Friday, December 14, 2007

Learning Annex is gone but shabby boxes remain

Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter

Whatever happened to The Learning Annex, and what's to be done about its boxes languishing on downtown streets?

An email arrived yesterday from Austin Repath advising The Learning Annex had closed down in this city. "There are hundreds of Learning Annex boxes across Toronto. Who is responsible for removing them, rather than have them clutter up our sidewalks?"

It was news to us that The Learning Annex, a well-established provider of personal development and self-help courses for about 20 years in Toronto, was no longer in business. If you wanted to learn about tax planning strategies or how to deal with stress, for instance, the Learning Annex likely had a seminar on the subject.

Just last winter, billboards trumpeted the arrival of tycoon Donald Trump to share his money-making wisdom with us poor folk through the Learning Annex.

A Star article from 1987 said it offered upwards of 100 courses monthly and was the only Canadian outlet of a New York-based company.

Its monthly catalogues of upcoming courses and workshops were distributed through white plastic vendor boxes located downtown, so we went looking for them yesterday. Sure enough, we found lots of dirty, weather-beaten white boxes – often with the front door missing – but with no catalogues inside.

A listing for them in the 2007/08 Toronto Yellow Pages shows an office at 220 Richmond St. W. We called the number; it's out of service. We went to suite 401 at 220 Richmond, as suggested by the main floor directory, but that office is now occupied by CHUM Media.

We tried its website (, but it linked to the website for The Learning Annex's New York office. Since we couldn't find any online information, we made two calls to its New York office; both times we were told the Toronto office is now closed, but we couldn't get any further details.

If anybody knows what happened to The Learning Annex, or who should be prodded about getting rid of those boxes, we'd love to hear from you.

No comments: