Lorna Toolis (1952-2021)

 

a photo of Lorna Toolis smiling as she was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

This week SF Canada mourns the passing of Lorna Toolis, the head of the famous Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy at the Toronto Public Library.  Born in Winnipeg in 1952, Toolis developed a love of science fiction early in life which would blossom into a thirty-year career as one of the most important academics, curators, and community leaders in Canada. Through her efforts the Merril Collection has become a world-class library of speculative fiction; its holdings have grown from 5,000 items when Judith Merril first donated it to the Toronto Public Library 1970 to over 75,000 items today.

Toolis was a founding member of SF Canada, and a guiding light to the larger community of SFF creators and fans. Through her work, her warmth and her wisdom, she touched the lives of many.

In celebration of her life and work, the members of SF Canada have made a $500 donation to the Merril Collection, so that the important work she began can continue.

We encourage all members of the Canadian SF community to Join the Friends of the Merril Collection and support their ongoing mission in the future. Membership will support the maintenance and growth of the collection, events sponsored through its organizers, and the publication of Sol Rising, its annual newszine.

Those who have fond memories of Lorna to share with fellow mourners can visit her digital memorial here. She is survived by her partner Michael Skeet, who also authored an obituary for Locus Magazine at this link.

 

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