Archives serve as the physical repository for historical papers and inactive government records and can be a veritable gold mine of information for the family researcher. Simcoe County is well suited geographically for resident researchers to make use of local, county, provincial and national archives. Visit the web sites to find out what resources are available.
However, the various archivists must balance the need to provide public access to documents while preserving them for the use of future generations. Resources are limited and most facilities have more material than storage space. Some documents can take considerable time to move from repository to research station and even then, desk space may be limited.
It is recommended you make plans in advance in order to make the most of your visit.
Penetanguishene Centennial Museum and Archives
The Museum and Archives are about one block from Penetanguishene Bay, on the north side of Burke Street, just east of Beck Blvd and the end of Main Street (Co. Rd. 93) in Penetanguishene.
The core of the Genealogical Research Centre consists of the Georgian Bay Heritage League collection that contains over 500 genealogical files and numerous local history books. There is an impressive collection of Church records, not only for Penetanguishene, but points north as well as some from Quebec. Local cemetery transcriptions are available and more recently, these are being put on line with images of individual gravestones. Visit their website for more information.
Research is conducted by appointment.
13 Burke St.
Penetanguishene ON, L9M 1C1
Simcoe County Archives
The archives are located about 5 minutes north of Barrie on the south side of Hwy 26, just east of the Simcoe County Museum. (Location Map)
The Archives holdings include census records, vital statistics, directories, tax assessment rolls, patent book, Ontario Archives Land Records Index, cemetery transcriptions, newspapers, school and church records, Genealogical Records of Simcoe County Families and other records of interest to family researchers. (See Guide to Genealogical Study). Visit their website for more information.
1149 Highway 26
Archives of Ontario
The provincial archives were established in 1903 and serve as the main repository for the preservation and public use of inactive government records, documents, maps and photographs pertaining to Ontario.
Their collection includes:
- Ontario Government Records (including Land Records)
- Private Sector Records (including old newspapers)
- Genealogical Records
- Vital Statistics (Birth, Marriage and Death)
- Records relating to Aboriginal Peoples
- Special Collections (includes photographs and maps)
- Sound and Moving Images
See the online database for detailed descriptions of some of the collections
This is a very large facility and you are encouraged to prepare for your visit. The web site contains numerous guides and pathfinders pertaining to genealogical research. Visit their website for more information
Check the web site for hours, reference and retrieval hours, extended hours.
134 Ian Macdonald Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1-800-668-9933 Toll-Free Number (Ontario only)
416-327-1999 Fax Number
Library and Archives Canada
The former National Library of Canada and Archives of Canada have been combined to create a new institution, Library and Archives Canada. Situated on the north side of Wellington Street, just west of the Parliament buildings, the facility is located in an historical setting in close proximity to the modern structures of downtown Ottawa.
In addition to providing access to millions of books held locally or across the nation, this is the main repository for a vast array of various federal government and private sector records pertaining to all of Canada. The advent of the internet has made much of this information more accessible to the public.
The collection is far too extensive to list here, and we strongly urge researchers to spend some time browsing through the web site and discover for themselves some of the treasures that are hidden there. Of particular interest is the Genealogy and Family History Section which provides instructions on how to begin your research, commonly requested records such as census and military heritage.
If visiting in person, please keep in mind, this is a very large facility and you are encouraged to prepare for your visit. You will need a user card that can either be obtained by registering on site, or by online registration.
See their Contact Us page for further information.
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4
Telephone: (613) 996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777
TTY: (613) 992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699
Fax: (613) 995-6274
Genealogy Reference: (613) 996-7458