Toronto: Word on the Street a Success despite Wet Weather

Update:

Rain and lightning experienced at the Word on the Street at Queen's Park Circle couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of 210,000 fans of the written word.
Rain and lightning experienced at the 25th annual Word on the Street at Queen’s Park Circle couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of 210,000 fans of the written word.

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Sunday morning’s thunderstorms didn’t dampen spirits at the 25th annual Word on the Street.

The Toronto book and magazine festival drew an estimated 210,000 people to Queen’s Park Circle, mostly in the afternoon, organizers said.

“During setup at 8 a.m. it was really bad. Lightning, rain. Bad rain. We can handle any weather, but lightning does scare us. But that’s over,” spokesperson Stephen Weir said in an interview.

“I suspect the audience we lost in the morning arrived in the afternoon.”

This year’s roster of over 200 authors included Canadian writers Claire Cameron, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Sean Michaels, and Shani Mootoo.

“The festival is huge now,” said one festival-goer, Sue Peters of Toronto. “I haven’t been her for a few years and I can’t believe how big it is.”

It is important that this festival continue, given the number of bookstores falling to eBooks and the internet.
It is important that this festival continue, given the number of bookstores falling to eBooks and the internet.

New this year, the Living Well tent, sponsored by Penguin Random House, featured cooking demonstrations, panels on healing and whole foods and food samples. Famous names included Smitten Kitchen blogger Deborah Perelman.

The free festival is held each September in Toronto, Halifax, Lethbridge, Saskatoon and Kitchener. Toronto’s version, which was held on Queen St. W. before moving to Queen’s Park in 2004, will relocate again next year, to Harbourfront Centre.

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