You’re Invited to… The Word On The Street!
By Elli Davis, September 20, 2012
If you’re looking for something fun and inspiring to do this weekend, you will definitely want to catch The Word On The Street’s annual festival. The event is taking place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday September 23rd in Queen’s Park Circle. With it being housed in such a prime location there’s no reason for you not to stop by! If you’re taking the TTC, there are plenty of stops nearby for you to get off at such as Queen’s Park, Museum or Bay which are all within walking distance. Better yet, take your bike and drop it off at the Bike Valet Service they’re offering which is located at the College Street entrance. Or if you do have to take the car, there are plenty of parking lots and street parking available nearby.
What is The Word On The Street?
The Word On The Street Toronto is a non-profit organization that celebrates Canadian reading and writing. This annual outdoor festival is the group’s primary means of championing literacy and they aim to bring the best and broadest offering of the Canadian Publishing industry to Torontonians. The event is actually Canada’s largest, annual book and magazine festival. They are also working to take the literacy rate of the citizens of Toronto to 100% through their support of literacy awareness and reading programs. So you won’t just be having fun by attending — you’ll also be supporting the betterment of your community.
Just as you would expect at any other festival or fair, the event has plenty of exhibitors which are located in the Exhibitor Marketplace. This area gives you a sneak peek into the Canadian literary scene. You can meet top Canadian authors, speak to publishers, and purchase books, magazines and more. Many of the authors actually hold live readings so be sure to check out the map when you get there to figure out where and when you want to hit each place. There are also some special booths that are set up purely for informational purposes. Each year, The Word On The Street provides 20 literacy organizations with free exhibit space so they can spread the word about what they do. There are some great adult literacy programs, writing support organizations and more — so be sure to stop by.
The Word On The Street also partners with different groups each year in order to help raise awareness about some of the literacy challenges that exist in Canada and around the world. A particularly interesting one this year is a new simulation called “Experience Dyslexia” that is being put on by The International Dyslexia Association Ontario Branch. It’s a hands on experience that lets you see what it’s like to deal with this language-based learning disability. The simulations take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. so don’t miss your chance!
Making a Contribution
Another one of the groups taking part is The Children’s Book Bank. This wonderful organization collects gently used kids books and distributes them free of charge to children living in high needs areas of Toronto. So if you have any books your little ones are done with, bring them by and drop them off in the donation bins. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids about what they can do for others. If you decide that isn’t enough and you want to do more for the event, you can also consider signing up to be a volunteer!
Fun for The Kids
If the kids get tired of looking through all the adult books, you can head over to the children’s area. There, they can meet some of their favorite authors and even discover a few new ones! They can also take part in some fun quizzes, crafts and dances which will show them just how fun reading can be. Some of their favourite personalities from TVO Kids will also be taking the stage in some fun literacy-focused entertainment.
Enjoy The Day!
The festival and all its activities are completely free of charge and everyone is welcome — even your dog! The Word On The Street goes on rain or shine so you can count on a day well spent there this weekend!