Researching Historic Buildings in Toronto
This post by Cynthia was previously published in the Toronto Reference Library Blog.
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.
Let's start with our own website . It's not just a catalogue of books. You will find print books and journals, online magazines, pictures, digital books, directories and maps, blogs, audio-visual materials, programs and events as well as links to outside sources. Here are some quick tips:
Once on our site, you will see FIND YOUR WAY in big letters near the top of the page. Go to History and Genealogy. Then go to the Local History and Genealogy section. Don't miss it! Check each section of every page carefully so you don't miss any of the many leads to other sources.
Toronto Neighbourhoods leads to an interactive map:
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 J. Robert Hill, try the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950. This site lists the work of individual architects by address and building name and more.
Have 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.