Wednesday, 15 May 2019

25 Archives in Toronto

© Penny Allen

There are so many interesting archives in Toronto and these are just a small sample (maybe a few less than 25) that may be helpful to your genealogy research. Many are unique collections such as the Archives of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital/Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. It is worth stretching  to find the tiny and unique archive situated in one of the largest cities in Canada.

I have stretched this article to include archives in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), communities which include : Ajax, Brampton, Burlington, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scugog, Uxbridge, Vaughan, Whitby. There's also some special interest organizations at the end of the article. Cheekily, there may be one or two libraries in this list thrown in for good measure.

Some examples:

Brampton - Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives has a fabulous collection of glass plate negatives 1870-1920.

Burlington Digital Archives This collection is hosted on the Burlington Public Library webpages. It consists of thousands of images from the Burlington Historical Society. The collection includes: Aldershot Tweedsmuir Histories; Ivan Cleaver Postcard Collection and the Nelson Tweedsmuir Histories.

Pickering - Pickering Local History Collection Digital Archive  their focus is particularly on Township and county records, but a curious collection is the Pickering Airport Papers - ??
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Toronto Historical Plaques  -  2004-2019 - example - Little Norway - a World War II training establishment 'camp' - contains related webpages.

Toronto directories 1833-1969 - available on Internet Archive. In 2012 Jane MacNamara has created a fabulous table of direct links for each year.on her article. The Toronto Public Library also created a webpage with a list of direct links, with two differences. The TPL has a link to the 1797-1833 issue and also the size of each PDF is noted which is helpful to those with a slow connection. Their guide explains how to search each directory in An Online Guide to Digital Toronto City Directories. You may find the copies on Internet Archive easier to access, it is also searchable.

© Penny Allen
Toronto Archives  -  example:  Group portrait on Brantford Public Library steps.  Date:  [194-?]

Archives of Ontario Library Online Catalogue (The Archives of Ontario is located in Toronto) I did a search for Chiswick, which is a community in Kent (U.K.) to see if there was any connection to the U.K. and I found a reference : Letters from C. J. Hatter and A. Buckingham, Chiswick, regarding Thomas Godwin date of 1894.

Toronto Public Library - Digital Archives search
-  Kitch Hill: Sharon Temple employee discovered 160-year-old manuscripts

The Oakville Public Library has a particularly strong genealogy team and hold regular events and help sessions.

University of Toronto Archives   via    University of Toronto Archives & Records Management Services (UTARMS)

Heritage University of Toronto 

Toronto's Historical Artifact Collection Database

Archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toronto On this page there is a link to an article in Archivaria: Religious Archives about the history of ARCAT. Their blog: The Archivist's Pencil​​ 

Archives Sisters of St Joseph Toronto - Initial inquiries must be made in writing either by email or by regular post to the attention of the archivist. General or family history research will be provided by staff. 

United Church of Canada Archives  their catalogue of records is now on Archeion. Please note that each United Church across Canada are responsible for their own archives. Please get in touch with them via the United Church Archives Network.

Genealogy a la carte post - Searching Toronto Cemeteries   - 18th December 2017 - One of the comments on Gail's article suggests putting a family name in the surname field and a % in the first name field and you will get all the relatives in the same family who are buried there!

Toronto General Hospital Fonds held at the University Health Network Archives in Toronto.

Toronto Psychiatric Hospital/Clarke Institute of Psychiatry fonds - Repository
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - Archives

Ontario Jewish Archives - Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, a branch of the UJA (United Jewish Appeal) Federation of Greater Toronto.

Salvation Army Archives - The Canadian War Cry 1884-1979  digitized and online.  The issues covering the Second World War period 1940-43 give some insight into the support the Salvation Army gave to the troops.

Under the umbrella of the University of Calgary, in their digital collection : Canadian Architectural Archives is a collection of the  Panda Associates Fonds which highlights buildings in the Toronto areas covering 1946-1960. 

The Memory Project - contains more than 2,800 testimonials from veterans of the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and peacekeeping missions. The project has closed to new submissions, however the archive is still available to research.

© Penny Allen
Royal Canadian Military Institute - the Library collection for research purposes onsite. They do take public enquiries, but do not have Military Service Records.

Ontario Museum Association - especially Military museums 

Toronto Branch - The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada - Archives description and access

Town of York Historical Society - not so much an archive, but a library of useful resources! DYK it is housed in Toronto's First Post Office and is also a functioning present-day post office? 

Heritage Toronto This organization is actively working to enhance, share and education Torontonians about their city and surrounding environs. The Plaque Program encourages Toronto's citizens to apply to highlight important areas in their communities. This program started in 1969 and more than 700 are registered. They would be ideal for genealogy research and provide tidbits about the areas of the city you are researching. Heritage Toronto also has programs such as People & Stories, Maps (via an interactive app) and Self-Guided tour packages. They are also keen to provide public education projects working with various community groups. Perhaps your genealogical research can provide them with some valued information?

Women's College Hospital on Rusholme Road, Toronto - 9 photographs of the interior of this hospital. The records of the Women's College Hospital can be found in the Archives of Ontario.

I have to mention the Simcoe Archives located in Minesing, Ontario which is not far from Toronto as the crow flies. It was one of the very first Ontario Archives I travelled to in order to research my Scottish ancestors who came to Ontario in the 1820s. The website says it was the first county archive in Ontario which opened in 1966. I also note that they are discontinuing their long distance research service. This will enable the archivists and staff to work on a large backlog of documentation work. More information can be found on their website here

Archeion brings together information about archives held by organizations all over Ontario.Archeion is a service provided by the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO)

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Genealogy Conferences in Western Canada 2019-20 

Most of the societies listed below take a summer break, however, their library catalogues and online resources will be available! Please check ahead!

Jan.-June 2019
Kelowna & District Genealogical Society in partnership with the Okanagan Regional Library
Mon., 27 May: Meet Your Ancestors
June - TBA
Kelowna, B.C.
Meet the KDGS team at the Okanagan Regional Library for Ancestry Meetup (help with Ancestry) every Wed. 1-3pm & Thurs. 5-7pm.

Victoria Genealogical Society
9 May - Members Night
13 June - Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse: gateway to Victoria

Victoria, B.C.

21 May 2019
18 June 2019
Grande Prairie Alberta
13 May 2019  Monthly Meeting
10 June 2019 Monthly Meeting
Alberta Family History Society

The SBSGS holds 10 General Meetings per year. Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month, September through June. 
(dependent on the weather!)
16 May 2019 Thurs.
20 June 2019 Thurs.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

13 May 2019 Mon. Annual General Meeting with a presentation by Des Kappel - "Manitoba Geographical Names Program". Calendar scroll the page to see a detailed list.

2020 Genealogy Conferences

© Penny Allen
April 2020 (Tentative)
Volunteers are very important to conferences! Sign up!  
Alberta Family History Society
Calgary, Alberta

17-19 April 2020
“2020 Vision: Seeking Ancestors Using DNA and Digital Tools”
The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Conference 2020
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Deadline for Proposals: 28-Jun-2019

Fri., Sat., Sun. 12-14 June 2020

Celebrating Manitoba’s 150th birthday 
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Deadline for Proposals: end of May!

Do you have a genealogy related conference coming up in 2019 (or 2020?) Would you like it listed here for more of a reach to our colleagues? Please email me and I will be happy to put it my article.