distinct areas:

  • the Lakeshore
  • the Island
  • the Beach
  • the Scarborough Bluffs 

She will discuss the importance of these neighborhoods and how they are all interconnected with ecology and Toronto itself. Jane will help you rediscover the beautiful and important history of Toronto through the lake. Come learn how it has evolved from a place of hunting for the first people who lived here thousands of years ago to the present day with its mixture of beaches, condos and possible business ventures. 

Don't miss out on this exciting exploration of Toronto history. Hope to see you all there!

Chocolate Making at the Library

August 29, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Mmmmmmm...CHOCOLATE. There's really no better way to describe last Friday at the Cedarbrae Branch.

Chocolatier Shavaughan from Chocolate Tales joined teens to instruct them in the magical and mysterious art of chocolate making, including teaching them how to make truffles, bonbons, lava cakes, and chocolate shavings using the finest Belgian chocolate.

We got to taste some of these delicious works of art and they were just as tasty as they were beautiful.

Check out some of the pictures and videos from the workshop below!


Continue reading "Chocolate Making at the Library" ┬╗

Craft + Green + (multi)Cultural Hotspot =

June 9, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0)

Bottle Cap Bracelets!

For its inaugural year the Cultural Hotspot project is shining a spotlight on South Scarborough. This spot is hot because it is home to a diverse cultural scene, engaged community, growing economy, green spaces and unique local history.

On Saturday June 7, an enthusiastic group of kids, teens, and adults joined us for Cedarbrae Library's Cultural Hotspot Animation Weekend event "Make Your Own Bottle Cap Bracelet."

Cedarbrae is in Loop 2 of the Hotspot, which covers the themes of art, food, and history and covers the area from Lawrence Avenue and Eglinton Avenue from Victoria Park to Markham Road.

Art and history (and maybe a little food too) combined perfectly in the bracelets we made. Everyone found an image in our donated magazines that spoke to them. The magazines were from a variety of cultures, religions, and interests. After all, diversity and multiculturalism are part of what make Scarborough great, both past and present.

We then used Mod Podge┬« to seal the images into the bottom of bottle caps and made bracelets using the bottle caps as a pendant and rainbow loom as the bracelet.


Bottle Cap Bracelets

For more information on other Hotspot events, check out their website or pop into one of the Hotspot Branches to pick up a brochure.

Branches in the Cultural Hotspot include:

Ripples in Spacetime

May 21, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0)

Ever wonder how gravity works? Or about the mysteries of black holes?


Join us this Saturday as Dr. Ilana MacDonald traces the concept of gravity from the earliest theories about how the universe works to her own fascinating research on the ripples in space-time caused by black holes.



Sat May 24, 2014

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Cedarbrae Library program room


Part of the Thought Exchange program series.

Presented in partnership with the Dunlap Institute, Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto.



Maker Culture at Your Library

May 5, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0)

In case you haven't heard, maker culture is here, it is awesome, and it is an integral part of the future of libraries. Toronto Public Library is on board, with the opening of the Digital Innovation Hubs and a variety of maker programs.

Over the past 6 months or so we have introduced a maker program for kids at Cedarbrae called Make + Create (and keep an eye out for adult programs later in the year). We choose science, technology, and art activities that are self-directed, allowing participants to use their imagination and inventive skills. We've done everything from making musical stairs and game controllers out of MaKey MaKey, to making boats out of recycled material and then having a contest to see which boat can float the most potatoes, to creating stamps for making prints, to making and launching foam rockets.

This past Wednesday we experimented with squishy circuits. Squishy Circuits is a project that came out of the Thomas Lab at St. Thomas University's School of Engineering (watch the TED Talk here) with the goal of exposing children to electricity, physics, and engineering in a fun and interactive way - with LEDs, toy motors and buzzers, and dough!

Here are some of the cool things the kids made:

A Creeper from Minecraft with a glowing heart (LED covered in conductive dough).

A snail with a glowing mouth and moving tail.

A snowman with a glowing nose.

Survival Training

April 24, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0)

How did you fare without power back in Dec/Jan? Did you run out of food or water? Have trouble staying warm?

Then think waaaaay back to when it was hot last summer (I know, it may be hard to remember). Did you experience heat-stroke symptoms? Lose power in a rolling blackout?



What if the ice storm was worse, something like the Quebec storm of 1998? 




What if the heat wave was as intense as the one that killed 2 people in West Bengal on Wednesday?




What if you got lost hiking in a forest? Would you know how to get back? How to start a fire to keep warm?

In this year's One Book community read, The Cellist of Sarajevo, people manage to survive in a city under siege, with creates some harsh living conditions. In tomorrow's Survival Skills workshop at 5:30 pm, expert David Arama from WSC Survival School will teach you the skills you'll need in order to survive in emergencies. 



Survival Skills

5:30 - 7:00 pm

in Cedarbrae Library's program room

A City of Languages: Remembering International Mother Language Day

February 22, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

Yesterday, February 21st, marked International Mother Language Day. It's an annual observance of the diversity in cultures and languages we have around the world. Although this holiday may fly under the radar for many, it is an important date for lots of Canadians, particularly Bengali-speaking ones.

The United Nations describes IMLD as "the date [that] represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh."

It was a pivotal event: having their native language recognized was, for many Bengali-speakers, something worth fighting for. Today, each February 21st, or 'ekushey February', International Mother Language Day is a solemn, yet proud celebration. Thousands of Bangladeshis visit the Shaheed Minar, a symbolic monument, to offer flowers and remember those that died for the right to speak their native language.

Shaheed Minar

In a city like Toronto, where non-official languages are spoken almost just as much as English, just imagine how important language really is! It's a huge link to who we are, again, as the UN notes:

"languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage."

For a lot of younger newcomers, in Toronto and different parts of Canada, there can often be a real struggle between maintaining fluency in native languages and adapting to our official languages. Do you speak another language other than English (or French)? In what ways is this language important to you?

Learn more about language and its place in our lives with some titles from the library:

Lang1  Lang2  Lang3  Lang4

And, of course, don't forget that we carry lots of materials in other languages too - check to see what's available in your mother tongue!


Tax Season - it's coming!

January 24, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

TaxseasonAre you already dreading tax season? Not to fear! A number of library branches are offering free income tax clinics this year for eligible individuals and familes.

We have a number of dates and times available at Cedarbrae beginning this March.

If that doesn't work for you, check to see what else is available at other branches.

To be considered, you must meet the eligibility requirements - generally, individuals must not earn over $35,000 a year, gross; families must not earn over $40,000 a year, gross. Some criteria may vary from branch to branch.

For more detailed information about eligibility, and to register for an appointment to file your income tax, give us a call: 416-396-8850.

Good luck!


Seniors' Discovery Fair in Scarborough!

September 21, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

This Thursday, September 26, come join us for our Seniors' Discovery Fair!

Seniors Celebrating.This free event is a great chance to learn more about what services are offered specifically for older adults, right here in Scarborough. Come talk to representatives from agencies like Toronto Public Health and The Canadian Hearing Society, just to name two. There will be refreshments and the chance to win great prizes, so come by and find out what is available in your community.

Older adults are a huge part of Toronto, and it's a group that is expected to grow dramatically in the next ten years. Whether you're a senior yourself, are caring for aging parents or grandparents, or work with older adults, it's always a good idea to know what services are available. This includes health care, housing, and social events too.

In addition to fairs like this, there are many aspects of senior living: Toronto has its own Seniors' Forum, comprised of active seniors from around the city (and they recruit volunteers -- a great idea for those interested!) 

Don't forget to check out what's new at the library itself too: We will have a table set up where we can introduce you to upcoming library programs and services. For example, you can check out how to access Zinio, a new online magazine database that allows you access to current magazine issues online, free of charge with an active library card. Zinio is a great service for users of all ages, but can be particularly helpful for seniors who would like to enjoy popular magazine titles at home, or be able to do specific things like enlarge print and zoom in for reading ease. 

The Seniors' Discovery Fair at the Cedarbrae Branch will run from 2 to 4:30 PM on Thursday September 26th in our Program Room, on the first floor. Everyone is welcome, so we hope to see you there!


Plug in your banana!

September 20, 2013 | Erin | Comments (2)

DownloadHave you heard of Maker Culture? If not, you should brush up. The movement is growing stronger everyday.

As this site's intro to Maker Culture puts it, in the 1970s products created by hobbyists in their garage launched the personal computer revolution and launched companies such as Apple and Microsoft. Similarly, Makers (also called tinkerers, amateur inventors, etc) have been on the margins for a long time, but are becoming mainstream. Many factors have contributed, from technological progress, to cheaper electronics, to even the economic recession spuring people to repair and re-purpose items. This is a community that celebrates learning, and freely shares ideas.

Makers started in small niche groups (computer groups, electronics groups, robotics groups, craft groups, sewing groups, etc). Naturally they discovered that there are more possibilities for invention if they work together. These groups needed physical places to meet, share ideas, and learn.

As a result Maker Labs, Spaces, Faires, and hacklabs are springing up around the world. As are a variety of websites and e-magazines.



Help us start to make Cedarbrae Branch into a maker space. Come on Thursday Oct 3 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm for a hands-on introduction to basic circuitry and human-computer interaction with MaKey MaKey. More info here.


What is MaKey MaKey, you ask?

MaKey MaKey is an invention out of MIT that "puts computer controllers at the tip of your fingers. Literally. No coding required." As their website says "ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to your world and start inventing the future."

Mario on Play-Doh


Piano on Bananas


Welcome! This blog is written by the Cedarbrae Library staff and we want it to become a place where you can find out what's going on in the branch and in the community. But not just that - we plan to write about all things we might find interesting.