North York is a district and a former municipality within the current city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Geographically, it comprises the central part of the northern section of Toronto. As of the 2006 Census, it has a population of 635,370. The official 2001 census count was 608,288. Until 1998, it was the second-largest of six municipalities that comprised another larger municipal structure called Metropolitan Toronto. The previous year, the provincial Government of Ontario passed legislation to merge these municipalities into a single, new amalgamated City of Toronto. North York is one of the most diverse areas of Toronto, as it contains some of the most affluent areas of the city (The Bridle Path, Hogg's Hollow, York Mills, Willowdale, Bayview Village) and some of the poorest (Jane and Finch, Flemingdon Park and Lawrence Heights).
North York is a sketchmap from Wikipedia drawn to illustrate the period between 1952 and 1998
The Township of North York was established on June 13, 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York. The southwestern parts of the original Township of York were urbanizing quickly while the northern and eastern sections remained mostly agricultural. It was decided to separate the Township into two: the fairly urban York Township and the rural North York.
After World War 2 the population of Toronto began to expand into North York and its villages (amongst them: Willowdale, Don Mills, Newtonbrook, Rexdale and Downsview) became suburbs of the city to the south, spreading over the intervening farmland and coming ever closer together. When Metropolitan Toronto came into being in 1967 the Township of North York became the Borough of North York, and in 1979 the City of North York.
Since the advent in 1998 of the City of Toronto as a unitary authority including all its former boroughs and cities, North York is represented in Toronto City Council and in its local area by a committee called the "North York Community Council".
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 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.
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. 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.
E-books and Books
Websites with more local information on the City of Toronto