Brockton Village is a former town, and now the name of a neighbourhood, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It comprises a section of the old Town of Brockton which was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1884. The town encompassed the area from Bloor Street on the north, Dufferin Street on the east, High Park on the west and ranged from Queen Street, along Roncesvalles Avenue, Wright Avenue and Dundas Streets to the south. The section south of the rail lines became part of the Village of Parkdale. The section to the west of Lansdowne has become better known as Roncesvalles, around Roncesvalles Avenue. Over the last half of the 20th century, the area south of College Street saw the influx of Portuguese immigrants and is also known as part of the Little Portugal neighbourhood. Today's 'Brockton Village' encompasses that section north of the rail lines between Dufferin and Lansdowne, south of Bloor Street.
The maps in Brockton Village help to indicate where Brockton is in relation to the rest of Toronto.
In March 1812, Lot 30 in York Township, a parcel of land, was granted to James Brock, a cousin of Sir Isaac Brock along with other parcels of land. This lot was a strip of land that stretched from Lot Street, today's Queen Street, north to Bloor Street, west of Dufferin Avenue. After Brock died, his widow Lucy Brock inherited his estate and she began selling the lands that Brock owned. She commissioned a roadway along the centre-line of the lot parcel, along its whole length. The road, built in 1850, is known today as Brock Avenue. The lands of lot 30 were sub-divided for small land-holders and development occurred. This unincorporated settlement took on the name of Brockton.
The developed area of Brockton grew to border High Park on the west, Dufferin (then the border of Toronto) on the east, Bloor on the north and the rail-lines to the south-west by the time it was incorporated as a village in 1876. It became an incorporated town in 1881. The incorporated town only lasted three years before it was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1884.
Today, remnants of the former Brockton still exist, including its former town hall. The hall was converted to commercial usage, and is located at the south-west corner of Dundas Street West and Brock Avenue. Until recently, there was a Brockton High School, which closed. For a time it was used by the Royal Conservatory of Music but it is now vacant. It is located at Brock Avenue and Croatia Street, near Bloor Street.
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.
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 1915 are now available [October 2014]; 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.
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.
The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1911. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited. The 1921 census is only available through Ancestry.ca, but it is free-to-view.
E-books and Books
Websites with more local information on the City of Toronto