Researching in Toronto

Compiled by Kathie Orr UE Updated by Brenda Dougall Merriman 2013

Here are some useful URL's to help you prepare for your research in Toronto.

Archives of Ontario
134 Ian Macdonald Blvd
Toronto, ON, Canada
M7A 2C5

Visit the website to see hours of operation, location, a guide to preparing yourself for a visit, customer service and research guides to help you plan your visit. Using the Archival Descriptive Database you can search the online guide to the archival holdings of the Archives of Ontario. http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/

Holdings include the records of the Government of Ontario plus private sector records of interest to genealogical researchers.

Government records - examples
• Vital Statistics – registration of births (1869-1915), marriages (1869-1930) but some as early as    1780 and deaths (1869-1940)
• Land records documenting settlement and the ownership of land, including patent plans – includes    Crown land (pre patent records) & land Registry Office records (post patent)
• Court records, including court proceedings, criminal indictment files, and wills and divorces.
• Loyalists Registers
• 2nd Heir and Devisee Commission (1805-1911)

Private Sector Records - examples
• Records of provincial politicians from John Graves Simcoe
• Microfilm of older Ontario newspapers
• Directories

Other sources - examples
• Church records collection 1749-1981
• Cartographic records – county atlases, township plans

Diffusion Material - examples
• Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books
• Upper Canada marriage bonds
• Ontario Census records
• 1st Heir and Devisee Commission (1797-1805)

City of Toronto Archives
255 Spadina Rd
Toronto, ON M5R 2V3
Public Information 416-397-5000
Research Hall 416-397-0778
Hours: Monday to Friday - 9:00 to 4:30
Most Saturdays - 10:00 to 4:30 (closed on summer Saturdays)
http://www.toronto.ca/archives/

The Archives collects documents created by the City of Toronto municipal government and by its predecessor municipalities (municipal governments that existed between 1792 and 1998 such as assessment rolls from 1834, maps from 1792. It also has non-government records that complement the government records including directories and diaries.

Description of their holdings http://www.toronto.ca/archives/description.htm

Research Guides to holdings http://www.toronto.ca/archives/research_guides.htm

Toronto Branch OGS has produced an indexed transcription of the Toronto tax assessment rolls for 1853. The original assessment rolls for 1853 are at the City of Toronto Archives and they gave their full support for the project. It can be searched at http://torontofamilyhistory.org/taxrolls.html

Church Archives

The Anglican Church has 9 Diocese in Ontario, each with their own archives. Each Diocesans archives is responsible for retaining records created by the respective diocese and they also hold the historical parish records for each diocese which includes the parish birth, marriage and death records.

Anglican Diocese of Toronto Synod Archives
135 Adelaide St E
Toronto, ON M5C 1L8

The Diocese of Toronto, founded in 1839, is the most populous of the 30 dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada. Its geographical area extends over 26,000 square kilometres, stretching from Mississauga to Brighton and north to Haliburton.

The archives is open to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in July and August) for people to conduct their own research. It is good to call ahead to confirm times. http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/index.asp?navid=95

Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives
50 Wynford Dr
Toronto, ON M3C 1J7
The Archives is open from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:45pm. During the months of July and August the Archives closes at 4:00pm. An appointment is recommended.
http://www.presbyterian.ca/archives/

Their holdings date from 1775 with a large number of resources for genealogists. They have local church records and microfilm of registers from across the country. Also of interest are the private papers of ministers and missionaries. As many Presbyterian congregations joined in the Church Union in 1925 to form the United Church of Canada you will need to look for many pre 1925 Presbyterian records at the United Church Archives. Check out their online Finding Aids at http://www.presbyterian.ca/archives/finding%20aids.html

United Church of Canada
40 Oak St.
Toronto, ON M5A 2C6 Canada
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
http://www.united-church.ca/local/archives

The Archives houses the records of The United Church of Canada and its antecedent denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational and Evangelical United Brethren), as well as the records of the five central Ontario Conferences of the United Church (Bay of Quinte, Toronto, Hamilton, London and Manitou).

Please note: The Archives of the Presbyterian Church and the United Church Archives holdings can be searched online through ARCHEION http://archeion-aao.fis.utoronto.ca/

Archeion is Ontario's Archival Information Network, providing a gateway to descriptions of archival fonds and collections held by members of the Archives Association of Ontario. The descriptions are maintained by the members and institutions and presented through this archival database by the Archives Association of Ontario.

Roman Catholic Church has 14 separate dioceses in Ontario each with their own archives.

Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto
Catholic Pastoral Centre
1155 Yonge St, Suite 505 Toronto, ON M4T 1W2
Tel. (416) 934-0606, ext. 501; Fax (416) 934-3444
Research by appointment only

They hold microfilm copies of sacramental records (1830-1910) created by parishes currently within the boundaries of the Archdiocese. Microfilms are also available through the Mormon Family History Centres. http://www.archtoronto.org/sec/map.htm

Map of the area covered by the archives http://www.archtoronto.org/sec/parishes.htm

Ontario Genealogical Society
OGS Provincial Office
40 Orchard View Blvd., Suite 102
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4R 1B9
http://www.ogs.on.ca/

Ontario Cemetery Ancestor Index and Locator
In 1973 the Ontario Genealogical Society initiated its Cemetery Project. Its goal was to identify all cemeteries in Ontario and to record all the monumental inscriptions within each cemetery. Currently, 96% of Ontario Cemeteries have been successfully transcribed by OGS and its 30 branches. To make this information accessible to the public, the OGS has launched its Cemetery Ancestor Name Index and the Ontario Cemetery Locator.

OGS Library
The OGS Library is one of several collections housed at this same facility. The collections of the Toronto Division of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada, the Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants, la Société franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de généalogie de Toronto, and others. The OGS is housed at the North York Central Library Canadiana Department, Sixth Floor, 5120 Yonge St, North York, ON, M2N 5N9

Search the collection at http://ogs.andornot.com/CatMenu.htm

Toronto Public Library has two excellent facilities for doing your genealogical research.

North York Central Library - Canadiana Collection Sixth Floor,
5120 Yonge St North York, ON
M2N 5N9
(416) 395-5623

To check hours of operation http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/hou_loc_northr.jsp#cl
Houses the Ontario Genealogical Society Library plus other collections. It has a large and extensive collection of research material. Their focus is Ontario but has resources for all of Canada such as microfilm and fiche of material for Library and Archives Canada and the Archives of Ontario such as Canada census records, directories, the Vital Stats indexes for Ontario, and genealogical indexes.

Toronto Reference Library - The Special Collections, Genealogy and Maps Centre
Toronto Reference Library – Genealogy
Fourth floor
789 Yonge St., Toronto, ON
M4W 2G8
416 393-7062

To check hours of operation http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/hou_az_index.jsp#trl

It has an excellent collection of genealogical reference material, the Baldwin Room, and is a leading library of the LDS

HisTORicity – Toronto Then and Now http://historicity.tpl.toronto.on.ca/ To search online Atlases & Maps, Books, Pictures, Toronto Neighbourhoods, Toronto City Directories (1797-1889)

Virtual Reference Library - For access to additional Toronto Public Library resources (like the catalogue, magazines, newspapers and more…). For some resources, a Toronto Public Library card is required.

For Ontario Residents (outside of Toronto) http://www.virtualreferencelibrary.ca

For Toronto residents http://vrl.torontopubliclibrary.ca

Toronto Local History Resources http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/localhistory/index.html

Genealogy & Local History Collection http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/uni_spe_genealogy.jsp

Toronto Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada
300 - 40 Scollard St,
Toronto, ON M5R 3S1
Telephone 416-489-1783
Email

The Toronto Branch Reference library is the accumulation of many years of collecting and donations by our members, which has resulted in one of the best Loyalist resources.

The focus is on the American colonies, late 1600’s-1800 and the Maritimes, Quebec and Upper Canada to 1840. Military histories, biographies, social attitudes and styles round out the core collection of genealogical material.

The Library is located within walking distance of the major repositories of the Toronto Reference Library and the Archives Of Ontario , and is on the TTC routes. Research hours coincide with the Toronto Branch hours: We ask that you call ahead to make an appointment. We will endeavour to make special arrangements for out of town researchers.

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