Search for Paper Maps

The Geospatial, Map and Data Centre houses a collection of over 20,000 paper maps. The collection includes a full set of the National Topographic System (NTS) at scales including 1:250K, 1:50K. The majority of the remaining topographic and thematic maps in the collection focus on Southern Ontario and the Toronto region with various series issued by the Province and municipalities. In addition, a small selection of maps cover the rest of Canada and other countries around the world.

How do I Search for Paper Maps?

With the exception of the National Topographic System maps, the entire paper map collection can be searched using the two following methods:

Method 1

Step 1: Connect to the RULA Catalogue – Advanced Keyword Search

Step 2: Under ‘Optional Search Limits’ – select ‘Map’ from the ‘Material Type’ drop-down options to limit the search results to the paper map inventory.

Step 3: Type keywords in the search box e.g. Toronto Property Data Maps

Method 2

Step 1: Connect to the RULA Homepage and type keywords in the ‘Search Everything’ search box e.g. Peel County Soils

Step 2: In the search results, under ‘Content Type’ – include ‘Map’ from the options to limit the search results to the paper map inventory.

Browse Key Topographic and Thematic Map Series

A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground including features such as culture, water, relief, and vegetation.

Information along the map borders and on the back of the map provides details such as scale and scale conversion, the legend and the year the information on the map was last updated.

A thematic map is a special purpose map portraying information on a single topic or a set of topics. It may feature cultural information, such as population, or physical information, such as annual rainfall. A thematic map often contains generalized data and information is simplified to make the map easier to read. Below are some of the thematic map series in the collection

  • Property Data Maps: Call # G3464.T7 G46 S1 T6 to G3464.T7 G46 S2 2007 T6
    • These maps display property locations and boundaries for a given area. They contain attributes such as tax roll number, street code, streets, roads, buildings, drainage, spot elevation and more. Ryerson Library has a collection of these maps for years 1978, 1985, 1991, 1999, 2003 and 2007
    • The Library’s GMDC Inventory contains Property data maps for the City of Toronto in pdf, dwg and shape format for 2004 and 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013
  • Toronto Photomaps: Call # G3464.T7 A4 1981 T68 to G3464.T7 A4 1997 T68
    • These are photography maps of the former Metropolitan Toronto (now the City of Toronto). The Ryerson Library has these maps for the following years: 1981, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994 and 1997.
  • Census Maps: Call # G3464.T69 E25 1976.S73 to G3464.T69 E25 2001 C35
    • Census Tract (CT), Enumeration Area (EA) and Dissemination Area (DA) maps are published by Statistics Canada. A Census Tract is a geographical area defined by Statistics Canada and usually having a population between 2500 and 8000. An Enumeration Area (pre-2001 terminology) and a Dissemination area (post-1996 terminology) is a much smaller area containing one or more neighbouring blocks.
    • The Ryerson Library has CT maps for CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) Toronto for 1976 onwards. Search the library catalogue for call numbers.
    • Enumeration Area Maps are available for the individual metropolitan municipalities of Toronto for the 1991 Census.
    • Reference maps for Census Tracts and Dissemination Areas for 2006 Census are available online via Statistic Canada’s website.
  • Ontario Base Maps (OBM): Call # G3460 1969.R69 to G3461.J3
    • The OBMs cover the province at scales of 1:20,000 in Northern Ontario and 1:10,000 in Southern Ontario. A complete set is available on microfiche. These maps contains the geographical references of the topographic, cultural and cadastral features of Ontario, such as hydrography, vegetation, transportation, buildings and parks.
    • The Ryerson Library has a very small collection of printed OBMs.
    • The Ministry of Natural Resources provides Ontario Base Maps (OBMs) which cover most of Ontario. OBMs in GIS file format can be accessed here.
  • Soil Maps: Call # G3461.J3 svar. C36 (1-63)
    • These maps illustrate the general location of soils in a given area of Ontario
    • Reports and maps also can be found by searching the library catalogue.
    • There is not a soil map for the city of Toronto but related maps including one for the ‘Quaternary geology of Toronto and surrounding area, southern Ontario’ can be download via the Scholars GeoPortal.