North York Historical Society donates collection to Toronto Public Library

The North York Historical Society (NYHS) and the Toronto Public Library (TPL) signed an agreement on February 6th to add the NYHS archives to the collections of the Canadiana Department, North York Central Library. A special event was held to recognize this significant donation of historical materials from North York.

The Canadiana Department and the NYHS have a mutual interest to preserve and make historical and current information about North York accessible, and have a long history of working together. This donation increases Canadiana’s collections related to the history of North York, and the library staff and NYHS members plan to work together to promote and enhance access to these materials in the future.

Canadiana has had a collection on the history of North York since its earliest days in the 1960s. The collection is in-depth covering North York back to its earliest human habitation, and includes books, local newspapers, photographs, maps and clipping files on North York people, places and events. Also part of the collection are about 30 small archival collections, and many municipal and planning documents issued by North York prior to its amalgamation into Toronto.

Among the gems acquired in the NYHS donation:

*Aerial photographs of North York in 1942 and 1954

*Series of 39 scrapbooks about lot owners, communities, schools, and churches

*Papers of the Coulson family, which includes documents going back to the 1830s

*More than 1,600 historical photographs

North York Central Library Manager, Greg Kelner, served as master of ceremonies and introduced remarks from:

*Bill Aird, President, North York Historical Society

*Linda Mackenzie, Director, Research and Reference Libraries, Toronto Public Library

*Rob Leverty, Executive Director, Ontario Historical Society

*Dorie Billich, Curator, Gibson House Museum & Historic Zion Schoolhouse

*Councillor John Filion, Ward 23 Willowdale

To view additional North York History library resources, please visit:

For more information about the NYHS or to learn about membership, please visit



2016 by Councillor David Shiner