An organization of family historians, some with Toronto roots, others who live in Toronto, we have ancestors around the world.

Happy birthday Toronto!

March 6 marks the 190th anniversary of the incorporation of Toronto as the first city in the province! Back in March 1834, the population of “Muddy York” was just 9,254, and you would reach the city limits at Bathurst Street to the west, Parliament Street to the east, a little north of what is now Queen Street to the north and the lakefront to the south. Outside these official boundaries were the “liberties”, land to be used for future expansion. For a glimpse at what Toronto was like in the day, take a look at this online exhibit created by the city’s Archives and Museums and Heritage Services. And to get a sense of how the city has changed and stretched through the years to take in the territory it covers today, see our handy Toronto Chronology.

Some of the key records that Toronto has produced ever since incorporation include city bylaws, Council minutes, and assessment rolls, which can help you learn more about a particular property and who lived there. You can find out about these records, what they contain, and how to access them, together with many other resources to help with your Toronto family history research, on the Toronto Branch website. Visit our main Research Guide page to get started.

So happy 190th birthday Toronto… and many more!

historic map of city
City of Toronto and Liberties, by J.G. Chewett, 1834. The Liberties, which extended west to today’s Dufferin Street, have been trimmed for this image. (John Ross Robertson transcript copy). Online at Historical Maps of Toronto (