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Doors Open 2014

Doors Open – an annual celebration of community heritage – is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year in cities and towns across Ontario. On Doors Open days, heritage buildings and sites – many of which are not normally open to the public – invite residents and visitors in for an up-close behind-the-scenes look at their architecture, facilities and operations. In Toronto, Doors Open has been running since 2000 and has drawn more than two million visitors to date. This year’s Doors Open Toronto is a weekend affair, on May 24 and 25, with walking tours, special activities and free access to 155 sites – places of worship, educational institutions, museums, theatres, gardens, and more. The 2014 event theme is Secrets and Spirits…Exploring the Mysteries Behind the Door. Among the many treats in store for participants are hidden spaces, secret treasures and stories of intrigue and haunting!

Historic 19th-century sites opening their doors for the first time this year in Toronto include the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse (built 1808), the Bank of Upper Canada building (built 1827-1834) and the Cornell Campbell House (built 1836). There are also plenty of spots to visit that will hold particular appeal for family historians – the Archives of Ontario, the City of Toronto Archives, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, the Toronto Reference Library and the Toronto Necropolis, to name just a few. For a full list of places to go and things to do, visit Toronto’s Doors Open website.

Photo of City of Toronto Archives

City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Rd
Photo courtesy of Jane E. MacNamara

And if your Doors Open plans include a stop at the City of Toronto Archives on Saturday May 24, keep an eye out for the Toronto Branch table. Volunteers will be on hand to offer information about genealogy resources and help you with your research questions. In keeping with this year’s theme, we’ll also invite you to try your hand at finding hidden clues to crack some family history mysteries.

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Toronto Branch Meetings

Feb
22
Mon
7:30 pm Researching and Sharing Your Fam...
Researching and Sharing Your Fam...
Feb 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Researching and Sharing Your Family’s Social History @ Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Speaker: Barbara J. Starmans Researching and Sharing Your Family’s Social History As a genealogist, don’t you wish that you could draw up a chair by the fire at your ancestor’s house and have a cup[...]
Mar
28
Mon
7:30 pm St Patrick’s Day Riots of 1858
St Patrick’s Day Riots of 1858
Mar 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Dr. David Wilson: The St Patrick’s Day Riots of 1858 Ethno-religious street fighting, a corrupt police force, rabble-rousing Councilmen, class conflict within both the Protestant and Catholic Irish communities, and a murder mystery —[...]
Apr
25
Mon
7:30 pm (Mis)Adventures in Genealogy
(Mis)Adventures in Genealogy
Apr 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Susan Reid: (Mis)Adventures in Genealogy–Labyrinth, Maze or Rabbit-hole? Family history research is often fraught with missing or erroneous records, and findings that seem to conflict with oral family history. What’s a genealogist to do? Sometimes[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

Feb
20
Sat
10:00 am Introduction to Genealogy and Fa...
Introduction to Genealogy and Fa...
Feb 20 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Introduction to Genealogy and Family History @ North York Central Library, Room 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
A HALF-DAY COURSE ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20 FROM 10AM TO 3PM INCLUDING A 1-HOUR LUNCH BREAK This course is jointly sponsored by the Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. Registration is required.[...]
Feb
24
Wed
2:00 pm Hands-On Ancestry.ca Library Edi...
Hands-On Ancestry.ca Library Edi...
Feb 24 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Hands-On Ancestry.ca Library Edition Winter 2016 @ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
This course is on Wednesdays, February 24, March 2, and March 9, 2016.  It is jointly sponsored by the Humanities and Social Science Department at the Toronto Reference Library and Toronto Branch Ontario Genealogical Society.[...]
Mar
5
Sat
9:00 am Ulster Historical Foundation Nor...
Ulster Historical Foundation Nor...
Mar 5 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Ulster Historical Foundation North American Tour 2016: Finding Your Irish and Scots-Irish Roots @ North York Civic Centre, Memorial Hall, Burgundy Room | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
This full day workshop is jointly sponsored by the Canadiana Department at the North York Central Library and the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. Registration is required. Registration is now open. If you have Irish[...]
Mar
30
Wed
2:00 pm Drop-In Ancestry.ca Library Edit...
Drop-In Ancestry.ca Library Edit...
Mar 30 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
This course is on 3 Wednesdays: March 30, April 27, and May 25, 2016.  No registration is required.  The course is jointly sponsored by the Humanities and Social Science Department at the Toronto Reference Library[...]

Other Events

Jun
3
Fri
all-day OGS Conference 2016: Genealogy o...
OGS Conference 2016: Genealogy o...
Jun 3 – Jun 5 all-day
OGS Conference 2016: Genealogy on the Cutting Edge @ International Plaza Hotel | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Toronto Branch will welcome hundreds of family historians to the largest genealogical conference in Canada. The event will be based at the International Plaza Hotel, close to Pearson International Airport, Highway 401, and with good[...]

Did you know?

That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 600 members? That members get a discount on publications, and course and workshop registration fees? And that Toronto Branch belongs to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, which means our members can also subscribe to findmypast.com and purchase Dell computer products at special rates?