Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery
If you wish to research in more depth than the information provided on this web site we have assembled a brief list of sources - archival records, books, maps and web sites - used in preparing the guide. These sources are arranged under the headings General information; Counties, districts and regional municipalities; Townships, towns and villages.
Please note that most books mentioned in this section may also be available in other libraries in Ontario. Libraries that don't have them may be able to obtain them for you through inter-library loan.
The Economic Atlas of Ontario, W. G. Dean, Editor; G. J. Mathews, Cartographer (Toronto: Printed by University of Toronto Press for the Government of Ontario, 1969) includes the maps on borders, early counties and districts, and Northern Ontario used in this guide. It also includes maps on the creation of municipalities and early land surveying. Some of the maps from this atlas are available in our Reading Room.
The annual Ontario Municipal Directory lists all municipalities, counties, districts and regional municipalities, and includes information on recent re-structuring and on amalgamation since 1900. The first Directory was published in 1950. The most recent edition is available in the Archives of Ontario Reading Room. Earlier editions are in the Archives' library (call number: Govt Doc MA).
The Gazetteer of Canada, published by the federal government, provides the geographical location of all existing townships, villages, towns, cities, counties, districts and regional municipalities. The 1962 and 1974 editions are available in the Archives' Reading Room. While the Gazetteer is no longer published in paper format, location information is available on the Natural Resources Canada website where you can either search geographical names or browse place names alphabetically.
Portions of Map 21-6 [Southern Ontario] by the Survey and Mapping Branch, Ministry of Natural Resources (revised and printed 1980) were used to show the limits of regional municipalities created during the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. This map can be viewed in our Reading Room.
Frederick H. Armstrong's Handbook of Upper Canada chronology (revised edition) (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1985) includes information on early county and districts, on government offices in Upper Canada and their holders, and on important events from 1791 to 1841. It is available in our Reading Room.
Early courts, in particular the Quarter Sessions of the Peace, served administrative as well as legal purposes. The borders of judicial districts correspond to those of counties, districts and regional municipalities. See Inventory 22 Court and related records (available in our Reading Room) or research RG 22 in our Archives Descriptive Database for further information on the justice system and its records.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and its predecessors have been responsible for most of the municipal restructuring that has occurred during the 20th century. See Inventory 19 Municipal Affairs and Housing records or research RG 19 in our Archives Descriptive Database for further information the ministry and its records. The Ministry's Web site http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page11.aspx includes information on municipal re-structuring since 1995.
The map Ontario. C. Tarling & Co. Map Mounters & Publishers, Toronto [between 1940 and 1951] was used to show local municipalities at the start of the post-World War II urban boom.
Two books available in the Archives' Reading Room give information on local municipalities and villages and their history. They are;
Mika, Nick and Helen. Places in Ontario: their Name Origin and History (Belleville: Mika Publishing, 1977; 3 vol.)
Rayburn, Alan. Place names of Ontario (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997).
The Archives holds records of some municipalities. See the User's guide to municipal records at the Archives of Ontario (available in our Reading Room) or research the name of the municipality in our Archives Descriptive Database to find if we hold the records of a given municipality.
The Changing Shape of Ontario Home | Ontario's boundaries 1774-1912 | Early Districts and Counties
Districts of Northern Ontario | Post-World War II Regional Municipal Governments
Maps of Southern Ontario circa 1951 by County | Maps of Southern Ontario circa 1951 by Geographical Location
Municipal Restructuring since 1996 | Sources of Information