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Toronto resources for remembrance

As family historians, we often mark Remembrance Day by discovering and sharing pictures and stories of men and women who went to war—whether they are our own relatives or other individuals who have touched us in some way. And there are some wonderful tools available to help us research and commemorate those who served.

Key free Canadian research sources include the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and the Canadian Great War Project. Many commercial databases also offer free access to some of their collections during the Remembrance period. Find out more about how to research Canadian military heritage on the Library and Archives Canada website.

Excerpt from city directory

The Toronto City Directory 1919, Might Directories Ltd. Public domain. Toronto Reference Library. Online at

If you are researching the military history of someone from Toronto, or another urban centre, be sure to check the city directories. Most directories include both a list of residents arranged by street and an alphabetical list of residents, often with additional details about occupation and employer. Take a moment or two to look up one of the Toronto directories issued during the war years, and see how many household members were listed simply as being “on active service”.

Digital images of all Toronto city directories up to 1969 are now freely available through the Toronto Public Library website or the Internet Archive, and you’ll find a quick chart of links to the digital versions on our City Directories page.

Thanks to the power of open data and modern mapping technology, you can also explore the impact of war on Toronto streets and neighbourhoods through a series of searchable interactive maps. These maps, hosted on the Global News website, were produced with the help of volunteers using addresses recorded for those who died in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, and are a stunning visual representation of “grief’s geography”.

And finally, visit our For King and Country website to learn about war memorials in Toronto schools. Search our growing database of names of students and staff honoured on school memorials, find out about the history of the schools and communities, and access a range of Canadian military research links.

Join Toronto Branch now and save!

It’s that time again. 2020 membership renewal and new member registration for the Ontario Genealogical Society and Toronto Branch opened on November 1.

The Society’s successful Grow Our Family campaign is back for another year. Join with a returning member, or bring a new member on board when you renew, and you will both get a 50% discount on the basic Society membership fee. That means it will cost you just $31.50 to be part of Canada’s largest family history organization.

You can take advantage of this special membership incentive until midnight on December 15th.

Image of tree with rootsBe an early bird and join or renew by the end of November to be eligible for a range of exciting family history prizes, including DNA kits, subscriptions, gift certificates and more! Visit the Society website for details.

Add Toronto Branch to your membership when you sign up for just $15 more, and enjoy all of our Branch benefits, including access to our exclusive Members-Only pages, member discounts on our popular courses and workshops, our award-winning bi-monthly newsletter Toronto Tree, and opportunities to share information and experiences with other family historians through our Special Interest Groups and Members Network.

New memberships will be effective immediately upon joining, giving up to 14 months of membership benefits.

All current memberships expire on December 31st, so do renew early to avoid any lapse in benefits or Members-Only access.

Let’s grow our family together in 2020!

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm Great Moments in Genealogy
Great Moments in Genealogy
Nov 25 @ 7:30 pm
Great Moments in Genealogy @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
In keeping with our very popular annual tradition, ten Toronto Branch members will be sharing “great moments” in their family history research in a series of short presentations as follows:   Paul Jones: Please pass[...]
7:30 pm We all have a story to tell!
We all have a story to tell!
Jan 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speakers: Marian Press, Sheelagh Hysenaj, Carol Nichols and Diana Varma We all have a story to tell! This meeting will give you insight on how best to tell yours. Our presentation will take on a[...]
7:30 pm York’s Underground Railroad
York’s Underground Railroad
Feb 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
York's Underground Railroad @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
YORK COUNTY AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD  Speaker: Guylaine Petrin  In honour of Black History Month, Guylaine Petrin will give a special presentation on York County and the Underground Railroad.  During the last 30 years, York[...]
7:30 pm Records of Migration at the AO
Records of Migration at the AO
Mar 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Records of Migration at the AO @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
RECORDS OF MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT AT THE ARCHIVES OF ONTARIO: Speaker: Jane E. MacNamara Since its founding, Ontario has been involved in supporting and promoting settlement. This lecture will look at the major groups of[...]

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?