Please note: Due to the cyberhacking of the Toronto Public Library, some of the sources associated with, or hosted by this library, are currently not available.
Finding Out About Toronto Newspapers
There have been many different newspapers published in Toronto over the years. For more information, see:
Gilchrist, Brian. Inventory of Ontario Newspapers 1793-1986. (Toronto: Micromedia, 1987)
Firth, Edith G. Early Toronto Newspapers, 1793-1867: A Catalogue of Newspapers Published in the Town of York and the City of Toronto from the Beginning to Confederation. (Toronto: Toronto Public Library, 1961).
Wikipedia’s List of Online Newspaper Archives is a great source for Ontario newspapers
Jamie Bradburn’s website has a very useful Guide to Online Historical Toronto Newspaper Resources.
Dave Obee’s site CanGenealogy: Historic Ontario Newspapers has an extensive list of Toronto newspapers and others published in Ontario.
Kenneth R. Marks maintains a wonderful site devoted providing links to online North American newspapers: The Ancestor Hunt.
Bowling Green State University (Kentucky) also has a terrific collection of links to Ontario Historical Newspapers Online.
Note for when searching for family in newspapers: In the early decades of settlement in York, residents might put notices in more established papers in places they had lived before coming to York—Kingston or Newark/Niagara, even Montreal or Quebec.
Collections of Toronto Newspapers
The best collection of Toronto newspapers—original and on microfilm—is at the Toronto Reference Library. The Newspaper Room at the Toronto Reference Library is currently closed while the staff deal with vinegar syndrome, a process that occurs as the acetate-based film breaks down and decays and which eventually destroys the film and is harmful to humans.
The Toronto Public Library Richview Branch’s Local History Microtext Collection has a good collection of newspapers from the Etobicoke and Lakeshore areas.
The Archives of Ontario also has an extensive collection of Ontario newspapers, including Toronto. Consult the Newspapers finding aids 212 and L23.
Library and Archives Canada also has a collection. Consult the list of microfilmed Toronto newspapers.
Major Toronto Newspapers
The Toronto Star has been digitized by Proquest.com and is available by subscription to institutions. Toronto residents can access it for free through the Toronto Public Library. You can find great tips for searching in this video tutorial produced by the Library. Many other public libraries and university libraries provide free on-site and remote access to these digital resources for their patrons and students.
Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail has been digitized by Proquest.com and is available by subscription to institutions. Toronto residents can access it for free through the Toronto Public Library. You can find great tips for searching in this video tutorial produced by the Library. Many other public libraries and university libraries provide free on-site and remote access to these digital resources for their patrons and students.
The Toronto Telegram, another major Toronto newspaper that ran from 1876 – 1971, has not been digitized. It is available on microfilm at Toronto Reference Library and North York Central Library. This paper’s archives are held at York University Archives. The archives has digitized a selection of Telegram photographs.
The Toronto Mirror is available on microfilm at both the Toronto Reference Library and the Archives of Ontario. A publication listing births, marriages and deaths from 1837 to 1861 is available for sale in the Toronto Branch e-store.
Other Digitized Toronto Newspapers
The Toronto World was published from 1881 to 1921 and is available on the Canadiana.ca website for free. An additional 54 copies of the pictorial Toronto Sunday World 1912 to 1920 are available from Archive.org.
The British Colonist
Toronto Public Library’s Digital Archive Ontario has digitized the British Colonist from 1838 to 1846. Enter “British Colonist” into the search box and then filter by subject: Canadian Newspapers.
The Colonial Advocate
Issues of The Colonial Advocate from 1821 to 1834 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
The Correspondent and Advocate
Issues of The Correspondent and Advocate from 1834 to 1835 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
The Canadian Correspondent
Issues of The Canadian Correspondent from 1833 to 1834 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
The Canadian Freeman
Issues of The Canadian Freeman from 1825 to 1873 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
Daily Mail and Empire
Issues of The Daily Mail and Empire from 1895 to 1900 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
Mackenzie’s Weekly Message
Issues of Mackenzie’s Weekly Message from 1852 to 1853 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
The Financial Post/National Post $$$
The Financial Post (published from 1907 to 1998) is available in its entirety on the for-fee site, Newspapers.com. Its successor, the National Post, is included up to the present day.
Issues of The Globe for 1858, 1865, 1869, 1909, 1910, 1920 and 1930 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
The Grumbler, a paper of political satire published by John Ross Robertson, has 155 issues from 1858–1868 online at Canadiana.
Canadiana has 12 issues for 1878 of The Lance.
The Internet Archive has a browseable collection of issues of Metro, the free Toronto daily, from 2008 to 2017.
Scattered issues of The Nation from the 1850s have been digitized by Google News, as have one or two issues of its predecessor, The Union. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
The North American
Issues of The North American from 1860 to 1854 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
Canadiana has three issues of the Toronto Patriot online—for 1843, 1845 and 1848.
The Weekly Mail
Canadiana has 300 issues of The Weekly Mail online from 1873 to 1880.
The Weekly Mail was continued by The Toronto Weekly Mail. Canadiana has digitized 103 issues from 1880 to 1884.
Weston Area Newspapers
Our Ontario Newspapers, hosted by OurDigitalWorld, is a collection of free newspaper resources including indexes, clippings and fully digitized issues. In cooperation with the Weston Historical Society, they host an excellent collection of Weston area papers. There are not many other Toronto papers at present, but there are several from surrounding municipalities that may have picked up Toronto news. Since all papers can be searched at once, it is well worth a look.
Angelo Principe: Italian Canadian Newspaper Collection
Angelo Principe is a collection of digitized Italian-Canadian newspapers, some of which were published in Toronto, hosted by York University.
Hung Chung She Po
Hung Chung She Po (The Chinese Times) was published in Toronto from 1929 to 1956. Issues from 1954 to 1956 are online at Simon Fraser University.
The Irish Canadian
Issues of The Irish Canadian from 1863 to 1892 have been digitized by Google News. Note: Pages may be out of order and mislabelled.
Kanadai Magyar Munkás
Kanadai Magyar Munkás (Canadian-Hungarian Worker) was published in Hamilton and Toronto by the Canadian Hungarian Sick-Benefit Federation between 1929 and 1967. The paper was published weekly in the Hungarian language. The entire run has been digitized and is online at Simon Fraser University.
The Messenger, aimed at the Pakistani community in Canada, was published in Toronto from 1978 to 1992, almost entirely in Urdu. Simon Fraser University has digitized issues available for the years 1978 to 1984.
Modern Times Weekly
Modern Times Weekly was published in Toronto from 1985 to 1990 for the Chinese community. It is primarily in Chinese with some English summaries. Issues from 1985 to 1987 are online at Simon Fraser University.
The Our Digital World newspaper collection has digitized 137 issues of the Provincial Freeman, “dedicated to anti-slavery, temperance, and general literature,” from 1853 to 1876.
Some issues of the Serbian Herald for 1946, 1947 and 1948 are online at Arca, a British Columbia digital initiative
Shing Wah Daily News
The official organ of the Shing Wah Association (Chinese Nationalist League or Kuomintang), Shing Wah Daily News was published in Toronto from 1922 to 1990. Digitized issues available at Simon Fraser University include one issue from May 29, 1923 and issues from 1954 to 1990.
Toronto Continental Times $$$
The Toronto Continental Times, a biweekly Japanese paper with an English section, is available on the for-fee site NewspaperArchive.com from 1948 to 1969.
Canadian Jewish News
Simon Fraser University hosts the digitized Canadian Jewish News from 1960 to 1993.
Canadiana has a large collection of Religious Newspapers and Periodicals published in Toronto that cover various churches: Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic and Evangelical. Many of these contain news of people and events in individual parishes, along with the names and information on the clergy.