body

About the Local History Collection

The Library owns an ever-growing historical and genealogical collection of the City, the Niagara River and Falls, and the Niagara Peninsula. The wide variety of rare material in these collections - including guidebooks, atlases, local histories, magazines, maps, photographs, art reproductions, newspapers, clippings, government reports and City Council minutes - are used extensively by staff and the public. 

These materials can be viewed at the Victoria Avenue library. Due to the rarity and nature of these materials they are not available for loan and cannot be borrowed through the InterLibrary Loan system.

Directories and Voter's Lists

City directories can be invaluable in any genealogist's search for that elusive ancestor. The library holds a complete print set of Vernon's Directories for the City of Niagara Falls from 1904 to the present. Voter's list for the city are held from the year 1949 to 2000. 

A directory will usually include  the name and occupation of the "head of the household" . Although these are nearly always male, women do appear when widowed or single, at a given address. By finding the first year your home appears in the city directories, you can arrive at a probable date of construction. By then working forward, you can compile a list of property owners and/or tenants.

In most city directories, street names and family surnames are listed in separate sections of each directory, in alphabetical order. Some early directories have either street names or family surnames, but not both. Many directories also include a list of businesses by type. Abbreviations used in the directories are explained in an index near the front of each directory.

LHC 929.37133 Ont 1851
Ontario Directory for 1851

LHC 929.3713 1857 Wil
Wilson, Thomas B. Directory of the Province of Ontario.1857. 

LHC 929.37133 Ont 1857-1858
Niagara Excerpts from Canada Directory for 1857-1858 

LHC 917.1338 1865 Nia
Thorold and neighbouring villages and hamlets 1869 field trip guide. (Includes Thorold and Chippawa). 

LHC 917.1351 Mit 1865
Mitchell and Co.'s Town of St. Catharines and Counties of Lincoln and Welland Directory, 1865. 

LHC Microfilm 1879
Directories Re.: Lincoln and Welland Counties 1879. 

LHC 324.64 Cro 1882-1966 
Crowland Township, Ontario Voters' List 1882-1966. 

LHC Microfilm 1885-1886 
Directories Re.: Lincoln and Welland Counties 1885-1886. 

LHC 917.13 P769 1886-1887 
Ontario Gazetteer and Business Directory 1886-1887.
(also available on microfilm) 

LHC Microfilm 1887 
Directories Re.: Lincoln and Welland Counties 1887. 

LHC 324.64 Wil 
Willoughby Township Voters' List, 1889, 1916, 1940, 1955. 

LHC 917.13 U58 1902 
The Union Publishing Company's Farmers and Business Directory for the Counties of Haldimand, Lincoln, Welland, and Wentworth. 

LHC 917.1338 Ver 1904- 
Vernon's City of Niagara Falls (Ontario) Directory ,1904 -to present

LHC 324.64 Nia 1949- 
Niagara Falls, Ontario Voters' List, 1949- to present