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From the Stacks: Word on the Street

Calling all book- and literacy-lovers! The annual Word on the Street Festival is happening once again this September 23rd at Queen’s Park Circle from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. I’m very excited to announce that the TBG’s Weston Family Library will be there! Our booth will include many exciting offerings, as well as book signing by authors Sonia Day, Marjorie Harris, Gayla Trail (a.k.a. You Grow Girl), Lorraine Johnson, Liz Primeau, Ellen Novack and Dan Cooper.

If you’ve never been to Word on the Street, it is the largest celebration of libraries, books, magazines, publishing, and literacy in Canada. The WOTS mandate is to “foster the awareness and appreciation of the written word in our culture, promote local artists, bring the people of Toronto together in a celebration of reading and champion literacy as an essential element of a healthy community” (source). We at the TBG couldn’t be more thrilled to take part in the festivities. What began in 1990 as the Toronto Book and Magazine Fair now attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually, and this year the festival has grown to envelop the space from College Street all the way north to Bloor along Queen’s Park Circle.

The main objective of our WOTS booth is to promote the Weston Family Library’s collections, services, and programs. We’ll be giving away our new and unique TBG Buttons, and promoting our brand-new TBG Book Lovers Membership. Of course, the other very exciting aspect will be the author signing. Come out on the 23rd to meet some of Canada’s best gardening writers. Below is the list of authors, their bios, and the scheduled time for their booth appearance.

  • Marjorie Harris (11 to 11:45 a.m.)
    In the first half of Marjorie Harris’s career she was a free-lance writer, editor, producer, and radio commentator. Her early articles focused on many diverse subjects, including design, art, feminism, politics and consumerism. Then, she began contributing articles and columns to magazines and newspapers primarily about gardening. Marjorie is the regular gardening columnist for the Globe and Mail.  She has written 16 books on gardening. They offer practical advice and encouragement, information about specific plants and flowers, and a view of the world in keeping with the beauty, serenity, and healing power of nature. Her most recent book is, Thrifty, living the frugal life with style. Marjorie offers garden consultations and design/build through her business, Marjorie Harris Gardens, and writes a regular blog on www.marjorieharris.com.
  • Sonia Day (12:15 to 1 pm)
    Sonia Day writes, talks and breathes gardening. Her books and opinionated gardening columns in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, have gained her a wide audience of fans. She has written seven books, is a well-known speaker at events like Canada Blooms and has won several awards.  Her latest book, The Untamed Garden, A Revealing Look At Our Love Affair With Plants, has been named Best Book of The Year by the U.S.-based Garden Writers’ Association. Her bestseller, Incredible Edibles, 43 Fun Things To Grow In The City, won Silver at the Canadian Cookbook Awards in November, 2011.
  • Liz Primeau (1:30 to 2:15 p.m.)
    Liz Primeau is the author of numerous books on gardening, including the best-seller Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass and In Pursuit of Garlic: An Intimate Look at the Divinely Odorous Bulb. She is also the founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine and the former host of Canadian Gardening Television on HGTV. A much-in-demand speaker, she frequently gives talks at horticultural society meetings and garden shows across Canada and the United States. She lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
  • Lorraine Johnson (2:45 to 3:30 p.m.)
    Lorraine Johnson’s most recent book is City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing, which has won widespread acclaim. Other books by Lorraine include 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants, The New Ontario Naturalized Garden, Tending the Earth, and Grow Wild! Along with her writing, Lorraine teaches a course in native plant ecosystems at York University and edits the landscape architecture magazine, Ground. She is active in many non-profit organizations and sits on the Boards of LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) and the Alex Wilson Community Garden.
  • Gayla Trail (4 to 4:45 p.m.)
    Gayla Trail is the creator of You Grow Girl™, the hit community for enthusiastic gardeners, where she has spent 12 years sharing her experiences growing in any space available. Gayla is a respected, internationally recognized garden authority and the author/photographer/designer of three books on growing in difficult, urban spaces: You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening, Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces (translated into three additional languages), and Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces. Her work as a writer and photographer has appeared in several high-profile publications including O Magazine, New York Times, Newsweek, ReadyMade, Domino, Budget Living, LA Times, Life Magazine, Organic Gardening, HGTV, and more. Gayla’s latest project is a homemade living, eating, and gardening series called, You Grow Guides. A collaboration with her longtime partner, graphic designer Davin Risk, each volume is infused with her irreverent and personable writing style, warm, inviting images, and Davin’s beautiful design.
  • Ellen Novack and Dan Cooper (5:15 to 6 p.m.)
    After writer Ellen Novack first planted all her tulip bulbs upside down and they still came up, she became hooked on gardening. Running a business full-time while raising three children, she had minimum time for her garden, yet it survived her benign neglect – for the most part. Now with more leisure Ellen writes about gardening, discovering plants and methods she wished she had learned earlier. Master Gardener, Dan Cooper, on the other hand, can roll out names like Amelanchier alnifolia and Gleditsia triacanthos inermis effortlessly. As founder of Green Gardens and Tours , Dan spent years designing and planting gardens and now has incorporated travel writing and photography into the mix.Teaming up to produce Gardening from a Hammock, they have created a book for the new and time-challenged wanna-be gardener, as well as for the experienced gardener eager to learn more from experts. Gardening from a Hammock includes 17 different styles of gardens, lots of photos, and a botanical reference guide with 300 hardy plants.

More about our booth:

  • Learn more about our brand-new TBG Booklovers Membership;
  • Pick up a free TBG button (aren’t they cute?);
  • Browse our discount (read: very inexpensive) used gardening books and magazines;
  • Buy titles from the authors who will be signing;
  • Get the scoop on this fall’s adult education programs.

When: Sunday, September 23rd from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Queen’s Park Circle.

To learn more about the festival, its location, authors, activities and other booths that will be present, click here.

Hope to see you there!

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  1. Pingback: Book Review by Toronto Gardens | Gardening from a Hammock

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