September 22, 2010

Word On The Street 2009

(Photos - September 27, 2009)

Sunday, September 26, Word On The Street returns to Queens Park on University Avenue.

It is a fantastic family oriented book fair. I try to go every year. In the past I have found some really great gardening books there. Last year there was hardly anything garden related but this year promises to be much better.

Word On The Street 2009

This year Becky Fox will be speaking at 1:30 in the Canadian Magazine tent about her gardening magazine, GardenMaking. She will also be selling subscriptions. Later, Marjorie Harris will be speaking at 4:45 at the Money Matters tent. Before that she will be selling copies of her various gardening books at Andrew Smith's booth #321, in the North West Curve of Queen's Park Circle.

Let me tell you a little bit about the layout. University Avenue runs north/south through the centre of Toronto. In the centre of town it encircles a large oval shaped piece of land called Queen's Park. On the south side is the Provincial Parliament Building, and on the north side is a park with oak trees that are a couple of hundred years old. The University of Toronto encircles much of the park.

H2O To Go Toronto

Word On The Street covers the park and the roads to the West, North and East. It is a very large book fair. Over 200,000 people attend. Museum is the closest subway station.

Word On The Street Toronto West Side

Hundreds of authors, publishers, literary clubs and vendors are in attendance. There were a couple of Lifestyle magazines that gardeners would really like. Harrowsmith is a magazine about country/farm life.

The Harrowsmith Tent

GreenLiving is obviously an Eco-friendly lifestyle practices and products magazine. I think I'm going to be following them a little more closely. They have a show in April and it usually attracts a lot of attention. Environmentally conscious celebrities usually make an appearance. This year it was Colin Firth and in a previous year it was Daryl Hannah.

Green Living Booth

There were a variety of food venders at the book fair. The roasted sweet corn seemed to be extremely popular. In keeping with green trends, I think people are more interested in eating local produce. Roasted corn is also heavily associated with family barbeques.

Roasted Corn on the cob

From the street you could look over and see one of the University of Toronto Campus Agricultural Project initiatives. This is part of network of student-led projects that involve local, organic, sustainable food production.

The University of Toronto Campus Agriculture Project

After a while I just sort of realized, “well, this year, I'm just not going to find what I was hoping for. But don't let that stop you from having fun!”

As I continued on I ran into author and television reporter, Pat Foran, of CTV News. He had just finished a reading from his latest book.

Pat Foran
The Smart Canadian's Guide to Saving Money

Canadian celebrity author, Margaret Atwood (below), was busy signing copies of her latest book, 'The Year of the Flood.'

I showed this picture to a friend of hers and they said, “Oh, Peggy looks tired.”

 Margaret Atwood autographs The Year of the Flood

I don't know if you can get tired of success! Look below to see the line up of people waiting to get an autographed copy.

the line up for Margaret Atwoods autograph

After I had seen everything I could at Word On The Street, I headed over to Victoria College, on the north east corner of Queen's Park Circle. They always have their book sale to coincide with the book fair.

What you find here is a huge selection of mostly used academic books. You have to be the kind of person who enjoys a good used bookstore to appreciate this sale.

Here I did manage to find some gardening books on the second floor. They were mostly picked over, but you can never tell if you might find a real gem among the rest.

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If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.

Mark Disero

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