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Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

Vital Statistics Records (Registrations of Births, Marriages and Deaths) come under the jurisdiction of the Province of Ontario. These government records (or 'civil records') often contain more genealogical information than Church records.

Vital Statistic Records are transferred from the Office of the Registrar General of Ontario to the Archives of Ontario after a certain date. A new year is released to the general public on an annual basis. 

Visit the Archives of Ontario website to find out more about accessing Vital Statistics Records.

Sacramental Records Search Requests

Due to limited facilities and staff, ARCAT cannot undertake genealogy research. We can however, accomodate basic search requests for Baptismal, Confirmation and Marriage records. Please review the information below before submitting your request to archives@archtoronto.org 

You may request:

  • Baptisms after 106 years (prior to 1918)
  • Confirmations after 106 years (prior to 1918)
  • Marriages after 82 years (prior to 1943)

What are Sacramental Records?

Sacramental registers include records of baptisms, confirmations and marriages, listed chronologically in a book. Though today’s records typically share a common format, 19th century records may have slight differences in the types of information recorded. For example, some marriage records list age rather than date of birth. The records are handwritten and can sometimes be difficult to read (especially older records).

Baptism records include information like name, date of birth, place of birth, date of baptism, parents’ names, mother’s maiden name, and sponsors’ names. In some cases, they may also contain added notations of other sacraments like marriage. 

Marriage records include information like the bride and groom’s names, dates of birth or age, places of birth, locations of residence, parents’ names, witnesses’ names, and date of marriage. 

Death and burial are not sacraments and are therefore not formally recorded by all parishes. In Ontario, official death records are kept by the Office of the Registrar General.

If you are looking for a burial, and you know that the individual was buried in a Catholic cemetery in the Archdiocese of Toronto, please contact Catholic ​​Cemeteries ​& Funeral Services – Archdiocese of Toronto​​.

Record keeping practices changed over time, and some earlier records may not contain all of the information found in later records.  

Digitized Records

ARCAT is pleased to provide access to our pre-1910 Historical Parish Registers via our digital collections portal, ARCAT Online.

Dynamic digital images of these registers are available, and users have the option to download PDF copies of individual pages.

The registers you will find on ARCAT Online include records from parishes within the boundaries of The Archdiocese of Toronto: the City of Toronto; the regional municipalities of Peel, York, and Durham; and Simcoe County. Record dates range from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.

Please note that not all of each parish's records have been digitized, therefore, there may be gaps in the records available

Click HERE to access our Historical Parish Registers and to view the unique artifacts and other materials showcased on ARCAT Online.

Historical Parish Registers

Parishes maintain records of administered sacraments. Historically, Baptisms and Marriages were recorded; however some registers also list First Communion, Confirmation and Deaths. 

Burial registers for Catholic Toronto cemeteries are kept by Catholic Cemeteries. Historical burial records for rural parish cemeteries - if they exist - are usually kept by the parish that administers the cemetery. We do not have duplicate copies of rural cemetery registers.

Elmbank Cemetery (a.k.a. Toronto Township Cemetery #29, Gore Cemetery, 5th Line Cemetery) was formerly located within the confines of Pearson International Airport and relocated to Assumption Cemetery, Brampton in 2001. View photos and transcriptions of the headstones at www.archtoronto.org/elmbank

Ontario Ancestors (formerly Ontario Genealogical Society) has transcribed headstones from various Catholic cemeteries within the current boundaries of the Archdiocese of Toronto.