Another Mystery Workshop Success!

Mystery Workshop at Queen Books
Full house today for the Mystery Workshop at Queen Books!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Queen Books today and wrote a fine mystery story of their own!

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In the window!

windowThat’s me and fellow-author Joyce Grant in the window of our local Book City, where they are featuring women’s rights. That photo is from the Women’s March in February that we attended holding Joyce’s awesome sign.

Authors for Indies 2016

afi2016
That’s me holding one my fav books of the year The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace And Babbage: The (mostly) True Story Of The First Computer

This year I was honored to support two Book City locations in Toronto, the St. Clair and Yonge store and then, the Beaches store. What a fantastic day for independent bookstores! Thank you to everyone who came out!

Where to dump a body in 1930s Toronto

“Ashbridge’s Marsh looking northeast, circa 1909
City of Toronto Archives, Series 376, File 4, Item 63″ From the UofT’s library of maps.

Yeah, I thought that title would catch your collective eyes. Writing in Starbucks this week, my friend John Lorinc gave me an idea when I mused aloud: “Now where would one dump a body in Toronto?” It shows that he is a good friend that he knew I was speaking about my detective series and not planning a murder, but he suggested that in the 1930s, the Ashbridges Marsh might be a good spot to rid oneself of a dead body. According to the University of Toronto’s library (where that photo on the left is from) back then the Ashbridges Bay Marsh was more than five square kilometres wide. One would take the Coxwell streetcar to get into the area and Ulster Stadium was built there in 1925 (where it stood until 1945). It was incredibly polluted (with sewage and run-off from unregulated factories) but still managed to support wildlife and birds. People, horses, children all drowned in this marsh over the years, add to that the toxicity of the area, and it was due for a fix. The city finally decided to fill in the marsh between 1920 and 1950, but there was still a bit of marshland left for the murderous purposes of this author .

LINKS:

Excerpt of 1906 Canadian national atlas map of Toronto, showing Toronto harbour.

Toronto Newspapers of the 1930s

The Daily Star on sale.
The Daily Star on sale (from the BlogTO article – 2011, originally from the Toronto Archives)

I’m researching Toronto newspapers today and thought I would share some of my findings with you interested folks!

BlogTO has done a lot of my work for me in this piece from 2011.

It looks like The Globe and Mail was still called The Globe as of the early 1930s (this is prior to their merger with Mail and Empire in 1936). It would have been a viable source of news for Portia and Annie as they navigate the streets of Montreal and Toronto. Here is the wikipedia article for The Globe and Mail.

The Toronto Evening Telegram was a local Toronto paper which would have been hard to get one’s hands on outside of the city and folded in 1971. It was in direct competition with the Toronto Star, which back in the 30s was called The Toronto Daily Star, and was supposed to better represent the ‘common man’s interests. You can read more about the history of the Toronto Star on their website here.

The Montreal Gazette (just called Gazette in the 30s) it turns out has been around forever – founded in 1778 if you can imagine – and was in a dual French-English format. The competing Quebec Gazette is an English-language weekly these days but back in the 30s was a dual French-English weekly.

So there you have it. All the news our girls could want in print form!

Hear, Here Salon Toronto

Hear, Here Salon Toronto

I’m very excited to be a featured author at the inaugural Hear Here Salon in November!

WHEN: November 20th
WHERE: Toronto (more location details to be released closer to the event – it’s a surprise!!)
WHO: Myself and a whole bunch of other artists – check out the full list here
WHAT: Here is the description from their website:

Welcome to Hear Here, Toronto’s premier Salon! For our inaugural event on November 20 2014, we will be holding an artistic gathering in Toronto with the greatest influential artists in Canada.

Poets, novelists, short story writers, essayists, fiction or non-fiction, professional or novice – all are invited to come to share or just listen. We’re creating a communal event for writers, the lovers of spoken word, literature, visual arts, music and all things creative. But we can’t stress it enough that ANYONE who wants to attend can do so.

Our first event will be only $30 which includes the exquisite culinary tastes of Toronto and the chance to rub shoulders with the greatest artists in Canada. If you’re unable to afford the entrance fee, you’re in luck. We’re looking for a limited number of volunteers to help with set up and clean up for the night. If you’re interested, send us an email with Hear Here Volunteer in the subject line.

Portia’s favourite library in Toronto

Portia's favourite library in Toronto
The Queen and Lisgar Branch Library, designed by Robert McCallum, City Architect, was built to serve residents of the city’s west end. The branch opened on April 30, 1909. In 1957, the library’s Foreign Literature Centre was located at the branch. Queen and Lisgar Branch was closed in February 1964, and was replaced by Parkdale Branch Library. The City of Toronto Public Health Department, Parkdale District, now uses the building.