TPL – Get Ready for Reading: a fun and easy guide to help kids become readers

Posted on March 27, 2013


Toronto Public Library announces ‘Let’s Get Ready for Reading’: a fun and easy guide to help kids become readers



Early literacy resource guide to be distributed free of charge to thousands of families across Toronto, and to every public library in Ontario

TORONTO (Tuesday, March 26, 2013) – At a launch event for its new publication, Toronto Public Library today announced that it will be widely distributing free copies of its new research-supported early literacy resource, Let’s Get Ready for Reading: a fun and easy guide to help kids become readers.

Through an ambitious plan – made possible by funding from the Toronto Public Library Foundation, thanks to a generous donation by an anonymous donor and support provided by the J.P. Bickell Foundation and the Rotary Club of Toronto – thousands of families in Toronto will have access to high quality research-based activities, resources, tips and librarian-recommended reading lists that help build reading readiness in children birth to five years old.

Recognizing the critical role that libraries play in building early literacy skills and cultivating a lifelong love of reading, Toronto Public Library is also providing a free copy to every library branch of every public library system in Ontario.

“Toronto Public Library is proud of this one-of-a-kind resource, and we are thrilled to be able to put it into the hands of so many parents, caregivers, educators and librarians across the city and province,”said City Librarian Jane Pyper. “I would like to recognize the great work of our Foundation and thank our donors, whose generosity and commitment to the library make this publication possible”

The Let’s Get Ready for Reading guide is available now to browse and borrow from all branches of Toronto Public Library, and over the coming months it will be distributed for free across Toronto to kindergartners, Ontario Early Years Centres, city-funded literacy centres, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres and licensed daycares, and to every public library in Ontario.

And through a partnership with Toronto Public Health, copies of Let’s Get Ready for Reading will also be given this year to newborns and toddlers in Toronto via programs for new parents. Free copies of the guide will also be given to preschoolers who register for or renew a Toronto Public Library card during an upcoming campaign, and through the Toronto Public Library’s community outreach programs.

Copies of the guide will be available for purchase at Toronto Public Library branches across the city.

Let’s Get Ready for Reading was developed for Ontario parents by Toronto Public Library children’s librarians, caregivers and educators, as they support early literacy in children, birth to five. The guide was created to provide parents and caregivers with a broad understanding of the important pre-literacy skills that help develop reading readiness, and illustrates to them that reading success – and later success in school – is achievable through fun and easy everyday activities.

The guide contains:

  • Suggestions for fun, easy , everyday activities and games that foster reading readiness
  • Librarian-recommended reading booklists
  • Tricks and resources to help get your child “ready for reading”
  • And much more!

“While the task might sound overwhelming at first to parents, it’s the simple and imaginative activities that are the blocks literacy success and early childhood development are built on,”said David Booth, national literacy expert, children’s author and professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto. “Let’s Get Ready for Reading’s friendly, encouraging and accessible approach empowers parents and caregivers. I’m delighted that copies can be found not only in public libraries, but will be available in literacy centres, daycares, schools and homes. This is a valuable tool that parents, caregivers and educators should always have on hand.”

The guide is part of Toronto Public Library’s Ready for Reading set of free, high-quality early literacy programs, services and resources, which are founded on extensive research, and which focus on important principles and practices that foster reading readiness – the essential skills for children before they learn to read.

Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest urban public library system. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what’s happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

The Toronto Public Library Foundation believes in the social benefits of a strong and healthy public library system. As a registered charity, the Foundation fosters relationships with people of vision to provide Toronto’s Library with improved and expanded collections, enhanced programs and services, and revitalized community spaces.




City of Toronto – Step Out and Enjoy Easter Weekend Family Activities

Posted on March 27, 2013



Step out and enjoy Easter weekend family activities

Family fun is available at Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation sites across the city this Easter Weekend. Due to the holidays, there will be some facility closures as well.

The following facilities will offer family fun activities during the weekend:

Riverdale Farm
The perfect destination for families, visit the farm to see cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits and newborn lambs. While you’re there, visit the Residence and the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum. The Farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. More information is available at

Toronto Islands
Catch a ferry to Ward’s Island and visit Far Enough Farm, which is home to a number of animals including horses, donkeys, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, peacocks and emus. The farm is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free.

Playground Paradise
Located at Flemingdon Park Community Centre, 150 Grenoble Dr., the playground offers excellent family fun for children 12 years of age and under. Kids can play on a two-storey play structure, go down the spiral slide, swing on the track ride, climb the cargo elevator, talk to friends through the talk tube and play in the ball pool with over 8,000 balls.

Easter weekend public hours:
Saturday, March 30: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 31: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.

Fee: $2.50 per child
For more information: 416-395-6014

High Park Zoo
Located on Deer Pen Road, the zoo offers both domestic and exotic animals including bison, llamas, peacocks, deer, highland cattle and sheep. The zoo is open daily year-round to visitors from 7 a.m. to dusk. The llama pen with be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Easter weekend, including Good Friday and Easter Monday. More information is available at

Preview of spring flower shows
The spring flower shows are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Rd. and Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Ave. Both shows feature various spring flowering plants: cyclamen, kalanchoe, primula, crocuses, tulips and daffodils. The Easter flower shows open at both conservatories on March 24 and include Easter lilies and hydrangea. Both conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. For more information, call Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543 and Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288.

Discover The Shared Path
The Shared Path, the newest of the 10 Discovery Walks, includes approximately 15 km of trails through park areas along the banks of the Humber River. The self-guided Discovery Walks program links ravines, parks and neighbourhoods and is designed to showcase Toronto’s outstanding natural features and cultural and historical attractions. Maps are available at

Programs, services and permits:

Friday, March 29: Due to the holiday, not all Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs and services will be offered during the day. Indoor arenas will be available from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. for scheduled tournament or league play.

Saturday, March 30: All programs and services will operate as per the usual schedule.

Sunday, March 31: All programs will operate as per the usual schedule. Indoor Arenas will be available from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. for scheduled tournament or league play.

Monday, April 1: Due to the holiday, all Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs and services will not be offered during the day. Indoor arenas will be available from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. for scheduled tournament or league play.

Toronto and East York District: East York Memorial Arena has regular leisure skate on Sunday, March 31, no other special events or programs.

Scarborough District: Centennial RC has regular leisure skate on Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31.

Etobicoke District: no skate programs or special rink events on Easter weekend.

North York District: all rinks are closed and no skate programs on Easter weekend.

For more information visit:

City of Toronto – Resumption of Work on Dufferin Street

Posted on March 27, 2013


Please see the construction notice below regarding the resumption of work on Dufferin Street.



City of Toronto – Roncesvalles Ave – Repairs of Sidewalk

Posted on March 27, 2013


Please see the public notice below regarding repairs of deficiencies on Roncesvalles. 

If you have any questions, or witness issues during the repair please do not hesitate to contact our office.
To see a pdf of the public notice visit: 2013-03-25_Public Notice_Sidewalk Repairs
Finally, if you have a moment please see my comments regarding a recent report called PWI 21.5 “Managing Construction Disruptions”at:

2789 and 2803 Dundas St West Notice of Public Meeting

Posted on March 22, 2013

Please see the notice below regarding a request for a zoning by-law amendment for 2789 and 2803 Dundas St. West.


Sorauren Park – Fieldhouse Painting Days – Volunteers Needed

Posted on March 22, 2013



Handy with a brush? Or just want to volunteer, contribute to the community and have a coffee and pizza with neighbours? Join the volunteers painting the interior ground floor of the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse… it’s needing some TLC since our last painting day five years ago (!).

Contact to sign up, or use the Contact page. All supplies provided including coffee, snacks, lunch, tunes. Volunteer for prep day and painting day, or just one day, or just one hour… everything helps! All ages (yes, you too, high schoolers looking for hours).


Prep day: Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Painting day: Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


To learn more about the amazing group of volunteers see:

Colbourne Lodge – Spring Egg Fun

Posted on March 22, 2013



Colborne Lodge

South end of High Park on Colborne Lodge Drive. Limited free parking
Join Colborne Lodge on Facebook


Spring Egg Fun
Sunday, March 24, 12 to 3 p.m.

Join this annual community event held on the grounds and inside Colborne Lodge. Children enjoy egg hunts and colour eggs using natural dyes inside historic Colborne Lodge. $3 for egg hunts and $1 for egg dyeing.

High Park – Controlled Burn Notice

Posted on March 22, 2013

Urban Forestry is again planning for a prescribed burn in High Park for this spring 2013.  They are currently beginning our notification process and will be circulating notices to  community libraries, local community centres, and have put up park notices in High Park.

We are told they will begin monitoring weather conditions once the snow melts, and once they are better able to forecast a date I will be announced with an update on the expected timing of the burn, with a minimum notice of 24hours.  They are continuing with our intent to burn smaller areas each year, so the length of the burn and area of disturbance within the park will be minimized.
Please see the flyer below for more details.
“Controlled burns in High Park this spring to protect rare forest

The City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division will undertake a prescribed or controlled burn in High Park in early to mid April. The actual date of the prescribed burn will be chosen to coincide with ideal weather conditions and will be announced 24 to 48 hours prior to the burn.

Park use will be restricted during the burn. Notices will be placed at park entrances advising users that the burn is taking place on the specific scheduled date. People walking in the park will be restricted from entering areas that are being burned, and park users should expect some temporary road closures in High Park on the day of the burn.

Prescribed burns have been safely executed in the past by the City’s Urban Forestry unit, and are part of the long-term management plan to protect and sustain Toronto’s rare black oak woodlands and savannahs in High Park, Lambton Park and South Humber Park. These rare vegetation communities are at risk of extinction not only in Toronto but throughout North America.

Under ideal weather conditions, the smoke from the prescribed burns will lift and will not affect surrounding neighbourhoods. However, it is possible that some smoke will reach residential areas near the park. Individuals with asthma or high sensitivity to poison ivy may wish to limit their exposure to smoke by staying inside and keeping windows closed, or leaving the area on the afternoon of the burn.

A Fire Boss with extensive provincial firefighting and prescribed burning experience has written the approved burn plan, and will be responsible for ignition. Fire Boss is an Ontario designation for a certified individual who has full responsibility for planning and carrying out a burn with a qualified crew. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff will assist with the burn, and Toronto Fire Services and the police will also be on hand to assist as needed.

During the months to follow, City staff, scientists, naturalists and volunteers from the community will monitor and analyze the beneficial effects of the burn and undertake additional forest management if needed.”

City of Toronto – Earth Hour Candle Safety

Posted on March 22, 2013



Earth Hour Candle Safety

Toronto residents will join millions of people around the globe by switching lights off to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m.

The City of Toronto reminds everyone to keep fire safety in mind during the lights-out period on Saturday. Many sources of fires are on the decline, but candle fires have increased in recent years. Toronto Fire Services recommends not using candles. Instead, use a battery-powered flashlight when light is needed during Earth Hour.

If candles are used, please follow these fire safety tips:
– Always stay in the room where candles are lit.
– Extinguish all candles when leaving the room.
– Avoid using candles in bedrooms.
– Keep candles at least one metre away from anything that can burn.
– Keep candles, matches and lighters hidden and out of the reach of children.
– Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip or burn. Consider using a candle holder that encloses the flame in a glass shade or chimney.
– Extinguish candles when they burn to within five centimetres (two inches) of their holder.
– Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home.
– Practise your home fire escape plan.

More information about fire safety is available at


City of Toronto – Call For Entries: 2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards

Posted on March 22, 2013



Call for entries for 2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards

The Toronto Urban Design Awards return this year. Designers, developers, project owners, community groups, design students and others are invited to enter eligible projects no later than 4 p.m. on May 16.

Submission categories in this City of Toronto program include Elements, Private Buildings in Context, Public Buildings in Context, Small Open Spaces, Large Places or Neighbourhood Designs, Visions and Master Plans, and Student Projects. The City encourages design students to enter theoretical or studio projects that relate to Toronto.

The Toronto Urban Design Awards – presented every other year – recognize achievements in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture. Good design creates a city that is functional and attractive, benefiting residents, businesses and visitors alike.

Celebrating excellence in urban design promotes higher standards for the built environment and Toronto’s public places. The awards also highlight the design and development community’s important contribution to Toronto’s look, livability and vitality.

The 2013 entries will be adjudicated by a panel of independent design professionals consisting of Marianne McKenna, Founding Partner, KPMB Architects; Cecelia Paine, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Guelph; Jeremy Sturgess, Principal, Sturgess Architecture; Eric Turcotte, Partner, Urban Strategies Inc.; and Toronto urban affairs journalist Matthew Blackett, Publisher and Creative Director of Spacing.

The City will hold an evening awards ceremony and reception on Wednesday, September 11 to celebrate the entries and announce the winners. The 2013 ceremony is a ticketed event that will bring together urban designers, architects, landscape architects, planners, land developers, builders, urban policy- makers, design professionals, artists and interested community members from across the Toronto region.

More information is available at

March 2013