St. James Cathedral Archives and Museum

Conservation / Preservation:


  • Marriage and burial records.
  • Parish personnel records and biographical information about prominent parishioners
  • Pew records listing individuals who owned and rented pews, and related correspondence.
  • Photographs and sound recordings.
  • Records of parish deliberations, decisions, actions, administration, correspondence, and finances.
  • Pictorial records including site maps, engineering and architectural drawings.
  • Records of special events of the congregation.
  • Music written and arranged for the Cathedral.


  • Bibles, prayer books, and a small reference library.
  • Organ pipe and portable organ.
  • Coat of arms, paintings, drawing, prints, icons.
  • Memorial plaques and busts.
  • Textiles: embroideries, flags, and regimental colours.
  • Woodenware and furnishings: crosses, candlesticks, carvings, prayer desks, seats and chairs.
  • Ironwork: bell, fencing, weathervane.
  • China.
  • Brass and silver, both liturgical and secular.
  • Créche collection.

Public Programming:


Two regular exhibits include The September Art Show to mark Toronto Arts Week, and The Crèche Exhibit of Nativity Scenes from Around the World in December. Other exhibits are held throughout the year such as,

  • Black History, (opening February 5, 2017).
  • The Cathedral during the War of 1812, focusing on Bishop Strachan’s role in the Battle of York and the Cathedral’s use as a field hospital.
  • Vision and Devotion, organized in partnership with the Ontario Society of Artists, focusing on the society’s connections to the Cathedral. The exhibit displayed art by the society’s members housed within the Cathedral.
  • A celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the links between the British monarchy and the Cathedral (to close October 28, 2012).


  • Specially organized Cathedral Tours for school classes normally engaged in the study of medieval history, Canadian history, art, architecture, religion, the Cathedral itself, and the broader theme of the Anglican Church and Christianity (the focus of tours catering to the grade 11 World Religions curriculum). Tours also focus on memorials and biography, church windows, carvings, military history, prominent local historical figures, and church architecture.
  • Tours of special exhibits.
  • Tours of Toronto’s Old Town and churches elsewhere in Toronto.

Public Lectures

The Archives and Museum Committee offers public lectures related to exhibitions and / or publications related to the history of the Cathedral and its parishioners.


Occasional publications related to Parish, Cathedral, and neighbourhood history.

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.

Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives



  • Non-current parish records, such as baptism, marriage and burial records, parish history files, photographs and architectural drawings.
  • A central filing system for active and semi-active files of the Diocese, e.g. records concerning parish and diocesan property, correspondence, deanery minutes and correspondence, diocesan boards and committees.
  • Treasury and personnel files.

Public Programming:


Available by appointment. 

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto Archives

Conservation / Preservation:

Archives / Library

  • Episcopacy of the Archdiocese of Toronto – Administrative records of the Bishops, Archbishops and Auxiliary Bishops of Toronto documenting their ecclesiastical challenges and daily activities. This includes papers of Bishop Alexander Macdonell, who was the first bishop of the Diocese of Kingston, which from 1826-1840 included the territory of the current Archdiocese of Toronto.  The papers are described at the file or item level up to the end of Archbishop Pocock’s episcopate. Finding aids, including item level descriptions, are available for research use up to 1961, which marks the end of Archbishop James C. Cardinal McGuigan’s active episcopate.
  • Administrative Records of the Archdiocese of Toronto – Documents pertaining to the day-to-day business of the offices and agencies of the Archdiocese, including some subject based collections such as the World Wars, Catholic Cemeteries, Education, etc. The most commonly accessed collections are the Parish Historical Records, and Architectural Drawings.
  • Other Collections – Ancillary records regarding Archdiocesan committees and commissions, as well as Catholic institutions and organizations working within the Archdiocese.
  • Special Collections – Collections determined by material format. In the past, these items were often removed from other areas of the archives to facilitate preservation and access. Special collections (including photographs, rare books, artwork, textiles, and artifacts) enrich the administrative records of the other three parts of our holdings.


Examples of Special Collections include: Artifacts, Altar Stones, Diocesan Seals, Medallions, Papal Bulls, Relics and Textiles.

Public Programming:


Weekly posts to blog, The Archivist’s Pencil.


This archives provides reference service for phone and email inquiries as well as in-house research assistance. Researchers are welcome to book an appointment after consulting with the reference archivist and determining a course of research that is consistent with ARCAT’s policies.

Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives

Conservation / Preservation:

Archives / Library

The archives’ holdings date primarily from the early 1800s to the present, and consist of approximately 3,500 cubic feet of textual records, 15,000  photographs, several thousand hours of audio-visual recordings, hundreds of architectural plans, and more than a million pages of documents on microfilm, including,

  • Records of General Assembly and the National Office departments of the Church.
  • Records of Synods.
  • Records of Presbyteries.
  • Records of congregations from across the country.
  • Records of individual ministers, moderators, missionaries, college professors, and church officials.
  • Records of the various Presbyterian theological colleges.
  • Records of the Women’s Missionary Society and its predecessors.
  • Presbyterian periodicals / journals.
  • Several resources that may be helpful to family historians and genealogists, including local church records, microfilmed registers from across the country, reference books, biographical files, and private papers.

Public Programming:


Numerous online exhibits are available on the archives’ website: