Wouldn’t it be great if you could track your Ontario ancestors between the 1901 and 1911 census? Or perhaps between 1891 and 1901, or 1911 and 1921?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could see where they were living after 1921, the last available census for Ontario?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could discover exactly where they lived, who their neighbours were, and what their occupations may have been?
Perhaps you can! City directories were a popular publication for many Ontario municipalities from the 1880s through to recent years. These directories typically contained both an alphabetical listing of all inhabitants as well as a street directory listing all inhabitants. There were a number of publishers of these directories, however one of the best known may be the Vernon City Directories, published between at least 1897 (Kitchener) and 2014 (Toronto) for many Ontario cities including Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, Brockville, Galt & Preston (predecessors of Cambridge), Hamilton, Kitchener, Lindsay, London, Niagara Falls, North Bay, Orillia, Oshawa, Owen Sound, Pembroke, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. Thomas, Sault Ste. Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Toronto, Welland and Woodstock.
Some city directories have been digitized and are available online in various repositories, and Library & Archives Canada has a fair digital collection, however most are found on shelves in libraries large and small throughout Ontario. These physical volumes can provide answers to many questions for the family historian, however access is a problem.
The Ontario Genealogical Society is proud to announce that, along with Family Search International and Library & Archives Canada, we will be undertaking the digitization of all available editions of the Vernon City Directories. These digital copies will be fully searchable and, best of all, they will be freely available to all.