These links bring together sources from Ontario archives, libraries, and historical and genealogical societies. These organizations support research into individuals and families who lived in all parts of Ontario, including Toronto. Ontario archival and multicultural newspaper resources are particularly rich for Jewish genealogy.

Archives of Ontario (AO) – Toronto

The Archives of Ontario collects public and private sector documentation that supports research into Ontario families and history. A key resource are its holdings of Ontario’s vital statistics records, with a new year released annually. The large and extensive collection provides a rich resource for those undertaking research into their Jewish families in Ontario. The AO has published many research guides that provide clear explanations of the various collections and how they can be used. A general guide to resources available for family research at the Archives of Ontario can be found in Research Guide 299.

The Archives of Ontario has produced a video and instructions for those who wish to start their genealogical research at the Archives of Ontario.

There are also 28 specialized online research guides or pathfinders that provide additional details about specific types of records in the Archives. The list of all these guides is found on the Research Guides and Tools page of their website. Research guides and pathfinders, which are available in Word and PDF formats, provide step-by-step instructions to help you find these related records.

Of interest are government records related to adoption and guardianship, bankruptcy, birth, changes of name, citizenship and naturalization, criminal justice, directories, death, divorce, education, health, immigration, land records (crown and land registry), marriage, military, municipal, probate/estates, voters’ lists, wills and estates. Also available are maps, plans and atlases related to land ownership, occupancy, and use, as well as federal census records, federal passenger lists, library materials, and newspapers.

A guide that provides information about collections of particular interest for Jewish genealogy is Research Guide 235, for Multiculturalism and Ethno-Cultural Communities in Ontario.

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Many municipalities in Ontario have archives with historical records of interest to Jewish family historians. A Directory to Municipal Archives in Ontario was published in 2008. Much of the information it contains is outdated, and new municipal archives have since been established. Even so, there is usefulness in the list of archives included in the Directory, as well as the index to the location of records transferred to those archives from more than 700 current and former municipalities located in Ontario. Historical records of municipalities that had or have a Jewish community are Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor, London, Greater Sudbury, Kitchener, Thunder Bay (formerly Fort William and Port Arthur, and Kingston.

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In addition to JGS Toronto, Ontario has two other Jewish genealogical societies:

The JGSH website is currently inactive and any links now go to the Hamilton Jewish Federation

The JGSO website is currently inactive, but some information is available about the Society and its resources.

Find a grave in Ottawa is still active

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The Jewish Virtual Library is funded by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). As part of its larger international collection, the Jewish Virtual Library has produced a short history of Ontario as a Jewish community, which includes some information about Jews in Ontario public life.

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Established in 1976, the Multicultural History Society of Ontario collects, preserves, and makes available irreplaceable records of histories of migration, ethnicity, and Indigeneity. The MHSO is the creator of the most extensive collection in Canada of archival materials documenting immigrant, ethnic, and Indigenous experiences. Their archival holdings reflect some 100 ethnocultural and Indigenous communities, and over 280 municipalities in Canada. A description of their online resources is at

Many of these collections of oral testimony, historical photographs, and textual records originated with the Multicultural Canada digitization project.  The project grew from the conviction that the cultural groups that make up our country have little-known stories that need to be researched and told.

The multicultural newspaper collection includes the important Jewish historical newspapers of record, namely the Canadian Jewish Review and the Canadian Jewish News. They, along with other newspapers in Croatian, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Serbian, Serbo-Croation, and Ukrainian, are available online at the Multiculturalism Canada website housed at Simon Fraser University.


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The Ontario Genealogical Society, also known as Ontario Ancestors, is Canada’s largest member-supported genealogical organization. Founded in 1961, their mission is to encourage, bring together, and assist those interested in family history as well as preserve Ontario’s heritage. It has 30 geographically based branches throughout Ontario together with five special interest groups (British Home Children, Eastern European, Scottish, Irish, and Irish-Palatine). The OGS/Ontario Ancestors also has monthly programming.

Their largest branch is Toronto, at It supports those with Toronto roots, as well as others who live in Toronto, but have ancestors from around the world. Their website contains access to a variety of useful research sources that include a Toronto chronology, a research guide with information about places within Toronto, and street name changes in the city. Ontario Ancestors, Toronto Branch, also provides extensive links to information about, and access to, maps, city directories, census records, municipal records and rolls, land records, newspapers, and many other sources relevant to genealogical research. Find it at:

The Ontario Genealogical Society has partnered with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto on projects of joint interest.

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The OJA (Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre) acquires, preserves, and makes available historical records related to Ontario’s Jewish community. Its records are from private business, families, labour unions, synagogues, and other community organizations. Family resources include records such as marriage and circumcision records, family histories, synagogue and Jewish fraternal society records, immigration case files, ledgers from Jewish shipping agents, etc.

For a full listing see:

Online records and resources include:

  • Toronto Jewish City Directories for 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1931, but most must be viewed on-site.
  • OJA Blog contains stories and information about their collection, special projects, and programs, and new acquisitions. Among other stories, the blog has featured stories about the Scrap Metal Trade in London, Ontario; delicatessens; and Jewish servicewomen in the Second World War.
  • List of other Canadian Jewish Archives and Museums


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The Ottawa Jewish Archives (OJA) collects records that tell the story of Jewish community life in Ottawa and the National Capital Region from the 1890s to the current day. The OJA accepts donations of documents, photographs, recorded media, and ephemera that help tell the story of Jewish community life in Ottawa.

Their collection includes materials produced by, and about, individuals, families, businesses, congregations, community organizations, and associations established and maintained by Ottawa’s Jewish community. These resources include:

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