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

Council Minutes

Township council was the level of government closest to our ancestors and the one where they were most likely to participate in or interact with. They might be elected as a member of council, or be appointed for tasks like pound keeper or fence viewer. They may have petitioned the council to open a road or fix a bridge, or been paid by council to do that work. Council could issue tavern and shop licenses, settle disputes, look after a foundling child, assist the sick or indigent, and even pay for a burial. Council minutes are full of names!

York Township

Map showing land divisions, rivers and forested lots.
The Township of York in 1851, surrounding the City of Toronto (on the lake shore) shown with an orange border. Toronto Public Library T-1851-5-Large. Click image to link to

The Township of York was incorporated on January 1, 1850, and included all the area surrounding the City of Toronto from the east boundary of Etobicoke Twp., to the west boundary of Scarborough Twp. It was bounded on the south by Lake Ontario, and on the north by Vaughan and Markham townships, along today’s Steeles Avenue. York Township diminished in size over the next century as its communities like Parkdale grew and became separate municipalities, and with annexations by the City of Toronto. See our Toronto Chronology and this annexation map for more information.

Note that a fire on November 20, 1881, at the Masonic Hall Building (where the council met), destroyed the council minutes for that year, except for January and December.

These links to digitized council minutes lead mainly to searchable PDFs from the Toronto Public Library’s Those marked with an asterisk are at and must be accessed through a FamilySearch Centre or an affiliate library. While those ones are not every-word searchable, some volumes include indexes. Minutes marked with an MS are original manuscript versions.

1860 1861 1862
1863 1864 1865
1866 1867 1868
1869 1870 1871
1872* image 8
1873* image 39
1874* image 64
1875 1876 1877
1878* image 198
1879 1880* image 286
1881* image 367
1882* image 389
1882*MS image 8
1883*MS image 52
1884*MS image 99
1885*MS image 153
1886*MS image 208
1887*MS image 278 1888*MS image 353 1889*MS image 36
1890*MS image 130 1891 1892
1893 1894 1895
1896 1897 1898
1899 1900 1901
1902 1903 1904
1905 1906 1907
1908 1909 1910
1911 1912 1913
1914 1915 1916
1917 1918 1919
1920 1921 1922
1923 1924 1925

Please see the City of Toronto Archives for more recent council meetings.