If you have an address for your Toronto ancestors but are having trouble finding them in census and other records, it could be that they moved house. But have you considered another possible explanation–that the name of their street changed? As the city grew in size, many street names were changed for a variety of reasons—sometimes to eliminate duplication or confusion, and sometimes to commemorate a person or event.
Take a look at this 1858 map on the Toronto Public Library website, which shows what is now the downtown area bounded by College to the north, Queen to the south, University to the west and Yonge to the east. How many street name changes can you spot?
The “streets” section of a city directory is a good place to look to find out about street name changes, but there are other resources that can help too. Check out our Street Name Changes page for more information.