- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
The Archives of Ontario (Archives publiques de l'Ontario in French) is the provincial archives for the province of Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1903, the archives is located in Toronto.
The Bureau of Archives, as it was originally known, was first located at the Ontario Legislature. The Archives moved to the Canadiana Building on the University of Toronto campus in 1951, at which time it was known as the Department of Archives. Relocated to 77 Grenville Street in 1972 its name was also changed to the Archives of Ontario. The reading room at the Grenville building closed on March 26, 2009.
The official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Archives of Ontario building on the York University grounds, which also houses the York University Research Tower, was on April 30, 2007. The groundbreaking was attended by former Minister of Government Services Gerry Phillips and former York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna Marsden. The building was opened to the public on April 2, 2009 and is expected to be the site of the Archives for at least the next thirty-five years.
In addition to the records of the Ontario government, the Archives also acquires records of private individuals and organizations that reflect Ontario's history. Notable private records include Eaton's fonds, Conn Smythe fonds and Moriyama and Teshima Architects Ltd. fonds.
- The potential user is well-advised to consult the Archives' website before visiting the facility. The website provides a great deal of background information about what records are held. For a further description of the Archives of Ontario, its holdings and how they are organized, see the blog Where the Story Takes Me by Jane E. Macnamara.
- Archives of Ontario is the official holder of publicly available registrations of births, marriages and deaths for the province. Registrations are withheld for more recent events. The website lists the availability dates. The Archives only provide this information within their headquarters, but it is also available on pay websites such as Ancestry.
- Records of land ownership, wills and the census are also available at the Archives.
- Ontario Archives, as it is also known, is now located on the edge of Toronto within the campus of York University. Public transportation is available, not only from the centre of the city, but also from smaller towns and cities in the immediate vicinity, even those on the other side of Toronto.
- The Changing Shape of Ontario is an online exhibition that is not easily found by following the headings on the left of the pages of the Archives' website. It is a history based on maps illustrating the evolution of the province from its inception in 1791 through to the late 20th century. A series of county maps from the period 1945-52 are well worth examining to understand the township structure as it was originally organized when the counties were first settled. (Commencing in the early 1970s, this structure has been reorganized on a county by county basis. In some cases the reorganization has happened twice.)
- Further topics can be found from the headings on the left of all website pages:
- A series of "online exhibits" --a long series of collections of historic materials dealing with events and people in Ontario's past.
- Professional Development leads to further exhibitions covering French Ontario in the 17th and 18th Centuries, The War of 1812, The Black Canadian Experience in Ontario 1834-1914, and Canadian Posters from the First World War.