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Toronto Research Tip: Newspapers

Newspapers are a favourite resource for family historians. Researchers can find invaluable leads in birth, marriage and death notices, social columns, reports on crime and court proceedings, and business advertisements.

And increasingly, newspapers are being digitized and made available online. Digital versions of historical issues of two major Toronto dailies, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, can be accessed free of charge through the public library system and various academic institutions. But don’t overlook the smaller papers—you’ll find unexpected treasures in them too.

Ontario Community Newspapers, hosted by OurDigitalWorld, and part of the OurOntario.ca portal, is a collection of free newspaper resources: indexes, clippings and full digitized issues. You’ll find an excellent set of papers from the Toronto neighbourhood of Weston, digitized in cooperation with the Weston Historical Society, including the Times & Guide, with issues back to 1900, and the Weston Times, with issues back to 1890.

Look for papers from surrounding municipalities too, as they often picked up Toronto news. Other contributors to Ontario Community Newspapers include the Newmarket Public Library, the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library and the Clarington Public Library.

For more on Toronto-area newspapers and how to find them, check out our Newspapers page.

Newspaper clipping with drawing of new school

Article from the Weston Times, 6 December 1894, p. 2. Weston Historical Society Digital Newspaper Collections, online at news.ourontario.ca

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Apr 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Stories of Plymouth Plantation @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
FAMILY LIFE IN THE ARCHIVES: THE STORIES OF PLYMOUTH PLANTATION The surviving information about Plymouth Plantation was not produced to help us understand family life: those records (whether publications describing early Plymouth like Good Newes[...]
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HIDING OUT IN THE OPEN: DISCOVERING LGBT FAMILY HISTORY You may have heard family stories about an relative who was “different” or perhaps you’ve discovered someone who simply “disappeared.” Have you considered the possibility that[...]

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THE MANY STORIES OF TORONTO: FREE ONLINE LECTURE SERIES The journeys, experiences and history of Torontonians and our Toronto ancestors are immensely varied. This April, we invite you to join us for a special four-part[...]
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