Dominion Modern: Museum of Modern Architecture & Design



Collections include:

  • Industrial and domestic objects,
  • Over 200 taped interviews with Canadian designers, engineers, and architects,
  • Design and ephemera,
  • Books and periodicals,
  • Photographs and documents related to corporate histories.
  • The Andy Smith Collection includes architectural photographs from 1965 to 1990. Dieter Reppin Collection includes history and output of Art Associates and TDF.


Furniture, objects and industrial design.

Public Programming:


Photographs and summaries of past exhibitions are located on the website. Toronto Subway: A Love Story, Honest Edwardianism Hand Painted Signs in the 21st Century, Alumni Hall of Fame, Vinyl Graphic

Design Exchange



Holdings include documents and textual records as well as a small collection of publications related to design.


Collection includes over 1000 pieces of Canadian design spanning over six decades.

Public Programming:


Exhibitions are rotating, often focused on contemporary Canadian design. Past exhibits include: Stephen Burks Man Made Toronto, Designers in the Classroom, RGD Spacial Graphics and Capacity – an exploration of women in design.


Tours focus on the architectural history of the financial district from 1900s to present day.


Five on-line exhibits display photographs of artifacts from the permanent collection:

  • Electronics,
  • Furniture,
  • House wares,
  • Lighting,
  • Textiles.


Lectures, workshops, and film screenings.

Toronto’s First Post Office

Conservation / Preservation:


  • Primarily early nineteenth century letter-writing materials such as pens, penknives, quill cutters, inkwells, seals, pounce pots, a post master’s desk and a portable post master’s desk.
  • Artefacts pertaining to the history of the Bank of Upper Canada and the De La Salle Institute, buildings to which the 1833 post office was conjoined after 1873.
  • Nineteenth century currency from Upper and Lower Canada, United Kingdom, United States, and Spain.


The building itself has been restored to its original condition. The original fireplace has been uncovered and restored.

Archives and Library

  • Correspondence relating to the postal service in Upper Canada.
  • Several rare books relating to the early postal system in Upper Canada.
  • Documents relating to the Bank of Upper Canada and De La Salle Institute.
  • Research files on subsequent owners of the Post Office building, such as Christie Brown and Co..
  • Hundreds of letters by nineteenth-century Torontonians.

Public Programming:


  • The post office is decorated with furniture and accessories authentic to the period, and visitors can write letters using nineteenth-century paraphernalia.
  • The Post Office reading room houses permanent and changing exhibitions relating to the history of Toronto’s postal service.
  • Scale model of Toronto (York) in 1837, with an online legend that identifies significant landmarks.
  • Occasional traveling exhibits featuring items from the Post Office’s collection.

Public Lectures

  • Annual public lecture on Toronto history to coincide with the annual meeting of the Town of York Historical Society.
  • Occasional public lectures in conjunction with the work of other heritage organizations in Toronto.


  • Quarterly newsletter that updates members on developments in heritage preservation efforts in Toronto, particularly as regards the city’s built heritage, and events in the heritage community.

City of Toronto Archives



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.

Archives of Ontario



Ontario Government Records:

The majority of the records in the collections of the Archives were created by the government of Ontario and its predecessors in the fulfillment of its legal and administrative functions. These records date from the late eighteenth century to the present day concerning:

  • Political and legal decisions.
  • The evolution of provincial administration.
  • The interaction between the government and its citizens.
  • The rights and responsibilities of Ontarians.

Private Sector Records:

Since 1903, the Archives of Ontario has been acquiring records from the private sector. The Archives holds the records of over 2600 private individuals, businesses, clubs and associations, labour and political organizations. These collections can range in size from one or two items to thousands of items that occupy hundreds of metres of shelf space.

These records include:

  • Paper files, diaries and photographs.
  • Maps and architectural records.
  • Sound recordings and moving images.

Genealogical Records:

The Archives of Ontario holds many important sources for researching family history in Ontario. There is no single finding aid or database for this type of research.

Vital Statistics:

Historical registrations of births, marriages and deaths. No database yet exists that allows you to search these records by name. Rather, these records must be searched using microfilm.

Records Relating to Aboriginal Peoples:

The Archives of Ontario has a substantial number of records relating to aboriginal history, very widely scattered through the Archives’ total holdings. Dating from the 1760s, most focus on what is now Ontario. However, a reasonable number — for example, fur trade and missionary papers — refer to Aboriginal people of Quebec, other parts of Canada, and the United States


The J. J. Talman Library at the Archives of Ontario is a research and reference collection for the general public and the staff of the Archives. Most of the Library collections relate to the social, political, economic, cultural and military history of the Province of Ontario.

There are approximately 75,000 pieces including:

  • Books, pamphlets and Ontario Government publications.
  • Periodicals, microfilm, microfiche and other printed and published items.

Special Collections


The Archives of Ontario’s photographic collection consists of approximately 1.7 million images documenting activities, people, places and events in Ontario from the mid-1800s to the present.

These images come in many formats including: colour and black and white prints, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, slides, and glass plate negatives.

The Archives photographic holdings include images from many private sources such as: photojournalists, studio photographers, amateur photographers, and corporate collections.

The Archives’ photographic holdings also include images created by many Ontario government ministries and agencies to document programs and activities.

Photographs are accessed through the Reading Room.

Online Photographic Database:

A selection of images drawn from the holdings of the Archives of Ontario which document the province’s history and landscape. Images are continually being added to the database.

Cartographic Records:

The Cartographic Records Collection of the Archives of Ontario contains over 40,000 maps, plans, hydrographic charts, atlases, bird’s eye views, and other cartographic materials relating to the Province of Ontario. Many of these maps are in manuscript form and thus are unique items.

The Archives has significant collections of private cartographic records including those produced by or for: Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, Thomas Talbot, the Canada Company, and David Thompson.

The foundation of the collection consists of maps produced by and for the Government of Ontario, most notably the Ministry of Natural Resources and its predecessors. Maps in the collection span the period from the early eighteenth century, when Ontario was still part of New France, to the present.

The collection contains maps and plans documenting many aspects of the province’s history and development including:

  • Exploration maps, settlement maps and township and town surveys.
  • Road maps, fishing maps and boundary maps.
  • Electoral plans, fire insurance plans, and maps showing the location and distribution of various natural resources.

Architectural Records:

An extensive architectural records collection of approximately 200,000 drawings and other items, dating from the early 1820s to the 1990s. These records document Ontario’s built environment and heritage.

The collection consists of architectural materials created or accumulated for government purposes. An example would be the records of the Public Works Department, which was responsible for the construction of prisons, hospitals, special schools, and other facilities.

The Archives also holds architectural records created by individual architects or private sector firms. The scope of these records ranges from houses to factories to skyscrapers.

Documentary Art:

The Archives of Ontario holds a collection of approximately 4000 documentary art records that document the people, places and events in Ontario from the 1790s until the 1900s.

The collection contains paintings, drawings, and prints by both amateur and professional artists, such as: Caroline Armington, William Armstrong, Thomas Burrowes, Anne Langton, C. W. Jefferys, Stewart C. Shaw, Elizabeth Simcoe, Fred Brygden, Robert Sproule, Owen Staples, and Dorothy Stevens.

It covers a wide range of subjects such as views of small towns, famous and infamous people, and historical events.

Public Programming:


Several exhibitions that highlight the collections. The most recent online exhibits can be accessed directly from the website.

Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada



Online library of links to related digital archives, related literature, videos and related aerospace museums of Canada, historical information regarding aircraft built between 1945 and the mid-1960s in Canada.


Canadian aviation memorabilia pertinent to Canada’s aircraft industry from 1945 to the mid 1960’s.

York University Computer Museum



The archives and special collections focus on specific companies,
computer pioneers and entrepreneurs,social, cultural, and technological issues and events (such as the  computer hobby movement, computer clubs,computing networking, publishing, retail, education, computer  hardware, software, and infrastructure).


  • Computer hardware such as, microcomputer systems, their peripherals, and components.
  • Computer software on various storage media (such as magnetic tapes and disks, floppy diskettes, paper tapes, punched cards, CDRoms, audio cassettes) and in human-readable form.
  • Documents, brochures, drawings, manuals, guides, catalogues, reports, corporate documents, research papers, books, articles,  newsletters and other publications.
  • Promotional materials and photographs.
  • Oral histories.

Public Programming:


Seminars are held on themes related to the development and introduction of computer and information technologies in Canada. The museum organizes exhibits, tours, and outreach programs.
Museum’s resources are accessible to researchers, students, educators, and the media.


A virtual tour is available to provide a brief presentation of some
computer hardware designed and/or manufactured in Canada, as well as  other computer related materials. Another virtual exhibit is offered  which provides photographs of computer technologies at York University during the 1970s.

Scotiabank Group Archives

Conservation / Preservation:

Archives / Library

Dating as far back as 1820, collections include:

  • Amalgamated & Associated Companies Annual Reports & Statements (1832 – Present).
  • Architectural Plans & Drawings.
  • Artefacts, Audiovisual Collection of branches and offices.
  • Canadian Contemporary Fine Art Collection & Documentary Portrait Collection.
  • Corporate Records, Manuals & Circulars.
  • Marketing, Advertising & Promotional Material.
  • Numismatic Collection.
  • Photographs (1860 – Present).
  • Publications & Staff Magazines.

Public Programming:


On an annual basis, the Scotiabank Group Archives prepares three types of displays:

  • Heritage Posters: focused on the history of the Bank as well as its mergers and acquisitions.
  • Branch Anniversary Posters: customized posters created for all branches celebrating their 100th, 125th, 150th or 175th anniversary.
  • Virtual Exhibits: internal and external websites.


The Scotiabank Group Archives has created online exhibits to highlight its collection through an online timeline.


The Fine Art Collection is displayed in publicly-accessible areas in Group offices and branches. Individual or group tours of the Fine Art Collection are available to all Scotiabankers, shareholders, pensioners, clients as well as members of the general public by appointment.

Redpath Sugar Museum

Public Programming:


  • Current production methods of sugar crafting as practiced at the Toronto facility.
  • The world-wide distribution of the sugar industry.
  • Transportation and distribution systems for sugar (including scale model road and rail vehicles).
  • Sugar packaging from around the world public display.
  • Origins of sugar cane and its use in the ancient world.
  • The spread of the sugar industry around the world.
  • The growth of the New World sugar industry.
  • The social influence of sugar in society from the 13th – 19th Century.
  • Early technology of sugar refining (sugar cane manufacturing).
  • Early attempts at the development of a Canadian sugar refining industry.
  • Corporate history
  • The modern sugar industry.


Pre-booked tours, of variable length, are offered at no charge to adult groups of 10 – 50 individuals, according to the schedule of the tour group. The programme follows the same pattern as that used for senior school age groups.

For groups of less than 10 people or casual visitors the museum is made available on a self-guided tour basis following a brief introductory orientation session.

Following an initial video presentation and introductory session, groups of up to 50 students and supervisors are taken on a guided tour through the museum.


Upon request, an external speaking engagement can be arranged for groups, organizations, and societies using slides and selected artefacts from the archives and reserve collection.