The original townships were created and surveyed for the purpose of land registration. Each township was divided into a series of Concessions and Lots. These are called geographic townships and are still used by surveyors and land registry offices to identify particular land parcels. They are useful for genealogical purposes because of their historical context. In some instances, county boundaries would change over the years, and a geographic township could shift from one county to another. It is important to know when these shifts occurred, as it provides a clue where to look for specific land records, or to know which census record to search.
- 1881 Mono & Mulmur Townships transferred from Simcoe County to Dufferin County
- 1973 Rama and Mara Townships were transferred from Ontario County to Simcoe County.
In early years, each township had its own council but in more recent times, as the population base increased, there have been on going changes to the governing process. In many areas, the original Counties have been replaced by Regional Municipalities and townships by Towns or Cities. The names for the new municipalities may reflect the original geographic township, or may be an entirely new name. Similarly, the boundaries of the new municipalities may correspond with the original geographic townships, may combine two or more former townships, or may change completely to reflect current land use activities.
Current road maps reflect these municipal boundaries and the family historian has the added task of trying to relate the old names to present locations.
The following maps illustrate the differences between geographic and municipal townships.
Geographic (Historical) Townships
Click on the map or the township name for a more detailed map of the area.
Municipal (New) Townships
1. Adjala – Tosorontio
3. Beckwith Island
4. Bradford – West Gwillimbury
5. CFB Borden
6. Christian Island
10. Giants Tomb Island
13. New Tecumseth
15. Oro – Medonte
22. Wasaga Beach