Ontario Birth Records

Births, Marriages & Deaths were recorded initially by the church through their logs of baptisms, marriage ceremonies and burials. Few of these records survive and those that do can be a challenge to locate as there isn't a central respository for church records.

The Vital Statistics Act was passed in 1869 requiring that all births, marriages and deaths in Ontario be registered with the province. However, the Act wasn't enforced until the 1880's. These records are held by the provincial government and kept private for a specified period of time before being released to the public.

Unless marked with a $ all links to available records are free to view. Some websites may require free registration.
Record Years Available Who Can Obtain the Record Where Available
BaptismsSee Church Records
Birth Registrations1869-1917*- AnyoneArchives of Ontario
Family Search (1869-1912)
$ Ancestry (1869-1913)
Birth Certificates1918*-- The person named on the registration
- Parents of the person named on the registration
- Next-of-kin, executor or legal representative
  if the person named on the registration is deceased
$ Registrar General

*Until recently birth records were released to the public after 100 years, however new regulations changed that to 104 years. As a result birth records for 1918 won't be released to the Archives of Ontario until 2023.

Registrations vs. Certificates: Registrations are recorded at, or near, the time of birth by an informant who was present at the birth (historically a parent, close relation or a doctor). At the end of each year registrations were copied into a book and sent to the government. This book is what was microfilmed (later digitized). Certificates are certified copies of a registration and are issued by the government but only for the years indicated above. Certificates may or may not include all the information available on the registration and come in two forms - short and long (also known as the genealogical certificate). The short certificate contains information specific to the birth (name, date, place), while the long certificate includes names of parents if that information was registered.

Information in a birth registration Years this information is included
Child's Name1869+
Child's Sex1869+
Town / village / township where born1869+
Exact address where born1908+
Date of birth1869+
Date of registration1869+
Father's Name1869+
Father's Occupation1869+
Mother's Name1869+
Mother's Maiden Name1908+
Mother's Marital Status1908+
Mother's Occupation1908+
Mother's Previous Spouses1908+
Parents Date & Place of Marriage1908+
Informant's Name & Residence1869+
Informant's Relation to Child1908+
Name of Physician in Attendance1908+