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Toronto's ward system -- basically, the way the city is split up for local government purposes -- has changed many times over the years. Today, there are 44 wards in the city. In 1834, there were only five, as well as "liberties" outside the settled part of the city.|
It is important to understand the basic layout of wards if you plan to make the most effective use of old census returns, directories and other source material. That is not as easy as it sounds, because it is hard to find maps that show all of the possible permutations of the ward boundaries.
The maps on this site show the 12 basic ward layouts that were used during the first 74 years of the city's existence. They were compiled based on the information included in more than a dozen Toronto histories and old reference books. Not surprisingly, at times the sources didn't agree -- and in those cases, the maps reflect the most likely choice.
Corrections and comments would be appreciated!
1876-1882 | 1883 | 1884-1886 | 1887-1888 | 1889-1891 | 1892-1905 | 1905-1908