May 21, 2022

Reference Resource: Ontario University Libraries Collaborate to Release Over 1000 Historical Maps of Ontario Online

From the Ontario Council of University Libraries:

2017-04-04_15-05-16Coinciding with the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) 50th anniversary, Ontario’s university libraries are releasing a collection of over 1000 historical topographic maps of Ontario.


The project is a province-wide collaboration, led by the OCUL Geo Community, an open forum for the exchange of information relating to maps and GIS, to digitize and geocode early topographic maps of Ontario at the 1:25000 and 1:63360 scales.

The maps were originally produced by the Department of National Defence (until 1923: the Department of Militia and Defence) and show a variety of both natural and man-made features covering towns, cities and their surrounding areas in Ontario, over the period of 1906 to 1977. This project represents the single most comprehensive digitization project of the early-National Topographic Series map collection in Canada.


Rarly topographic maps are heavily used by historians and researchers interested in examining change over time. The project aims to improve access to the maps by making them available online and offering visual exploration through the project website and in the Scholars GeoPortal platform.


Researchers and students can explore the maps and compare changes over time using the GeoPortal’s map viewer that contains current base map data and a transparency slider feature.

Direct to New Digitized Map Collection (via Project Website)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.