The Province of Nova Scotia now offers online access to a variety of maps and survey plans from historic map collections, find out how you can download some of these old maps of Nova Scotia …
In 1971-72 Dr. William Howard Pugsley, donated his collection of early Canadian maps that he had collected during the late 1930s and World War II. Download digital scans of these 50 early Canadian historical maps published between 1556 to 1857 that help explain the discovery and exploration of early North America.
If you are looking for Manitoba Historical Maps then you will want to check out the 1000+ maps of Winnipeg, Brandon and other regions of Manitoba that are now scanned and available online.
Historical Maps can be a great resource to help people learn more about certain geography at a particular point in time, help locate where our ancestors lived, or help us understand how a neighborhood or surrounding area changed over time. Because older maps were created by hand, they tend to be more artistic and visually appealing and thus can be attention grabbers.
Historical Maps have existed in libraries & various personal collections for years but thanks to advancement in digital technology and the internet, we have started to see more old maps being shared in the geospatial community.
The Historical Maps of Toronto blog created by historical maps enthusiast Nathan Ng provides simple and free access to a large selection of notable historical maps of the Toronto area that have been scanned from collections at the Toronto Library and the Toronto archives. He started the site as a way to generate more curiosity for geography, and as a way to provide an easy entry point for people to discovery and further investigate historical cartography.
Maps on the site generally have public domain status (except where otherwise noted) and can be downloaded, printed and shared.
Some of the maps in the collection include:
- 1787-1805 Plan of the Toronto Purchase
- 1788 Mann Plan of Torento Harbour with the proposed Town and part of the Settlement
- 1791 Jones An Accurate Plan of a Survey of the River Trent, North [Shore] of Lake Ontario to Toronto
- 1792 Bouchette Plan of Toronto Harbour
- 1793 Aitken Plan of York Harbour Surveyed by order of Lt. Gov. Simcoe
- 1797 Smith Plan for the enlargement of York
- 1801 Elmsley: Sketch of a Part of the Town of York
- 1802 Chewett Plan of 916 1/4 acres, in the Township of York in Upper Canada—property of the Honble. D.W. Smith
- 1811 Wilmot Plan Shewing the Survey of the land Reserved for Government Buildings, East end of the Town of York
- 1817 Smith Plan of York, U.C.
- 1818 Phillpotts Plan of York
- 1834 Chewett Plan of the City of Toronto and Liberties
- 1834 Alpheus Todd Engraved Plan of the City of Toronto
- 1836 Lynn: Plan of Building Lots in Toronto the Property of the Hon. Peter McGill
- 1837 Hawkins: Toronto Military Reserve [Feb. 1837]
- 1842 Cane Topographical Plan of the City and Liberties of Toronto
- 1870 Canadian Railway News Bird’s Eye View of Toronto
- 1876 Gascard City of Toronto Bird’s Eye View from the Northern Railway Elevator
- 1886 Wesbroom: City of Toronto [Bird’s Eye View]
- 1892 Toronto Railway Company Map Shewing Toronto Street Railway Lines
Plus many more, click here for a full list of Historical Maps of Toronto maps available
Online Toronto Historic Maps comparison tool
Are you a resident of the Greater Toronto area and want to know what your community looked like 50 years ago?
Well Nathan Ng has also taken his blog a step further by teaming up with Esri to create the Online Toronto Historic Maps comparison tool. This free web application provides people with the ability to compare different places in Toronto through time from 2013 back to 1818.
Historical paper maps from the Toronto Library and the Toronto archives were scanned, georeferenced, mosaiked and then combined so that people could compare them with one another using a simple easy to use interface that anyone could use.
Interactive Historical Maps of Fredericton
A collection of historical maps and plans of Fredericton, New Brunswick are freely available to the general public.They have been georeferenced so that they can be visualized with various mapping applications, includes metadata and tools for searching have been incorporated.
The Provincial Archives and UNB maintain a rich collection of historical maps, plans and other survey information for New Brunswick dating back to the early 1800s. This resource, as valuable as it can be, often is limited to those that are able to go to these locations. due to the information being contained in the form of microfiche and paper formats (just like most traditional archive data sets found in most places usually are). However, a series of this information for the city of Fredericton has been scanned and now already available in digital format.
A team from UNB have taken things further and applied some of the digital versions with geospatial web technology providing a valuable interactive resource of historical information that anyone with web access can use. Their system uses common online free mapping systems like Google maps or Bing maps. A detailed overview of the project was covered in Gematica (Volume 67, Number 3), a professional geomatics journal published by the CIG.
The application offers limited tools making it easy for anyone to use, all the user needs to do is simply scroll down and select the historic map or plan that they would like to view and then click the visualize button. A new window will open up with that historic information superimposed on top of a modern online map (with the option to choose either Google or Bing maps).There is a transparency slider that allows the user to adjust the amount of current information that they would like to be visible and the mouse is used to scroll around and zoom into various locations.
Metadata buttons exist to for each data set providing detailed information as well as the option to download a KML version of the map or plan to use with Google Earth. Unlike online web maps, Google Earth allows users to change the orientation of the map, incorporate an exaggerated terrain and add more data layers. An OGC WMS Server link is also provided (http://gaia.gge.unb.ca:8080/geoserver/wms) for those that are interested in using the historic data with their desktop GIS applications like ArcGIS.
To browse these historic maps and plans of Fredericton, New Brunswick see http://gaia.gge.unb.ca/wsp/maps/index.html
Check out other Canadian Historical Data sets that we have discovered and if you know of some that we have missed then let us know so we can add them to our resource lists.
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