Archives for posts with tag: library

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Exciting news, readers. Your Urban Geographer has been published in the Globe and Mail. Read my article on Toronto’s 100th library in Scarborough, the perfect contemporary library here.

And if you haven’t already, please visit All the Libraries Toronto, where my drawing of every library in Toronto are posted. Take a virtual trip around Toronto and experience its local flavour through its best institution!

Law Libe

The Law Library at McGill University in Montreal, commissioned for Mr. Edward Brook by his mother for Christmas. 

This post originally appeared on the Pop-Up City

A project by FIXT POINT, a Toronto based arts and media company,  A Tale of A Town is a roving radio station that operates out of the “Storymobile”, a travel trailer-turned-recording studio making its way across Canada, collecting memories of the country’s main streets.

Even though North Americans are choosing to live downtown in record numbers, vibrant main streets are overshadowed by big box stores and multinational chains. A Tale of a Town wants to inspire people to remember why main street matters and how supporting small business is vital to 21st century urbanism.

The Talle Of a Town

Their most recent stop is in front of the Mimico Library in west-end Toronto. Mimico was a small lakeside town that was swallowed up by Toronto’s voracious growth. A team of radio artists have been inviting local business owners, heroes and residents to the Storymobile to record their memories of the town, and have been sharing their favourite online.

The Talle of a Town

The Talle of a Town

A Tale of a Town is part of the Toronto’s Artists in the Library program, an exciting initiative highlighting how libraries are reinventing themselves asessential spaces for the 21st century city. With free wifi, meeting space, and media collections libraries have become a choice workplace for the mobile class.

This post originally appeared on the Pop-Up City

Here’s another solution for putting those tools gathering dust in your house to use: make them available for lending at your local Tool Library!

Opening next month, Toronto’s Tool Library is one of many similar projects that have popped up all over North America, Australia and Europe. The recent popularity of tool libraries is another example of how the peer-to-peer economy continues to gain popularity and evolve, changing the way we interact with each other and our cities.

Tool Library

The Tool Library harnesses the fact that on average, a power drill is used for just 12-13 minutes in its lifetime. They enable access to tools that are otherwise sitting idle at home and can save their users hundreds of dollars, and a lot of closet space. Using a tool library also promotes sustainability through resource-sharing, and are an example of how society is changing to be a more collaborative experience.

Tool Library

While tool lending libraries are not new (the first was in 1976 in Columbus Ohio), the recent opening of many around the world, with sleek design and easy to use websites, are beginning to appeal to a broad spectrum of city dwellers.

Tool Library

Vancouver also has a Tool Library, which opened in 2011. Like in Toronto, being a member of Vancouver’s Tool Library involves paying an annual fee, which varies depending on your income. This guarantees that its services are accessible to anyone, and is especially appealing to new immigrants, students, not-for-profit organizations and community groups. The co-op structure ensures that prices are low compared to other tool rental stores: renting the tools is free for members.

Tool Library

Like in Toronto and Vancouver, tool libraries worldwide act as much more than a space for renting and lending tools. They are also community centres that offer courses and workshops on how to use the tools. While sites like AirbnbShare Some Sugar, and Thuisafgehaald facilitate interactions between people that can happen anywhere, tool libraries mark a trend toward online peer-to-peer services that make use of centralized “storefront” locations, emphasizing the social in social media.