City of Toronto Archives

Type: Archives

The City of Toronto Archives contains, collects and holds a wide range of documents created by the City of Toronto and its antecedents between 1792 and the present, as well as a range of non-government records that help create a more complete view of Toronto’s history.




Government Records

The archives collects documents created by the City of Toronto government and by its predecessor municipalities that existed between 1792 and 1997, including records of councils, agencies, boards, and commissions.

Cities and towns included are the current City of Toronto 1998-Present, the former City of Toronto 1834-1997, East York 1924-1996, Etobicoke 1850-1997, North York 1922-1997, Scarborough 1850-1997, York 1792-1997, Brockton 1881-1888, East Toronto 1888-1909, Forest Hill 1924-1966, Leaside 1913-1966, Long Branch 1915-1966, Mimico 1911-1966, New Toronto 1913-1966,North Toronto 1889-1913, 1942, Parkdale 1879-1889, Swansea 1926-1966, Weston 1882-1966,West Toronto 1888-1910, Yorkville 1853-1883.

Non-Government Records

These records were created by a wide variety of groups and individuals, including interest groups, resident and ratepayers’ associations, clubs, social service groups, businesses, retired politicians and civil servants, artists, activists, families, and ordinary citizens. A complete list is available on the website.

Public Programming:


The archives has two exhibit spaces which features photographs and textual records from its collection. The smaller exhibit space highlights recent acquisitions, while the larger main-floor gallery explores changing themes, such as how immigrants in Toronto’s notorious slum “The Ward” were portrayed in the media, or the history of food production in Toronto. Main exhibits change annually and smaller ones change more frequently.


  • The archives’ descriptive database provides an online finding aid for its collection, and includes well over 10,000 digitized images of Toronto and its former municipalities, including photographs and maps.
  • Web Exhibits include such topics as, “The Earliest Known Photographs of Toronto”, “A Work in Progress: Preserving Toronto’s Architectural Heritage” and “An Infectious Idea: 125 Years of Public Health in Toronto”. The archives also has a Flickr account and a very active Twitter account.

Tours and educational programming

The archives’ educators provide curriculum-based programming for students in public and high school. For university or college students, they provide educational workshops on archival theory and practice using the archives’ collection, or on a specific research area which aim to provide students with the skills needed to conduct future research. Tours of the facilities are available to fit the visitors’ requirements.

Volunteer/Internship/Placement Opportunities:

This archive does not use volunteers unless they are part of a school-sponsored internship or placement. Most interns come from information studies or conservation programs at the Master’s level or from community colleges.

Address & Contact Information:

255 Spadina Road
Toronto, Ontario
M5R 2V3

Phone: (416) 397-0778

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..

Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., times may change between the first Saturday after Thanksgiving to the end of April.

Closed on Sundays, statutory holidays and Saturdays between Easter and Thanksgiving.

Key Words: neighborhood, government