The Archives has developed research guides to help you make the most of our resources. They are available in both web and PDF formats.
Researching your house
Interested in when your house was built? Curious about who owned your home before you, or what was on the land a century ago? This guide explains the best sources for such research, how to use them, and what kind of information you can expect to find.
Fire insurance plans
Fire insurance plans provide detailed information about buildings and neighbourhoods. They can be used to determine when a building was built or demolished, details of building materials, position of building on lot, lot and address numbers, and lot sizes and shapes.
curious about what municipal issues were significant 40 years ago, the
date when your neighbourhood park was established, or how your community
grew? Council proceedings can help answer these questions, and many more.
They are a rich and detailed source of information about the history of
the city as well as about current urban issues.
Resources on former municipalities
The Archives has many resources created by or about the municipalities that existed before the creation of the amalgamated City of Toronto in 1998. These resources may include Council proceedings, assessment rolls, other government records, fire insurance plans, photographs, and local histories.
Former City of Toronto
Resources on Local Chinese History
This guide focuses on the history of the Chinese community in Toronto, and is illustrated with selections from the Archives' collection of photographs, documents and drawings.
Resources on Black history
Toronto has had a Black population from its earliest days as a settlement,
but finding documentary evidence of this population in the City Archives
can be a
challenge, particularly from the early years. Here are a few samples from a
history that is still being uncovered.
Toronto history FAQs
Learn some fascinating facts about Toronto's history.
You'll need the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat reader to view the pdf files.