Toronto Public Library Homepage

This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Music Festival Season in Toronto

March 13, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (4)

Thinking of checking out one of Toronto's upcoming music festivals? With our current and impending weather forecast, it feels almost futile to start planning summer activities. But if summer doesn't seem as elusive as some may think, you might already be browsing what Toronto's music festival scene has in store this summer.

Concert Goers
Photo courtesy of D.A. Cooper on a CC license

Toronto is home to an increasing amount of music festivals every summer, and plays host to a large variety of musical acts. The Toronto Public Library (TPL) has lots of resources to help you get ready for this year's events!

Canadian Music Week - May 1-10

Now in its 33rd year, Canadian Music Week (CMW) combines music, film, and comedy. With an impressive and growing list of featured artists, attendees have the option to buy individual event tickets or wristbands. This year we can look forward to performances by Canadian musicians Alvvays, Kiesza, and Billy Talent. Check out their official website for more information.

Alvvays Kiesza Billy Talent

Field Trip - June 6&7

For its sophomore event Field Trip has announced a great and varied line-up, with tickets and wristbands available now. With Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket headlining, attendees can also look forward to a weekend of great food, art, fashion, and family fun! Check out some of these other artists joining the lineup!

Father John Misty The war on drugs Purity Ring Rhye

NXNE (North by Northeast Music & Film Festival) - June 17-21

This anual festival has traditionally focused on music, but over the years NXNE's focus has grown to include film, art, and comedy. In recent years, NXNE screened films such as Boyhood, and My Father and the Man in Black. Music alums include The National, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, and Sufjan Stevens. Keep an eye out for details on this year's festival, it's sure to be grand!

TD Toronto Jazz Festival - June 18-27

This monster festival humbly began in 1987. Today it is internationally recognized and at the forefront of Canada's Jazz scene. With no schedule details released as of yet, check out some of these albums to get your groove on!

Miles Davis Charles Mingus Getz/Gilberto Ornette Coleman

Digital Dreams Festival - June 27&28

Digital Dreams is one of Canada's largest electronic music festivals and annually draws crowds upwards of 50,000. Headlining this year is Trance giant Armin Van Buuren, and legends Carl Cox, and Pete Tong. Taking place at The Flats at Ontario Place, revelers can also enjoy Toronto's scenic backdrop.

It's all gone Pete Tong  Electronic MusicArmin Van Buuren

OVO Fest - Date TBA

Toronto rapper/actor/producer Drake's annual OVO Fest, so called after his own brand October's Very Own, is one of Toronto's biggest festivals. Unique to this festival is the format. Rather than announcing a formal lineup, concert-goers can anticipate a surprise programme chock-full of big names in the music industry. Since its inception in 2010, the festival has featured local artist The Weeknd, as well as Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and TLC to name a few. Keep an eye out for tickets, this festival never disappoints!

The Weekend Frank Ocean - Channel Orange Kanye West - Yeezus TLC

Veld Music Festival - August 1&2

The Veld Music Festival is another big weekend in Toronto for electronic music. Attendees can look forward to two stages with equally big sound and names. This year Dutch DJ Hardwell is headlining along with Toronto's own Deadmau5.


TURF (Toronto Urban Roots Fest) - September 18-20

The Toronto Urban Roots Fest, held at Fort York Commons, is not one to miss. Past performers include Neutral Milk Hotel, Belle and Sebastian, Neko Case, and Born Ruffians. The festival, usually held in July, will take place in September so as not to conflict with the Pan AM/Parapan Am Games.

In the aeroplane over the sea The Life Pursuit The worse things get, the harder I fight, the harder I fight, the more I love you Birthmarks

If you're thinking of checking out one or more of these festivals, the TPL can help with your listening preparation. Not just with our in-branch collections, but with our online resources as well! Hoopla is a great online resource for accessing music and videos. Borrow content to stream at home or enjoy offline on your mobile device!  


Lego in the Library

February 17, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

You may have noticed Lego programs popping up all throughout the Toronto Public Library (TPL). Since the acquisition of Lego and K'NEX sets, the TPL has been able to offer programs utilizing these wonderful building tools. But they're more than just the toys we remember playing with as kids; Lego provides a great learning platform, and a new way to engage our younger patrons.

Sea of Lego
Sea of Lego courtesy of Jeremy Page on a CC license

Since 2014, the Toronto Public Library has begun emphasizing the Middle Childhood Framework (PDF). Under this model library programs and services support the growth and development of school-aged children (ages 6-12), and encourage young users to be independent learners. To promote independent learning for this age group, programs aim to foster curiosity, creativity, and a love of reading and learning.

Using Lego is one of the many ways that we can instill these values in our programs, and is a versatile platform for attracting both boys and girls as well as a large age range. It also allows us to implement basic structural and architectural ideas, and encourages problem solving. Lego has proven to be a fun activity; it brings even the most reluctant readers into the library and is an opportunity to promote the library in a new way.

If you're not able to make it into a branch for a Lego program, check out some books for some fun building ideas!

IndexThe LEGO neighborhood book: build your own town!
The LEGO neighborhood book: build your own town!
LEGO play book: ideas to bring your bricks to life
LEGO play book: ideas to bring your bricks to life


The LEGO adventure book. Volume 2, Spaceships, pirates, dragons & more!
The LEGO adventure book. Volume 2, Spaceships, pirates, dragons & more!
LEGO space: building the future
LEGO space: building the future



Why you should read to your child part 1

January 30, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

There are many benefits to reading to children, especially from an early age. Research shows that reading to your child right from birth will positively impact their cognitive, emotional, as well as motor development. Moreover, it will encourage a love of reading and learning! This is the first post of a three-part series that will discuss the benefits of reading with children, and showcase different resources that the Toronto Public Library offers to support this aspect of development.

Mother reading to her baby.
Photo courtesy of the National Media Museum

Stages of development

Birth to 6 Months

Babies develop immensely during the first six months of their lives. They will transition from being completely dependent on their caregivers to wanting to explore more and more through reaching, grabbing, and tasting. During this period babies will also begin to show emotions, especially around those with whom they are familiar. It might not be apparent but during this time babies are also starting to develop a sense of self, and are learning how to comfort themselves.

Boardbooks at the library
Let your baby hold the book as your read to them; boardbooks are a great, durable option!

7 Months to 12 Months

By 12 months, babies are already avid learners and are using their gross and fine motor skills. Although they will show increasing signs of independence, they will still very much rely on those around them. This will also be a significant time for the development of their confidence and coordination. During this stage babies learn best through repetition; songs, stories, rhymes, finger plays, and games will all help foster their development. Consider attending Baby Time at a branch near you!

12 Months to 2 Years

This is the last stage of infancy. Babies will develop tremendously, especially their motor skills such as walking, climbing, and even dancing. This is also the time when infants start to become more socially adventurous and enjoy being around other children. During this period infants begin putting sounds together to form words; they can also communicate with gestures and respond to simple requests.

2 Years to 4 Years

By 2 years old, toddlers will be playing on their own and using more motor skills such as running, jumping, and climbing. Toddlers' language skills will be accelerating around this age, and you should be able to understand them roughly half the time. At 2 years old, children will use their words more and more to express their feelings and needs.


As children transition from toddlers to preschoolers, to being school ready, their mental abilities see dramatic growth. They will be exploring more complex concepts and be able to match, sort, and differentiate objects. Language skills will see much development and by the end of their third year, children may already be able to copy letters and print their name. By their fourth year, children are learning to cooperate and are becoming more even-tempered. You will now also notice an increase in their attention spans as well as their creativity and imagination.

From the moment they enter this world, children begin to develop in great strides both emotionally and cognitively. It is important for parents and caregivers to foster this growth by providing children with positive experiences. One activity that will ensure this all throughout a child’s development is reading. Reading together can benefit children and parents in many ways, and contribute to a child’s positive upbringing.

Father and son storytime
Father-son storytime courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on a CC license




Lego in Motion

January 5, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

As we continue to encourage creativity in the library, the Cedarbrae Branch has found success in incorporating the use of iPads into our programs. For our final Lego Club of 2014, kids made wonderful stop-motion films using Lego, and the National Film Board of Canada's stop-motion app. Check out a creation made by one of our participants!


Check out some books that the Toronto Public Library carries for inspiration on making movies at home!

   Cartooning The Economics of Making a Movie

Lights, Camera, Action! Stop Motion Animation

New Year's at Noon

December 30, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (3)

Remember when you were younger and weren't able to stay up until midnight to ring in the new year? Maybe your parents wouldn't let your bedtime slide that far, or maybe you just couldn't keep your eyes open, no matter how hard you tried.

If you've got little ones just begging to stay up late this New Year's Eve, we've got the perfect solution: why not celebrate a little early when the clock strikes 12...PM?

  cute dog wearing a New Year's tiara

New Year’s Beagle courtesy of Cutie Pie Company on a CC license.

Gather the kids in your life and join us for a craft session where we'll create party hats and noisemakers and share stories and songs. We can't bring out the bubbly, but you can bring a snack or juice box to toast to the (almost) new year as we count down! There's no need to register; just drop by.

New Year's at Noon
December 31, 2014
11 AM - 12 PM
Cedarbrae Branch, 416-396-8850

I’d love to say we came up with this great idea, but the librarians over at the Fort York Branch shared their plans for a midday celebration with us. If you’re in that area on December 31st, be sure to check out their new year's event for children!

If you can’t make it out with the kids that day, here are some children’s stories to read together instead:

New Year's Eve Thieves
New Year’s Eve Thieves
by Ron Roy

Who Stole New Year's Eve?
Who Stole New Year’s Eve?
by Martha Freeman

Happy New Year Mallory!
Happy New Year, Mallory!
by Laura Friedman

Just in Time for New Year's!
Just in Time for New Year’s!
by Karen Gray Ruelle

Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas
 Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport


Wherever you are when the countdown begins – whether cozy in your bed or celebrating with loved ones – have a safe night.

Happy 2015!

Find Volunteering Resources Online.

December 20, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

We get asked about volunteering opportunities all the time. It can be a little overwhelming trying to navigate all the options and find the best fit for you.

Confused student looking at notebook.
Photo courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 on a CC license.

If you're a teen between 14 and 19 looking to volunteer, you're not alone. With the highschool volunteering requirement, many youth are looking to rack up their 40 hours as efficiently as possible.

Although the library has a number of volunteer positions, there are many, many organizations and agencies looking for volunteers all across Toronto. There are even some ways to still squeeze in some volunteering this holiday season!

On Monday January 19, at 6 PM, come and join us for a session exploring all the ways to discover volunteering opportunities online. We will look at the different ways you can search for positions, how to contact various organizations, and figure out what best works for you. Also, a volunteer from SickKids Hospital will come and talk about what she does in her role and how she got there. Give us a call to register or to find out more: 416-396-8850.


Everything you can imagine is real: Young Voices at Cedarbrae

December 17, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0)

You may have noticed a new art display at the Cedarbrae Branch if you've walked in recently...

Young Voices Display near check out computers.

We're the lucky branch that will be displaying the Young Voices art exhibit for the month of December. 

These panels highlight some of the artwork that was submitted by Toronto teens to Young Voices, the library's magazine of written and visual art.

These talented young artists were selected by a small group that looked for high-quality original work that would be representative of and relevant to Toronto's diverse youth. Although only visual art is displayed in this exhibit, there are many more selections of prose and poetry in the Young Voices magazine. You can pick up a copy in your local branch, or check out an online copy of Young Voices right here on our website.

We are currently looking for submissions for the 2015 edition of Young Voices.
If you (or a talented teen you know!) are interested, be sure to check out the submission requirements and submit online. You can also print out a PDF submission form, if you'd prefer, and then simply attach it to your piece and deliver it to a staff member at your local branch.

The deadline for Young Voices 2015 is Tuesday April 7, 2015 so start thinking about your potential selection now! Remember, as Pablo Picasso said:  "Everything you can imagine is real."

For inspiration, check out some examples of different styles from all over the world:

Pablo Picasso  Vincent Van Gogh  Frida Kahlo  Trespass: A history of uncommissioned urban art  Chalo! India 

Mystery gifts at the Cedarbrae Branch

November 26, 2014 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

Do you like presents? If so, Cedarbrae's got some surprise 'gifts' waiting to be checked out! If you've been to the Cedarbrae Branch this week, you might have seen our newest seasonal display. Each colourful package is a book waiting to be borrowed. It could be one of this year's hottest reads or a genre you've never read before, the only way to find out is to take it home and unwrap it!


Books waiting to be borrowed and unwrapped!

  Get Wrapped Up in a Good Book

















Scarborough Repair Cafe: a HUGE success!

November 17, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (1)

As you may remember from one of my last posts, we recently hosted Repair Cafe Toronto at the Cedarbrae Branch.

From 12 - 4 on Saturday, October 18, our already bustling library turned into an amazing hub of activity. It began with Repair Cafe volunteers transforming our space with colourful signage, then a spread of all kinds of tools, from tiny beading accessories to heavy duty pliers.

Repair Cafe at the Cedarbrae Branch
Photo courtesy of Repair Cafe Toronto

We had just under a hundred people come from all over Toronto to have their broken items looked at. Some of the things I noticed included a coffee maker, computer and car speaker. In addition to fixing small appliances, there were also tables for clothing repair and even book binding and paper repairs! The bookbinding table also doubled as a fun spot for kids trying out origami patterns and other simple paper crafts. Kids and adults alike were also invited to take a look at some of our bright book and DVD displays about recycling and repair that can be easily done. 

The volunteers worked hard to get most items up and running again. Nearby, those with repaired items could pose for a photo, proudly holding up a cute "Fixed!" sign to celebrate their participation at Scarborough's first Repair Cafe. The 'Fixed!" sign did face a little mishap of its own...

Photo courtesy of @RepairCafeTO on Twitter

As with all of Repair Cafe's events, this event was a success because of the combined efforts of both the volunteer Fixers and the interested partipants who came to learn. We had a great time seeing people working together, excitedly learning about how things work.

If you missed this Repair Cafe, not to worry: you can catch another one on Saturday November 22 from 10 AM to 2 PM at Skills For Change. This is going to be the last Repair Cafe for the year, so be sure to gather your items and head over this coming weekend!

A big thank to you all the kind folks over at Repair Cafe Toronto and, of course, all the library users who joined us to make this an amazing event last month!

Mondays at Cedarbrae

October 18, 2014 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

This September brought the return of school and what can be assumed to be a sigh of relief for many parents, but between tests and homework school can be a stressful time for most kids (and parents too). If parents or caregivers are looking for a fun and engaging afterschool activity for kids, look no further than at the Cedarbrae branch!

Cedarbrae recently launched its series of Monday programs for kids aged 7 to 12, every Monday at 4 p.m. The series consists of Maker Mondays, Library Club, and Lego and K'NEX Club. Through these programs we will encourage maker culture and hope to foster creativity in our young users. For our first maker session, participants used recycled materials to fashion musical instruments; shakers and drums could be heard throughout the branch!

    20140915_165629(Drums made at our inaugural Maker Monday)

The following Monday we revived our Library Club, which introduced young users to different aspects of the Cedarbrae library and even included a tour of the back room and our returns sorter. Through this ongoing program we are looking forward to showcasing different areas of the library’s collection in fun and exciting ways.

The third program in our Monday series is our Lego and K’NEX Club, which encourages participants to use their ingenuity and engineering skills. For our first session, kids were able to build what they liked, but can look forward to building challenges in the future.


20140929_165851(A mobile house made with Lego)

Every Monday at Cedarbrae we hope to support self-directed learning and independence, and help build confidence and creativity in our young patrons. For more information contact or visit the Cedarbrae library.

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.