Government of Ontario     |    

Ministry of
Government and Consumer Services

Online Exhibits at the Archives of Ontario

To highlight various groups of records the Archives has created numerous virtual exhibits. These exhibits cover a wide range of subjects and explore many different aspects of Ontario's colourful past.

We aim to make our online content accessible for all. If you require assistance accessing our website, and online tools and resources, please contact us.

ANIMALIA: Animals in the Archives

Working in Ontario: Ministry of Labour 1919-2019

Explore records from the Archives of Ontario and other institutions that document the history of the Ministry of Labour in this province.

Vital Statistics Records Released

Humans aren’t the only ones documented in the Archives of Ontario’s collections! This exhibit focuses on five very different animals in Ontario-fish, bears, horses, dogs and birds—to explore humans’ changing relationships with other species and how these species have left their mark on Ontario’s history.

Detail of photograph of subway train
From the opening of Canada’s first subway in 1954 to the most recent extension to the Archives, this exhibit looks at the Toronto subway's construction and milestones in its development.
Online Exhibit: Centennial Ontario
Travel back to 1967 and explore how our collections document the groovy ways that Ontario celebrated the Centennial of Confederation. This exhibit is part of the Archives’ Ontario150 initiatives.
New Online Exhibit: Meet the Browns!
“Explore “Meet the Browns: A Confederation Family” to learn more about the family behind one of Canada’s “Fathers of Confederation,” and their importance in his life. This exhibit is part of the Archives’ celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in Canada.
Experience the magic of the holiday season with our new online exhibit showcasing the imaginative designs of Ted and Eleanor Konkle for the T. Eaton Company’s Christmas window displays from 1953 to 1963. Ted and Eleanor’s creative process is brought to life through the couple’s whimsical conceptual drawings paired with photographs of the completed display windows for the Eaton’s College Street store in Toronto.
The Archives of Ontario is commemorating Remembrance Day by showcasing the contributions made by the T. Eaton Company and its employees to the war effort during World War I in a new online exhibit.
The Archives invites you to view images from the collection that celebrate Ontario’s athletic heritage including some of the leading moments and personalities in Ontario sports history.
Art at Queen's Park is a virtual tour of the spectacular works of art located in the corridors, foyers and gardens of the Macdonald Block in Toronto, where Ontario's provincial government is centred.
Get immersed in our new exhibit commemorating the World War I centenary. Using letters between soldier Harry Mason and his sweetheart, Sadie Arbuckle, Dear Sadie tells the moving story of their relationship while it explores the reality of war.
Detail of an oil painting of Major General, Sir Isaac Brock
Excerpts from the World War One diary of a two-time veteran, who recounts his experiences training, fighting and finally returning to France for the unveiling of the monument at Vimy Ridge.
This exhibit features images, created by war artists between 1914 and 1918, that serves as poignant reminders of a devastating war that took place almost a hundred years ago.
Lincoln Alexander was a leading figure in the fight for racial equity in Canada. This small exhibit presents snapshots taken from an interview conducted by Philip Sworden in March 1997.
Excerpts from the diaries of five women provide important insights into the every day lives of early Ontario pioneers.
Featuring watercolours, drawings and exquisite miniatures on ivory, this exhibit portrays the life of pioneer artist Anne Langton.
This exhibit reflects on Queen Elizabeth first 60 years on the throne and illustrates the many ways the monarchy has touched the lives of Ontarians.
Ontarians take great pride in their agricultural heritage. This exhibit celebrates the farming way of life and the people who have made agriculture one of the province’s greatest assets.
A joint project of the Archives and the Ontario Black History Society, this exhibit celebrates a community which has played a significant role in Ontario's history.
David Thompson, mapped more of North America than anyone else. His records provide detailed insights into the fur trade, the Native People he encountered, and the lands he explored.
Enslaved Africans in Upper Canada explores the lives of slaves and focuses on the actions they took to resist their servitude.
This exhibit explores the life of Dan Hill, the first Director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and community activist with a sustained interest in the history of Blacks in Canada.
French settlers explored much of North America, including the territory which would become known as Ontario. This exhibit commemorates four centuries of French presence on the Continent.
Alvin McCurdy lived in Amherstburg, in South-Western Ontario, and collected thousands of documents and photographs relating to black history in the province.
Dr. L. Bruce Robertson, a skilled and compassionate physician, saved the lives of many WWI soldiers through his innovative technique in blood transfusion. View this exhibit, containing heartwarming letters from his patients and their families, to discover the lasting impact made by doctors and nurses during the First World War.
The Archives of Ontario holds an important key to the province’s heritage through the health-related records that it acquires, preserves, and makes accessible to the public.
The Children of Peace were key to the development of Canadian democracy and social justice. They built the dramatic and ornate Sharon Temple which celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2007.
In 2005, members of the Ontario Society of Artists donated works to the Government of Ontario Art Collection. All the diverse works represent some aspect of Ontario as reflected through the eyes of its talented artists.
In 2007 Osgoode Hall celebrated its 175th birthday. It is a venerable and architecturally significant building, and one of the best-preserved, and best-documented structures in Ontario.
The government of Ontario has always tried to help Ontarians live longer, healthier lives. This exhibit explores the history of health promotion in Ontario.
Ontario is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. This exhibit explores tourism from the early settlers of Upper Canada to current day travellers.
The War of 1812 had long term effects on the economic, social and political life of the province. This exhibit showcases some of the personalities and locations that played a role in the war.
Two additions to the Archives' collection show, through the private lives of Ontarians, how wider military conflicts and political issues affected Ontario (Canada West) in the 1860s.
This exhibit highlights the artwork created by a group of children who, over half a century ago, unwittingly found their lives uprooted by the onset of the Spanish Civil War.
The Rideau Canal celebrated its 175th year in 2007. Thomas Burrowes worked on the canal during its construction and documented his experiences in a series of watercolours.
On the night of April 19-20th 1904, Toronto experienced the worst fire in its history. Nearly 20 acres of land were levelled and over 5,000 jobs were lost. This exhibit remembers this significant event in the city's history.
The Archives of Ontario invites you to step back in time and remember an Eaton's Christmas from over half a century ago.
This one-page letter, dated 1854, believed to be from a runaway slave from Kentucky, describes his preference for his new country, Canada West.
From the opening of Canada’s first subway in 1954 to the most recent extension to the Archives, this exhibit looks at the Toronto subway's construction and milestones in its development.
Art at Queen's Park is a virtual tour of the spectacular works of art located in the corridors, foyers and gardens of the Macdonald Block in Toronto, where Ontario's provincial government is centred.
The Archives of Ontario is remembering the contribution of Ontario, its citizens and all Canadian soldiers of the Second World War by exploring how the Home Front supported the war effort.
Canadian Posters from the First World War is an exhibit that focuses on Canadian posters from the First World War and, in particular, those that can be found in the Archives of Ontario poster collection.
There's nothing more heart-warming than seeing a young face light up upon opening a Christmas gift and discovering a longed-for toy inside. This exhibit focusses on toys of the past.
This exhibit focuses on letters written from the front during World War One by brothers, Charlie and Wally Gray. They are touching in their simplicity and reach us in a way that history texts rarely do.
This exhibit presents three examples of panoramic photographs of units of soldiers before they left for England or France to fight in the First World War.
In 2003, 2 large panoramic photographs of Niagara Falls were discovered in the attic of the Ontario Parliament building. The pictures are almost 6 metres long and date from 1912 and 1913. This exhibit profiles the Archives' efforts to preserve them.
Elizabeth Simcoe, the wife of John Graves Simcoe, created a large number of sketches and watercolours documenting her travels through Upper and Lower Canada between 1791 and 1796.
Television station CFPL went on the air in 1953. In 2002, they generously donated the news output for their first 15 years of operation to the Archives of Ontario. This exhibit presents a selection of over 175 stories from the station's first years.