The Toronto Public Library has a page called Historicity through which you can search old directories with keywords.
Thursday, March 18, 1999
I know my ancestors lived in Toronto. What I didn't know was how large it was! How do I begin my search ? I do have a old address but I have been told there is no city directory for the year 1854.
If your ancestors lived in Toronto longer than one year check the city directories for other years. City of Toronto Archives has a nearly continuous run of City directories from 1834 to 1940. Directories were not published for years 1835-36, 1838-42, 1845, 1848-49, 1852-55, 1857-58 and 1864-65. Also available are assessment rolls from 1834 on. It should be noted that information published in a directory for a given year was probably collected the previous year. To locate a person in the Toronto census it is necessary to locate their address in the census year (i.e. for 1861 census, check 1861 and 1862 directories. Suggested reading: Doris Bourrie, CGRS, Researching Canadian Census Records, Heritage Productions, Toronto or www.genealogystore.com . The GenWeb site dedicated to York County & Toronto will also be of help