Historical Books



What is a Historical Book?

Historical books, previously only available for consultation at a Land Registry Office (LRO), contain the original paper property records registered prior to the introduction of Ontario’s electronic land registration system. These records are now available electronically through OnLand’s Historical Books Search or Browse features.

When you search in the Historical Books section, you can view the PDFs of scanned abstracts and parcel registers, a variety of indices, and first registration records. Learn more about the types of records you can obtain through the Historical Books digital library.


Historical Book Categories

These are the types of records that can be viewed by searching or browsing in Historical Books:


Searching for Historical Books

      1. On the OnLand Homepage, from the Where would you like to search options, begin typing the name of the city, town, or LRO name (county), or number you’d like to search in. The results will display as you type.
      2. From the results in the list, scroll down and select your LRO.
      3. From the What would you like to search options, select the Search button on the Historical Books tile.

3 Ways to find Historical Books


Searching by Geographic/Property Description

      1. From the Book Category drop-down list, select the type of land record you’d like to view.
      2. Add any additional search criteria to help refine your search results.Search criteria can include Geographic Description details from your title deed, property tax notice or other land document, such as concession, or plan number.
        • Concession – a surveyed geographic which creates geographic fabric within a township
        • Plan (Plan of Subdivision) – a surveyed area of land which may create new lots, blocks, widenings and streets registered as a plan of subdivision
        • Section – a land titles filing system. A parcel and section has been assigned to each listed Land Titles ownership
        • Parcel – a quantity of land identified for abstract purposes
        • Condo – a plan creating units for each level of a condominium
      3. Select the Search Books button.
      4. Once your results are displayed, find your book number or Geographic Description in the list of results, and select the View Details button to the right of it.
      5. When the book pages are displayed, navigate through the pages using the Previous and Next buttons, or if you know the page number you want, you can enter it directly in the page field at the bottom of the screen.

Searching by Book Number

If you already know the number of the book you’re looking for, you can search by Book Number.

      1. From the Book Category drop-down list, select the type of land record you’d like to view.
      2. Select the Search by Book Number link.
      3. Enter the number in the field.
      4. Select the Search button.

Browsing Historical Books

      1. Select the Browse Books tab.
      2. At the bottom of the Book Category you’d like to browse, select the Browse (Book Category) link.
      3. Once your results are displayed, find your book number or Geographic Description in the list of results, and select the View Details button to the right of it.
      4. When the book pages are displayed, navigate through the pages using the Previous and Next buttons, or if you know the page number you want, you can enter it directly in the page field at the bottom of the screen.

What is a Retake?

Retakes are rescanned pages of documents that were not viewable in the initial scanned version of the document. These pages must be searched and viewed separately from the document itself.


Finding Retakes / Rescanned Pages in the Search Results

      1. From the search results for your book, check the Description/Comments column for the Retake link.
      2. Select the Retake link.
      3. The Retakes results will be displayed. Find your book number or geographic description in the list of results, and select the View Details button.
      4. When the book of rescanned pages is displayed, navigate through the pages using the Previous and Next buttons, or if you know the page number you want, you can enter it directly in the page field at the bottom of the screen.

Searching for Retakes directly

You can also search for Retakes directly.

      1. From the Book Category drop-down list, select Retake.
      2. In the Other Information field, add any relevant keywords to help refine your search results.
      3. Select the Search Books button.
      4. Find your book number in the list of results, and select the View Details button to the right of it.
      5. When the book pages are displayed, navigate through the pages using the Previous and Next buttons, or if you know the page number you want, you can enter it directly in the page field at the bottom of the screen.