being the centre of government for the Province of Ontario, and the largest
city in Canada, has an exceptional collection of libraries and archives.
The main institutions in Toronto of interest to family historians are
described below, followed by some out-of-town libraries and archives with
significant holdings for Toronto researchers.
LDS Family History Centres: See Family History
Location: 134 Ian Macdonald Boulevard, near Keele Street and Steeles Avenue.
TTC directions: From Downsview or Sheppard subway stations take the 196A or 196B York University Rocket bus to the Keele Campus.
From Union Station: Take Spadina subway line north to Downsview station, then take the 196A York University Rocket bus.
The AO is the repository for records of the Government of Ontario, including registration of births, marriages, and deaths; estate records (wills) and other court records; and early land records. It has the best collection of Ontario newspapers for places other than Toronto, and holds all available Ontario census returns on microfilm. Please visit: http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/
City of Toronto
Location: 255 Spadina Road at Davenport Road.
TTC directions: Walk north one block from Dupont subway station.
From Union Station: Take Spadina subway north to Dupont subway station,
walk one block north.
The TA holds the records of the current "mega" city, with emphasis
on the pre-1998 City of Toronto. (If your ancestors lived outside the
pre-1998 city, contact the TA in advance to check availability of records.)
These records include assessment rolls, building permits, council minutes,
and records of city departments. The TA also holds the archives of the
Toronto Transit Commission, and the records of the St. Andrew's Society
and St. George's Society. Don't miss the excellent photo collection, much
of which is arranged by street. Please visit http://www.toronto.on.ca/archives/
These are mostly very small facilities, and can accommodate only a few
researchers at a time. Be sure to contact archives staff in advance of
Diocese of Toronto Archives
Location: 135 Adelaide St. E., 416-363-7678
TTC directions: From King subway station, take the 504 streetcar east
to Church Street (one stop). Walk north one block to Adelaide Street,
then east on Adelaide.
From Union Station: Take the Yonge subway line north to King station.
The Diocese covers Toronto, York, Dufferin, Simcoe, Peel, Durham Region,
Victoria, Peterborough, Haliburton and Northumberland. Toronto researchers
should also be aware of the archives and museum of the Cathedral Church
of St. James, just around the corner on Church Street. Please see http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/about-the-diocese/departments/archives/
Archdiocese of Toronto Archives:
Location: 1155 Yonge St., Suite 505, 416-934-0606.
TTC directions: From Summerhill subway station, walk west on Shaftsbury
Avenue to Yonge Street. Archives is on the corner.
From Union Station: Take Yonge subway north to Summerhill station.
The Archdiocese covers Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, Simcoe County,
part of Dufferin County, most of Durham Region. Access to records after
1910 is restricted. Most records are also available from the LDS Family
History Library. Please see http://www.archtoronto.org/archives/
Church in Canada Archives
Location: 50 Wynford Dr., 416-441-1111
TTC directions: From Eglinton subway station (on the Yonge line) or Broadview
subway station (on the Bloor Danforth line) take the 100 bus. Ask the
driver to let you off at Wynford Drive and Gervais Drive.
From Union Station: Take the Yonge subway north to Eglinton station.
Covers all Presbyterian churches across Canada. The Archives encourages
churches to submit their registers for filming, and then returns the originals
to the congregation. Note that many Presbyterian churches became part
of the United Church of Canada in 1925, and their records may be found
at the United Church Archives. Please see http://www.presbyterianarchives.ca/index.html
of Canada Archives
Location: 3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300. 416-231-7680 ext. 3123
TTC directions: Take the Bloor-Danforth subway to Islington station. (Follow the signs to the Sun Life Financial Centre to the east tower.)
From Union Station: Take University subway north to St. George station and transfer to the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
The United Church was founded in 1925, a union of the Methodist, Congregationalist,
most Presbyterian, and later (1968) the Evangelical United Brethren. The
Toronto Conference covers most of Ontario, except Grenville, Carleton,
Prescott, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry counties, and the Kenora
area. Please see http://www.united-church.ca/local/archives/on
The Toronto Public Library (TPL) has more than 95 branch libraries, as
well as two major reference libraries detailed below. All the branches
and reference libraries share a common online catalogue, so it is very
important to note the location of an item. Many of the branch libraries
also have collections of local history material that may not be included
in the online catalogue. Please visit http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/
for branch profiles, locations, hours and contact information.
Location: 789 Yonge Street, at Asquith, just north of Bloor Street
TTC directions: Walk north one block from Yonge-Bloor subway station.
From Union Station: Take Yonge subway north to Yonge-Bloor subway station,
walk one block north.
One of two major reference libraries in Toronto, the TRL shares a catalogue
with the North York Central Library and more than 90 branches. When consulting
the catalogue, be sure of the location of the materials you find.
research: The TRL has the easiest-to-use set of city directories;
an excellent map collection; lots of local histories and biographies;
and a manuscript collection that emphasizes Toronto and area. It also
has the best collection of Toronto newspapers on microfilm, and free access
to the digitized Toronto Star and Globe and Mail newspapers.
Please visit http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/
and other places in Canada: The TRL has a broad
range of city directories and local histories from throughout Canada,
and one of the country's best collections of local histories for Western
Canada. The TRL holds the entire Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproduction
collection and includes those holdings (except periodicals) in its catalogue.
Please visit http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/
and UK research: The TRL has a good collection of city and
county directories; extensive record society
and family history society holdings; Victoria
History of the Counties of England and many other local histories; modern
and Victorian ordnance survey maps; Griffith's Valuation and tithe applotments
(Ireland); indexes to Services of Heirs (Scotland); and Army Lists and
other military history. Please visit http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/
Location: 5120 Yonge Street at Park Home Avenue.
TTC directions: The Library is connected by a shopping concourse to the
North York Centre subway station.
From Union Station: Take Yonge subway north to North York Centre subway
One of two major reference libraries in Toronto, the NYCL shares a catalogue
with the Toronto Reference Library and more than 90 branches. When consulting
the catalogue, be sure of the location of materials you find.
The Canadiana Department
of NYCL collects Canadian genealogical material and local history, emphasizing
North York and Ontario. It holds census returns for all of Canada on microfilm,
and a very broad collection of Canadian immigration records, also on microfilm.
The Canadiana Department
also houses a number of deposit collections for other organizations. The
largest of these is the library of the Ontario Genealogical Society, which
includes cemetery transcriptions and virtually all publications of OGS
and its branches. Please see http://www.ogs.on.ca/services/library.php
Other deposit collections
at Canadiana are: Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants (http://www.rootsweb.com/~canms/canada.html),
Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada (http://www.jgstoronto.ca/content/view/33/60/),
and the Société franco-ontarienne d’histoire et de
University of Toronto Libraries
Location: The main Robarts Library and Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library are located at 130 and 120 St George Street at Hoskin Avenue.
TTC directions: Walk north two blocks south from St. George subway station.
From Union Station: Take Spadina subway north to St. George subway station, walk two blocks south.
The University of Toronto Libraries are many. They have diverse collections of Canadiana as well as significant international holdings. Visit http://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca to search all the catalogues at once and find the locations and hours of individual libraries.
AND ARCHIVES OUTSIDE TORONTO:
Location: 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario
This important facility combines the former National Archives and National
Library. It holds records created by the federal government—such
as census returns, military service records, and passenger lists—as
well as the papers of public figures and some private citizens, businesses
and associations. There is also a considerable collection of early religious
records. The Library collects all Canadian publications through its Legal
Deposit system, and other material about Canada and Canadians. Both archival
and library collections can be searched online at: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/.
Library and Archives
Canada has made a significant contribution to research in Canada through
Genealogy Centre. The Centre, which creates and brings together
databases, digital images, and finding aids for genealogy, exists on the
Internet, and now has a physical location in the Archives research hall.
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
The Family History Library is the largest genealogical library in the
world, and contains many microfilmed records from archives, municipal
offices, and churches in Toronto, as well as published material about
Ontario sources and families. You can access the Family
History Library Catalogue. Most of the resources you find
in the catalogue are on microfilm and you can borrow them through the
Toronto Reference Library or a local Family History Centre. Be sure to
call the local Family History Centre in advance for an appointment.
There are two Family
History Centres in Toronto:
Toronto Family History Centre
24 Ferrand Drive, Don Mills
(416) 422-5480 x111
Etobicoke Family History Centre
95 Melbert Road, Etobicoke