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Beau
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Earlier this year, TPL's Special Collections accepted a donation of photographs from Toronto-based documentary photographer Peter MacCallum. MacCallum specializes in documenting urban spaces. His photos capture industrial sites, street scenes and other architectural features in cities. Spectators of event on Elizabeth Street, Toronto. Peter MacCallum, approximately 1970. View on our... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2021 at Toronto Reference Library Blog
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One of the highlights in our Special Collections is an assortment of various editions of Louis Hémon's novel Maria Chapdelaine, which stands to this day as one of the most popular and successful books ever published in Canada, although the author was not himself Canadian. Originally serialized in a Parisian... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2020 at Arts & Culture
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The Danforth Music Hall is celebrating its 100th birthday this weekend, making it (along with Massey Hall, The Horseshoe and Grossman's Tavern) one of Toronto's oldest buildings still operating as an actual concert venue. Originally known as Allen's Vaudeville Theatre, it was one of the last old-style vaudeville houses to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2019 at Arts & Culture
Right you are, thanks! Fixed!
1 reply
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All eyes in Toronto are, of course, currently riveted on the Raptors, but game seven of the Stanley Cup finals between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins (boooooo!) goes down tonight, which means somebody's going to hoist the Cup this evening. It doesn't get much better than when... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2019 at Arts & Culture
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I just finished reading Adam Bunch's The Toronto book of the dead (eBook), and above and beyond enjoying it as an interesting work of local history, I also found it engrossing on a professional level because many of the people who feature in these darker moments in Toronto's history are... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2019 at Local History & Genealogy
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Earlier this year, acclaimed Canadian glass artist Sarah Hall donated her archives to the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana's manuscript collection, located in the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library. Hall has been an internationally-recognized artist specializing in large-scale art glass... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Toronto Reference Library Blog
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This blog post is based on a talk I gave about the history of baseball in Toronto. That talk highlighted rare and historical items from many areas of our Baldwin Collection of Canadiana, which includes books, ephemera, art, manuscripts and newspapers. 19th century items The oldest item I discussed was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Toronto Reference Library Blog
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The Baldwin Collection of Canadiana, located in the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the fifth floor of the Toronto Reference Library, includes a manuscript collection with over 1,500 entries consisting of historical letters, diaries, plans, notebooks, speeches and other unpublished items detailing the private lives of (mostly)... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Local History & Genealogy
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Saturday was Record Store Day; I was at work all day but Toronto (and many other cities around the globe) were bustling with vinyl enthusiasts visiting their local shops to dig through the crates for special limited editions and maybe take in some live in-store performances. And on their way... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2018 at Arts & Culture
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Longtime Toronto Star photojournalist Reg Innell passed away on February 1st at the age of 92. He was born in Sussex, England, and got his start in the shutterbug biz by selling pictures to newspapers in London after the Second World War. After a stint in the British Army, he... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at Arts & Culture
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Before there was a New City Hall in Toronto, there was Old City Hall...but of course, nobody called it Old City Hall until there was a New City Hall to compare it to. And when Old City Hall was just City Hall, there was already an "Old" City Hall located... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2018 at Local History & Genealogy
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The news that Old City Hall may be converted into a civic history museum and library after the lease currently held by provincial and municipal courts ends in 2021 coincided with a presentation I recently gave to the Toronto In Literature Book Club, which had just finished the popular 2009... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2018 at Arts & Culture
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When I started working at the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library earlier this year, one of the first things that really caught my eye was the Alan and Thomas Suddon Collection: approximately 5,000 posters, broadsides and flyers advertising everything... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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Have you camped out overnight before Record Store Day? Are the words "diggin' in the crates" and "dusty fingers" part of your personal manifesto? When you close your eyes do you see spinning black circles? If any of these are the case, then you're probably a record fanatic. Well, I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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As fall approaches and the mercury drops, the cooler temperatures might lead to thoughts of holing up in a warm and cozy living room with some cool jazz and the libation of your choice. And if it's jazz you're in the mood for, the Arts Department on the fifth floor... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Arts & Culture
You can kind of do the next best thing by having a look through the TPL's Discogs account...for the best effect, click the "Large Covers" option on the right side of the screen.
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Earlier this year the Toronto Reference Library ordered 100 new records – for the first time since records were still the most popular way to listen to music – to add to the Arts Department's vinyl collection. About 90 of them have landed on our shelves, and I've got photos... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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Magazines, newspapers and the Internet are constantly full of articles listing the best movies, the best films, the best books, the best grilled cheese sandwiches in restaurants with names beginning with a consonant in neighbourhoods with names beginning with a vowel, etc. But you know what never gets much love?... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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Music Gallery Editions (MGE) was a record label operated between 1977 and 1981 by Toronto's Music Gallery, an artist-run live music venue originally located at 30 St. Patrick St., near OCADU (then known as the Ontario College of Art) and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1984, it shifted over... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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On Wednesday, April 5th, award-winning graphic novelist and literacy advocate Gene Luen Yang will be visiting the Toronto Reference Library to speak about his Reading Without Walls platform in a program co-presentation between Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Reading Without Walls is Yang's campaign to encourage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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Louis Riel – a politician, founder of the province of Manitoba and political leader of the Métis people in western Canada – has remained a compelling and controversial figure ever since he was hanged for treason in Regina in 1885 after leading the North-West Rebellion (also known as the "Riel... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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No discussion of the history of jazz in Canada would be complete without a word or three about Sackville Recordings, a label founded in Toronto by John Norris and Bill Smith in 1968. Sackville's first release was a recording of a group of American musicians (dubbed The Jazz Giants for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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I've always been a collector. When I was a little ... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2017 at Arts & Culture
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Is there a more maligned form of artistic expression than the lowly selfie? Ah, the selfie, the ultimate symbol of this shallow, narcissistic culture that we can probably blame on millennials somehow and which certainly did not exist before Instagram came along and ruined this nice highbrow thing we had... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Arts & Culture