OHS Reference Library

Over 5,500 titles related to Ontario’s history.

About Our Library

The Ontario Historical Society’s Reference Library contains over 5,500 titles related to Ontario’s history, and is open to the general public by appointment only. The library holdings can be found through The Ontario Historical Society’s online catalogue.

Collection Focus: The OHS Reference Library collection contains books, journals, and ephemera related to general Ontario history, with emphasis on First Nations history, Black history, built heritage, and biographies of prominent Ontarians.

To make an appointment, please contact OHS staff by emailing ohs@ontariohistoricalsociety.ca or calling (416) 226-9011 (toll-free 1 (866) 955-2755).

Visiting the OHS Reference Library

Location: The Reference Library is located in the Coach House at John McKenzie House, the offices of The Ontario Historical Society located at 34 Parkview Avenue, Willowdale. Please visit our Contact Us page for more information on our office location.

If you know of a specific title, subject, or research topic you’d like to view during your appointment, please let staff know and we will try to have the appropriate titles ready for you!

The OHS Reference Library is committed to providing access for all readers – if you use a mobility device or are unable to climb stairs, please let staff know prior to your visit and we will bring requested library materials to you in an accessible workstation in our office building during your appointment.

The OHS Reference Library is a scent-free environment, please refrain from using scented personal products when you come visit us. We thank you for sharing the air!

Our titles can be found and browsed through The Ontario Historical Society’s online catalogue hosted through LibraryThing’s online service.

Library Collection

Click on a subject area to view our current library holdings (opens in a new window):

Readers can also browse our catalogue holdings by author name.
The Reference Library also contains a complete collection of issues of our scholarly journal, Ontario History, from 1899 to the present.

Ebook Store

You may also be interested in visiting our Ebook Store, featuring many out of print titles published by The Ontario Historical Society.

Titles available for download and purchase include the following and many more.



Celebrating One Thousand Years of Ontario's History (Cover)
Tombstone Tales from Ontario's Cemeteries (Cover)
The Simcoe Legacy (Cover)
Preserving Ontario's Heritage (Cover)


An educational resource of 100+ titles is available to OHS members in our online Elibrary. Explore the archive of OHS and Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Toronto publications.

Titles available for download include the following and many more.



1988 Patterns of the Past Cover
The Simcoe Papers, Volume 1 cover
The Russell Papers, Volume 1 cover
1984 Rainy Day Detectives Cover