Free Online Ontario City Directories

City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and Canada and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including the name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of the previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:

Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. Please make sure that you are signed in to FamilySearch, in order to take full advantage of the collections that are available.

(Updated July 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)

Links to these free collections are presented initially with countrywide and provincewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Please note that many of the counties no longer exist, but are now districts or regional municipalities. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Countrywide

Provincewide

Addington County

Algoma District

Aylmer

Barrie

Barrie and Orillia

Belleville

Berlin and Waterloo

Berlin, Waterloo, and Bridgeport

Brant County

Brantford

Brockville

Bruce County

Burford

Burgessville

Burlington and Hamilton

Carleton and Dundas

Carleton County

Carleton Place

Chatham

Chatham County

Collingwood

Dufferin County

Dundas

Dundas and Frontenac

Dundas and Glengarry

Dundas County

Durham County

East Toronto

Elgin County

Essex County

Fort Erie

Frontenac County

Galt and Preston

Glengarry County

Grenville County

Grey County

Guelph

Haldimand County

Haliburton County

Halton County

Hamilton

Hastings County

Huron County

Ingersoll

Kent County

Kingston

Kingston and Frontenac County

Kitchener

Kitchener and Waterloo

Lambton County

Lanark and Renfrew County

Lanark County

Leeds and Grenvile County

Leeds County

Lennox and Addington County

Lennox County

Lincoln County

Lindsay

London

Long Branch

Middlesex County

Muskoka County

Norfolk

North Bay

North Toronto

Northumberland and Durham County

Northumberland County

Ontario County

Orillia

Oshawa

Oshawa and Whitby

Ottawa

Owen Sound

Oxford County

Parkdale

Peel County

Pembroke

Perth County

Peterborough

Peterborough County

Picton

Prescott County

Prince Edward County

Renfrew County

Russell County

Sarnia

Sarnia and Port Edward

Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie and Steelton

Simcoe

Simcoe County

St. Catharines

St. Thomas

Stormont County

Stratford

Timiskaming

Timmins

Toronto

Toronto Junction

Trenton

Victoria County

Wallaceburg

Waterloo County

Welland County

Wellington County

Wentworth County

Western Ontario

Windsor

Woodstock

York County

York Township

Yorkville

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

For other Free Ontario Links, click on the category of interest:

Newspapers
Obituaries
BMD Records
Photos
Yearbooks
Directories

Join the Conversation

11 Comments

  1. Great job.
    Here come all the directories
    You have some Trenton directories accidentally mixed in with the Timmins directories

  2. Is there a site-wide search option? i.e. I’m looking for an Ontario record and don’t know the location. There’s too many individual directories to search each one. How can I search for ALL of Ontario for ALL years? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Brian. Just got to them. Added them to my database but won’t publish to my website until my next update. Added 200 directories though. Much appreciated.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *