This afternoon I received my annual notification package from the Dickens Fellowship Toronto branch. Thank you Martha, Jean and Doug for all your hard work.

I will highlight the contents here and within a few days will update appropriate pages of the blog.

Welcome back tea: Saturday, September 30th 2 to 4 pm:  Duke of Kent $25 at the door
rsvp required by September 20th to Erin or Lynne

Boz Reading Group: begins Great Expectations Sept 20th at 7 pm:  Northern District Library, room 224

Dickens Christmas Tea: Saturday, November 25th, 2017 from 1 to 3 pm: Blythwood  Road Baptist Church:  $20 (check the Events page for additional details)

Dickens Birthday Lunch:  February 10th, 2018 from noon:  Royal York Hotel with speaker Donald Zaldin: $55

Please forward membership dues $20 to Doug Paton as indicated on the membership page.





Many of Dickensians are theatre buffs, following in Dickens love of the theatrical; his acting and adaptions of his characters and stories have been chosen by two productions for this year’s Toronto Fringe. All tickets $12.

Olive Copperbottom: a musical one woman show by Penny Ashton will be performed at the Al Greene Theatre on Spadina Ave https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/fringe/event/olive-copperbottom-new-musical-charles-dickens-and-penny-ashton from July 6th to 15th, see the link for details. 75 minute show with various start times.

A Peter N’ Chris-tmas Carol: comedy duo https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/fringe/event/peter-n-chris-tmas-carol at the Tarragon Theatre on Bridgman Ave https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/fringe/event/peter-n-chris-tmas-carol from July 5th to 16th, 60 minute show with various start times.



Due to personal circumstances I haven’t been able to maintain the blog, especially within the last few months, so I’ve decided to have my name removed from the Toronto branch board as of the next election in May.

I will attempt to resume some postings and relay branch news where possible. If another member wishes to take over this blog then I will investigate transferring it to a new webmaster. In the meantime, I’ll add another post with some recent Dickensian themes by the end of this week.

Wishing everyone the best,
Sharon Kawabata


First of November and notices for the annual Christmas tea have been sent (thank you Martha, I received my notes in the post today). Jean and Doug thank you for maintaining the registration lists for the events(please check the Events tab for details).

An additiional event, (thank you to Jean Paton for the electronic copy) in conjunction with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society has been planned for December 11th:

John Huston’s A Christmas Carol. If this is a first for you, you will be amazed at how John Huston brings to life the characters and Dickensian world of Dickens’ most famous creation.  An added delight: Music by the Gilbert & Sullivan Quartet. This performance will be at St. Andrew’s United Church, 117 Bloor Street, on Sunday, December 11, at 2:30 pm.

Tickets (actually, in our usual style, names on paid list) can be purchased at the Dickens Tea or beforehand by payment to the Dickens Fellowship, clearly marked for Christmas Carol Performance. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Directions: St. Andrew’s United Church, 117 Bloor Street East, south side of Bloor between Yonge and Church Streets. (The Church is set back and a bit hidden – watch for street number!)

For information on parking, please see the Church website.

TTC: Subway to Bloor and Yonge, walk east on Bloor, south side, to the Church at 117 Bloor Street East.

September 21st reading group meeting had a very good attendance, additional tables were needed. It was a great start to our A Tale of Two Cities reading, special thanks to Doug Paton for leading the group reading and Henrietta Johnson for providing a context of the period in which the story occurs.

If you would like to read additional information surrounding the period of A Tale of Two Cities then click this link http://dickens.stanford.edu/dickens/archive/tale/two_cities.html for the Stanford Discovering Dickens project. I may have mentioned this a few years ago, but the archives are still available. The text for the novel is provided in issues from the original All the Year Round journal format.

Happy reading!


2016-07-29 09.44.37.jpg

As documented, Dickens briefly visited Toronto on his American tour, while here he stayed at the American Hotel on Front and Yonge Sts. https://books.google.ca/books?id=pKcaAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT1095&lpg=PT1095&dq=hotel+at+front+and+yonge+sts+toronto+1842&source=bl&ots=QOnl_YOp8x&sig=8k2Fg5ptVhEeXypzLhzS5A_YrKY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwixj9mC2LLOAhUJ_IMKHYoGBOEQ6AEIPDAG#v=onepage&q=hotel%20at%20front%20and%20yonge%20sts%20toronto%201842&f=false

The Toronto Legacy Project and Heritage Toronto have installed a plaque on Yonge Street, at the north east corner.  Though the Heritage Toronto plaque map does not list the Dickens plaque: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ll=43.701176%2C-79.373862&spn=0.223881%2C0.342607&t=m&msa=0&source=embed&ie=UTF8&mid=1qawOt5bgYZHZsnod-3lMva38kvE

If you have any additional information on the installation of the plaque I would be happy to share it with other branch members on the blog.

Photo taken July 29th 2016 by Sharon Kawabata


Though a little early, the Tollkeeper’s Cottage (featured in the walk led by Doug Paton last fall) is holding a celebratory tea with Irish soda bread on March 12th 2012 noon to 4pm.

$5 for tea and soda bread and a tour of the museum

Bathurst and Davenport http://www.tollkeeperscottage.ca/

in honour of the many Irish tollkeepers who kept the toll.

Thank you to Jean Paton for providing the information.