Place:Bala, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

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NameBala
TypeCommunity
Coordinates45.017°N 79.617°W
Located inMuskoka, Ontario, Canada
See alsoMedora, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Bala located until 1971
Muskoka Lakes, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadamunicipality in which Bala located since 1971
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Bala is a community located in Muskoka Lakes Township where Lake Muskoka drains into the Moon River at Bala Falls.

It is considered one of the hubs of cottage country located north of Toronto. Thus, its year-round population of several hundred is increased by thousands of seasonal residents and weekend day-trippers during summer months. It is known as the Cranberry Capital of Ontario, as the province's largest cranberry farms, Johnston's Cranberry Marsh and Wahta Iroquis Growers, are located nearby. It was once the smallest incorporated town in Canada, until amalgamation as part of Muskoka Lakes Township.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Bala was settled by Thomas Burgess in 1868. Thomas Burgess opened a sawmill and store to serve the area's scattered settlers. Thomas Burgess named it after the town of Bala in Wales with which it is officially twinned. Located on the Canadian Shield, it proved unsuitable for farming and its fortunes declined as logging became less economically viable. Railway connections helped to re-establish the village as a popular location for summer resorts.

In 1914, the town incorporated with Burgess' son as the first mayor making it the smallest incorporated town in Canada.

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1914 are now available [October 2012]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.

Censuses

The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Bala, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.