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Toronto Research Tip: City directories

City directories are key sources for Toronto research. Most contain an alphabetical list of inhabitants, as well as an alphabetical street list identifying occupants at each address. By cross-checking both lists, you can find out where your ancestor lived at a particular date and with whom, and who else was in the neighbourhood. You may even discover what your ancestor did for a living and the name of his or her employer. Browse through the advertisements and other listings in the directories to really get a sense of the city at the time your ancestor called it home.

Bound hard-copy Toronto directories from 1833 to 2001 are available in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department reading room on the 2nd floor of the Toronto Reference Library. But you can also access most of these on-line from your home computer. Directories up to 1969 have now been digitized — some with funding from Toronto Branch — and can be accessed through the Toronto Public Library’s website. You’ll find more information as well as a handy chart with direct links to all the digital versions on our City Directories page.

Canadian Cleaning Co advertisement

Advertisement in Might’s Toronto City Directory, 1949. Toronto Public Library; digitized by the Internet Archive.

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Toronto Branch Meetings

Sep
23
Mon
7:30 pm The Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu
Sep 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Spanish Flu @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
THE SPANISH FLU, TORONTO’S – CANADA’S FORGOTTEN PANDEMIC Speaker: Mike Clare The story of the Spanish Flu epidemic in Canada and Toronto is a forgotten one. Why? It has been called the most documented epidemic[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

Sep
24
Tue
6:30 pm Genealogy Resources in TPL’s Cat...
Genealogy Resources in TPL’s Cat...
Sep 24 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Genealogy Resources in TPL's Catalogue @ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
TUESDAY, September 24 Co-sponsored with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library The Toronto Reference Library contains many excellent genealogy resources. This hands-on class will demonstrate how to use the Toronto[...]
Sep
26
Thu
4:00 pm Hands-On Criminal Justice Records
Hands-On Criminal Justice Records
Sep 26 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hands-On Criminal Justice Records @ Archives of Ontario | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Hands-On Criminal Justice Records of 19th Century Ontario Family historians are always seeking records that will help us tell the story of our ancestors’ lives. We want more than just names, dates and places. But[...]
Oct
9
Wed
6:15 pm Library & Archives Canada: A Gol...
Library & Archives Canada: A Gol...
Oct 9 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Library & Archives Canada: A Goldmine @ Toronto Reference Library
A GOLDMINE for FAMILY RESEARCHERS: LIBRARY & ARCHIVES CANADA Wednesdays, October 9, 16 and 23 (3 week course) Co-sponsored with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library. Registration is required. Registration[...]
Oct
18
Fri
2:00 pm Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy
Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy
Oct 18 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Intensive Hands-on Session:  Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy with Diahan Southard Working in pairs or small groups you will get a chance to take a DNA case step-by-step to learn how to explore your[...]
Oct
19
Sat
8:30 am Grow & Organize Your DNA Network
Grow & Organize Your DNA Network
Oct 19 @ 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Grow & Organize Your DNA Network @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Workshop: Grow & Organize Your DNA Network with Diahan Southard – Your DNA Guide Join us for a full day with Diahan Southard “Your DNA Guide” the internationally known speaker who can help you organize[...]

Other Events

Aug
7
Wed
7:30 pm Toronto History Lecture
Toronto History Lecture
Aug 7 @ 7:30 pm
THE 2019 TORONTO HISTORY LECTURE Kicking the Cultural Traces: James McCarroll in Pre-Confederation Toronto Speaker: Michael Peterman The lecture is free, but registration is required. Click here for more information and to reserve your space[...]

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That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 600 members? That members get a discount on publications, and course and workshop registration fees?