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Whether living and working in a farming community, or watching a harvest sunset while travelling a rural highway, Ontarians take great pride in their agricultural heritage.

The story of Ontario is rooted in agriculture. With a landscape as diverse as the people who have cultivated it, the province’s farming past is rich with stories of success, hardship, innovation and community spirit.

The Archives of Ontario is proud to hold an important key to the province’s agricultural heritage through the documents it acquires, preserves and makes accessible to the public.

This exhibit celebrates the farming way of life as it is captured in private and government documents, focusing on the settlement of the land, its use, and the people who have made agriculture one of the province’s greatest assets.

Photo: Farmhouse and load of pumpkins, September 1905
Click to see a larger image (83K)
Farmhouse and load of pumpkins, September 1905
Marsden Kemp
Glass Plate Negative
Reference Code: C 130-6-0-12-2
Archives of Ontario, I0013550

Photo: Woman and two young children standing in a farm yard, with chickens, [ca. 1940]
Click to see a larger image (224K)
Woman and two young children standing in a farm yard, with chickens, [ca. 1900]
Photographer unknown
Black and white negative
Rowley Murphy collection
Reference Code: C 59-2-0-0-2
Archives of Ontario, I0013795


Follow the links below to explore Ontario's agricultural heritage.

Go to: The Archives of Ontario Celebrates Our Agricultural Past - Settling the Land

Settling the Land

Go to: The Archives of Ontario Celebrates Our Agricultural Past - Farm Business and Daily Life

Farm Business and Daily Life

Go to: The Archives of Ontario Celebrates Our Agricultural Past - Strength in the Community

Strength in the Community

Go to: The Archives of Ontario Celebrates Our Agricultural Past - Photograph of the instide of a greenhouse showing rows of flowers

A Collection of Agricultural Images

Go to: The Archives of Ontario Celebrates Our Agricultural Past - Sources and Resources

Sources and Resources

Photo: Woman inspecting eggs, November 8, 1988
Click to see a larger image (148K)
Woman inspecting eggs, November 8, 1988
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Colour print
Reference Code: RG 16-276-1 88-B1094
Archives of Ontario, I0003218


Photo: Under inspection for gobbler approval in Manitoulin, 1926
Click to see a larger image (88K)
Under inspection for gobbler approval in
Manitoulin, 1926
Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Representative Photograph Albums
Reference Code: RG 16-274, Album 3, pg.1
Archives of Ontario, I0019237

Photograph of an elderly bearded farmer leaning on a log with Quote: "Soil is a national asset and as the soil goes, so goes the nation." - Sound recordings of Agricultural Lectures and Events Broadcast by CKNX Radio, Lectures by JIm Bryden and W. H. Waddell, ca. 1950 (RG 16-332-0-11)
Click here to listen to a recording of the quote in wav format (1.0 Mb) or aif format (1.0 Mb).