Friday, July 31, 2009

Ontario Archives Reduces Hours

It was a sellout crowd that went to the Ontario Archives tour this year at Conference '09 - but how many knew that they had already reduced the research hours to Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.? It is not open on Saturday.

The old hours were Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m..

How on earth does one do research on the weekends when there are no hours on Saturday??

But you can help change that.

Here is an email I received from Kathie Orr in June ...


Re Restricted Archives of Ontario Hours

The Archives of Ontario has moved to a wonderful new state of the art archives building. We now have the proper facilities to access and research our history but many people are unaware that with the move we now have restricted hours of operation.

We need your help.
  • At the present time the hours of operation of the Archives of Ontario are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • In effect this means that any Ontario taxpayer and visitor from outside the province who works fulltime and or lives at a distance not longer have access to their records.
  • If we want to have evening and weekend hours we have to make our concerns known.
  • We will not get the old hours of 8:15 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday back. A good compromise might be 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The benefit is that those who will visit during the extended hours will have archival staff on hand to advise and assist you them.
Why do we need your help?
  • Not all records are available online or will be for the foreseeable future.
  • To access the full range of records to research your family you do need to visit archives for such records as estate files, Crown land records, Private Property land records, education records, divorce files, maps, and private papers such as the T. Eaton Co.
What can you and or your group do?
  • Sign our petition
  • Have your group and any other interested parties sign our petition.
  • and click on Feedback (left side of page half way down). They ask you to “Please take a few moments to send us your comments by filling in the form below.” Politely request that you would like extended hours back. You fill in your email address and you will in time get a personal reply. We want to flood the Archives with requests so they can show the government the need for the extended hours.
  • Contact your local MPP
  • When contacting your MPP please emphasis your use of the Archives of Ontario, its importance to the province and that these are our records and it is our right to have access to them.
  • And encourage others to do the same.
We are counting on YOU to help make the Archives of Ontario a place where all can go to use the documented heritage of our province.

Send completed petitions to

c/o Ruth Burkholder
Ste 103 -12140 Ninth Line
Stouffville ON L4A 1L2


c/o Kathie Orr
405 – 100 Maitland St
Toronto ON M4Y 1E2

As many people do not like to open emails with an attachment until they know what it is all about a second email will be sent to you with the petition attached.

Thank you

Kathie Orr


Katharine G. Orr
405 - 100 Maitland St
Toronto ON M4Y 1E2
stay in touch with your past to ensure your future


Editor's Note: The follow-up email I received from Kathie Orr includes a copy of the petition for printing. However, since I am unable to attach it to the blog, please contact Kathie for a copy <>.