Métis Nation of Ontario
500 Old St. Patric St, Unit3
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9G4

Tel.: 613-798-1488
Toll Free: 800-263-4889
Fax: 613-722-4225

Census Substitutes

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Census substitutes can be lists of people. Some examples are directories, voters lists and telephone books. These lists place people in communities during specific time frames that in turn point to records that were created in these communities.

1.  Directories

There are directories for the entire province of Ontario as well as county, township or individual cities and communities. Images of some can be found online. Copies may be found in local or genealogical society libraries. Some of the county directories were published in the county atlases. Check library catalogues for possible titles.

Library and Archives Canada

You can also use Ancestor Search and Canadian Directories. This database has a list of  95 Canadian Directories that can be searched by name.

2. Voters Lists

Voters lists for Canada from 1935 – 1983 are found on microfilm at LAC. There is no province or constituency listing on the site. One can find the list at the Parliament of Canada website under the heading “History of Federal Ridings Since 1867.”

3. School Records

There is restricted access to school records 100 years or less in Ontario. The Ontario Archives has records that may include the daily attendance registers that may include the students’ names and ages, parents’ or guardians’ names and information on school attendance, graduation and moves. Other records include administrative records, general registers and minute books of boards and ratepayers meetings.

In 1980 school boards in remote areas of Ontario were dissolved if no successor boards were established. These records were transferred to the Archives of Ontario. Some records date back to 1848.

The Grammar School Trustees’ Half-Yearly Reports (RG 2-21, 1854-1871 has the names and ages of students and the names of teachers across Ontario. For details check:
Archives of Ontario Research Guide 216 Student and Teacher Records

Further Reading

  • Lovell, John. Lovell’s Province of Ontario Directory for 1871.
    Montreal:1871. ¹
  • Mclvoy, John, compiler and editor. The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory, Containing Concise Descriptions of Cities, Towns and Villages in the Province, with the Names of Professional and Business Men and Principal Inhabitants, Together With a Full List of Members of the Executive Governments, Senators, Members of the Commons and Local Legislatures, and Officials of the Dominion, and a Large Amount of Other General, Varied and Useful Information, Carefully Compiled from the Most Recent and Authentic Data
    Toronto: Robertson & Cook, 1869. ¹
  • Smith, William Henry. Smith’s Canadian Gazetteer: comprising statistical and general information respecting all parts of the upper province or Canada West. With map of upper province (1846.)
    Toronto: H. & W. Rowsell, 1846. ¹
  • Wilson, Thomas B. and Emily W. Wilson. Directory of the Province of Ontario, 1857.    
    Lambertville, New Jersey: Hunterdon House, 1987.
  • Henderson's Manitoba and North-Western Ontario and Northwest towns and City of Winnipeg Directory: a complete directory for the year 1886-87.
    Winnipeg: Henderson Directory Co, 1887. ²


¹ Available online at Google Books
² Available online at Peel’s Prairie Provinces


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