Metropolitan Toronto Archives


The Metro Archives of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto is responsible for the identification, selection, description and preservation of records of enduring value created or accumulated by the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, its agencies, boards, commissions and departments, as well as non-government records that possess regional significance. The Metro Archives provides access to these records by the municipality and the public, promotes the use and understanding of this recorded information, and participates in the interpretation of the heritage of Metropolitan Toronto.

The Archives' Holdings

The Municipality of Toronto was formed in 1953 as a regional federation of local governments. Archival holdings consist of the records of the municipality (including records created before 1953 by local municipalities for certain functions inherited by the regional government); records of agencies, boards and commissions such as the Toronto Transit Commission; and non-government records of metropolitan significance, such as the papers of elected officials, urban planners, architects and community-based organizations.

Holdings are particularly strong in the areas of development of the built environment (roads, sewers and water supply infrastructure) from the 1870s to the 1990s, regional planning, economic development, the delivery of community services (such as the administration of social assistance between the 1890s and the 1980s, and other programs including hostels, day care and homes for the aged), and mapping of the regional landscape using aerial photographs between 1947 and the present.

Total volume of holdings:

Textual records: approximately 533 m
Photographs: 207,165
Maps, architectural plans and technical drawings: 16,000
Moving image and sound recordings: 502

How to reach us

Business hours -
Research Hall - Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Exhibits - Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Closed on statutory holidays; wheelchair accessible

Research Hall information: (416) 397-0778
Public information message: (416) 397-5000
E-mail address:


The Society produces two or three publications per year, enhancing more the more than 60 titles already available. An annual newsletter enables members to plan ahead for events. It includes thought-provoking articles related to immigration history, ethnicity and multiculturalism.


Special events include the Chairman's annual breakfast, previews in the Heritage Gallery of Canada's Peoples at the Royal Ontario Museum and presentations of music, illustrated lectures and displays sponsored by the Society.

Educational Services

Move beyond the boundaries of the traditional social studies curriculum to consider the reality and benefits of our country's multiracial, multilingual heritage and culture. The Society's travelling slide-show presentations and Shared Histories series help students to understand Ontario's role as a preferred target of migration for people from every corner of the globe, and to appreciate Canada's reputation for tolerance of human variety.


The Centre puts the story back into history through its changing exhibitions by and abut Canada's diverse cultural communities.

At the Centre's Robert F. Harney Gallery, you can step into the past or view the present through the eyes of another culture. The exhibits draw on archival resources, art and audio-visual material to tell the story.

The Multicultural History Society of Ontario is a centre for the interaction of the peoples who live in Ontario. It is made up of a growing number of supporters and volunteers who are working together to advance and promote the benefits that derive from our diverse cultural heritage.

Supporters and volunteers receive an annual newsletter, advance notice of lectures and symposia, discounts on MHSO publications and special invitations to events and exhibits at the Society's headquarters and in the Heritage Gallery of Canada's Peoples.

For more information, contact the Society at: 43 Queen's Park Crescent East, Toronto, ON, M5S 2C3

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Website design: TG Magazine, 1996