Researching Historic Buildings in Toronto

March 26, 2014 | TPL Staff

Comments (0)

This post by Cynthia was previously published in the Toronto Reference Library Blog.

TO Built logo

Researching old buildings in Toronto can be extremely interesting but also extremely frustrating. Often people come to the library to begin their research. Here are some online sites to use before you come to the Toronto Reference Library. You will be amazed at what is available online in a digital format.

Toronto Public Library

Let's start with our Local History & Genealogy page. You will find print books and journals, online magazines, pictures, digital books, directories and maps, blogs, programs and events. It includes our interactive map of our resources, Toronto Neighbourhoods.

Toronto Neighbourhood Map

Outside sources

Toronto City MapDo not miss the City of Toronto site. You can find the Inventory of Heritage Properties which lists historically designated properties.

Try the City's Archives for records and photographs of buildings.

There are some terrific sites put up by individuals but beware! These could change or be removed at any time:

Put together by architect Robert G. Hill, try the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950. This site lists the works of individual architects by street name, building name, name of client or owner, and by type of building, with vital information on original published sources for each building.     

E.J. LennoxHave a look at Nathan Ng's Historical Maps of Toronto which aims to improve digital access to fire insurance plans and other maps found at the Toronto Reference Library and City Archives.

And last, but not least, a wonderful site lovingly put together by Bob Krawczyk : TOBuilt. Enjoy the blue skies and sharp images of our Toronto. You'll find information on historical buildings, ordinary buildings, new and old, residential and commercial - even some demolished sites are included.

1851 Fleming maps-r-19









Edit: changed wording due to change in main Local History & Genealogy page May 26, 2020.