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Information for Researchers

Visiting the Archives

Visitors come to the Diocesan Archives for many reasons. On your first visit, you’ll be asked to:

  • show your photo ID
  • read and complete the Archives Registration Form, which sets out the conditions of use
  • provide a brief summary of your research project and the information you’re looking for

For more information about access to records, see the Access Policy or contact archives staff.

The Archives are housed in modern climate-controlled facilities in the Diocesan Centre.

Effective May 2, 2022 the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives will reopen to in-person research on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only. There is a $5 cash charge for those wishing to conduct their own research in the archives.

Limited copying of parish records is permitted. You can also use a digital camera to take photos of records after you get permission from the Archives staff and read and sign the Policy on the Use of Digital Cameras in the Reading Room.

We also welcome requests by mail, email and phone, but we can undertake only limited research on behalf of patrons. See the fee schedule for more information.

Please read detailed information below before booking an appointment.

The Diocese of Toronto Archives is committed to the health and safety of its researchers and employees. Effective with reopening, all visitors to the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives will need to present  valid proof of vaccination (enhanced vaccination certificate with official QR code) and photo identification to gain access to the building. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received your second vaccine at least 14 days before your visit. Documented exemptions as outlined by the Province of Ontario will be accepted by the Diocese. Please visit the ontario.ca website for more information.

Should we have to close temporarily, we will inform prospective visitors.

Please DO NOT come in if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are awaiting test results, have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is awaiting test results, have been asked to self-isolate by public health authorities, or have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days and have not been exempted from mandatory quarantine.

You will need to complete a screening questionnaire upon arrival.  If you do not successfully pass the screening questionnaire, your appointment will be rescheduled to an appropriate date.

If you are arriving from outside Canada and plan to visit, you will need to comply with the requirements outlined on the COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada webpage.

Days/times and how to reserve:

The Diocese of Toronto Archives is open to the public, by reservation only, as seating is limited. Proof of vaccination is required to access the building.

Appointments can be booked on Tuesday or Wednesday, 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 4 pm.

Before visiting, you must make a reservation with the archives staff. Please email archives@toronto.anglican.ca with subject line research appointment request, along with the date and time you would like to come. Due to limited seating, it is suggested you send a request with 2 or 3 possible dates/times so that we can try to accommodate you.

Visitors without reservations will not be admitted.

There is no penalty for cancelling your reservation; however, we request that you give us as much notice as possible.

Safety:

Proof of vaccination accepted in Ontario must be presented upon arrival. (If you are arriving from outside Canada and plan to visit, you will need to comply with the requirements outlined on the COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada webpage.)

While a face covering or mask is not required, we do encourage they be used especially if moving around the reading room, and physical distancing must be respected at all times.

Handwashing with soap and water is mandatory before handling collection materials.

All surfaces will be cleaned before and after a researcher’s visit.

Food and drink is prohibited.

You will be asked to stay within the authorized Archive area.  Access to other parts of the Diocesan office, excluding the washrooms, is prohibited.

You will be expected to comply with all Diocesan safety protocols while on site.  If you have any questions, please contact archives@toronto.anglican.ca.

Tours

When the Archives reopens tours can be arranged by appointment only with same procedures as outlined above.

 

Academic research

The Archives has many resources for those conducting academic research or preparing for a parish event, including:

  • Synod Journals
  • parish histories
  • architectural drawings
  • information about various Anglican-related organizations

Genealogy

Access to parish records for genealogical research is restricted. The Archives follows the direction of the Archives of Ontario and only provides access to baptisms to 1917, marriages to 1940 and burials to 1950. The Archives of Ontario has recently increased the active retention period for birth registration from 95 to 104 years meaning that access to 1918 baptisms will not be available until 2023.

If your request meets these criteria, submit it to the Archives with as much detail as possible. Individual records aren’t indexed, so it is important to provide the name of the church or at the least the geographic area so staff can help you in your search. See the fee schedule for costs associated with records searches.

The Archivist may grant or refuse access to records at their discretion. For more information, see the Access Policy or contact Claire Wilton, Archivist, or Sarah McDougall, Archives Assistant.

 

Personal records

Individual records are not indexed, so it is important to provide as much detail as possible. If you need a certified copy of your baptism or marriage record, fill out the request form. There may be costs associated with records searches. Certified copies won’t be issued until we receive your payment. For more information, see the fee schedule.

The Archives take individuals’ privacy very seriously, so we place certain restrictions on parish records. The Archivist may grant or refuse access to records at their discretion. For more information, see the Access Policy or contact archives staff.

Baptism records

Baptisms after 1917 can be obtained by:

  • the person named on the record
  • the parents
  • the next-of-kin or executor, if the person is deceased

We require a copy of photo identification (e.g. Drivers License, Ontario Health Card) before we release the record. We may also need proof of the relationship between the requestor and the subject of the record before we can make the record available.

From time to time, a parish priest or the Diocesan Archivist is asked to make a change to the information in a baptism record and to issue an amended certificate. Only certain people have the authority to request an amendment, and certain conditions must be met. For details, see the Policy on Amendments to Baptismal Records and Issuance of Amended Baptismal Certificates.

Marriage records

Marriages after 1938 may be obtained by:

  • the bride or groom
  • the children of their marriage
  • the next-of-kin or executor, if either the bride or groom is deceased

We require a copy of photo identification (e.g. Drivers License, Ontario Health Card) before we release the record. We may also need proof of the relationship between the requestor and the subjects of the record before we can make the record available.

Privacy

The Archives take individuals’ privacy very seriously, so we place certain restrictions on parish records. With our patrons’ cooperation and by adhering to privacy legislation, we balance the need for privacy with the goal of facilitating research.

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