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Genealogy & Local History

The Orilliana Collection includes original materials for the City of Orillia and the local townships. This collection does not circulate, but is available for viewing at the Library. This collection is housed in our Local History Room.  Local History Room hours are as follows:

Hours for 2017:
Mondays: 10:00am-12:00pm
Thursdays: 2:00-4:00pm
Or by appointment

(Please note: While we strive to provide staff during these appointed hours, we recommend you call ahead to ensure the room is open during these times.)

Please call the Information Services Desk at705-325-2338 for more information or to make an appointment. 

Materials include:

  • Books, diaries and manuscripts
  • William Sword Frost Scrapbook
  • Minutes
  • Maps
  • Photographs and other memorabilia
  • Selected municipal documents
  • Cemetery records
  • Orillia newspapers from 1867 on microfilm
  • Some census records
  • City directories and local business information

In the local history area of our non-fiction collection are a large number of books on genealogy. Browse through the collection and take something home.  You can also book a public computer and open the database Ancestry.ca (Library Edition). Try typing in the name of one of your ancestors. You might be surprised at what you find!. Ancestry.ca must be accessed on a Library computer. Another way for the Library to help you with your search for those missing ancestors is to join the Library's Genealogy Club. The Club meets the third Thursday of each month at 1:30 pm. Beginners to experts all welcome! For more information call 705-325-2338705-325-2338 or email us.

Local History/Genealogical Assistance for non-residents

The Orillia Public Library will answer specific questions about Orillia local history and genealogy from non-residents.  Due to the increasing number of research inquiries and the demands upon staff time, it has become necessary to impose a fee.

The fee schedule is as follows:

Basic Research Question:
Research to involve less than 15 minutes of staff time and only one source or three exact date look-ups (newspaper, cemetery, etc.)
$8.00

Complex Research Question:
Research which involves not more than one hour of staff time.
$25.00

Payment for research questions must be received along with a written request before any research is conducted.  We accept credit card payments through our Canada Helps account (please select "Genealogy Research" under "Select the Fund Your Donation Will Support" Field).  If paying through Canada Helps, please indicate your search request in the "Message to the Orillia Public Library" Field.  If you wish to include further information, you may also email us.

Alternatively, you may pay by cheque or money order (payable to the Orillia Public Library) mailed to the following:

Local History Department
Orillia Public Library
36 Mississaga Street West
Orillia, ON
L3V 3A6

Please note that payment of the non-refundable fee does not guarantee that we will be able to find the requested information in our sources.

Please call 705-325-2338 or email us for more information.