Collection Highlights

Topographic maps can provide historical snapshots that allow you to explore changes to an area over time. Check out the examples below to see how these maps can be used to visualize transforming landscapes, urban areas, and waterways in Ontario.

Old maps are cool! If you are using these maps in an interesting way, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us and let us know how you are using these maps in your own projects.

The Port Lands of Toronto

(areas forming the Don River Delta and Ashbridge’s Bay)

Left: Early development and Keating Channel (1909-1915)

Right: Early Land Filling and Shipping Channels (1918)


Urban Growth in the Ottawa area

Left: Early Urban Development (1908)

Right: Expansion into the west end, and north of the Rideau River. Significant increase in paved roads (1932).


Thames River Flooding in London

Left: The Thames River in 1923, 14 years before the April flood which caused loss of life and property damage.

Right: After the construction of the Fanshawe Dam & Reservoir in 1950 built to control water flow and minimize flood damage.


More information