Property research

The Archives holds a wide variety of government and non-government records useful for investigating the history of properties and structures within Peel.

Government land records include registered deeds and property tax records as well as bylaws and planning records. Non-government records include maps, photographs, newspapers, and local and family histories.

Important guidelines

  • The legal description (not the street address) of properties is essential for accessing government land records. Legal descriptions are available on property tax assessments, through your municipal town hall, or (for Mississauga and Brampton residents) through city online portals (see Municipal property and lot information).
  • There is no single existing file of all available information on a property. You’ll need to consult a variety of specialized records.
  • With rare exceptions, the Archives does not hold blueprints or surveys for individual buildings. If these exist, they are still in private hands or with your local municipality.
  • The Archives does not designate heritage structures. For this service, or to find out if your property is already listed or designated, contact your municipal heritage office:

To learn more about approaching property research, check out our blog post on Peel property research, our downloadable Property Research in Peel guide, or contact us.

Frequently used records

Ontario Land Registry records

The Archives holds copies of provincial deed information for registered lots within Peel, including the Abstract Indexes to Deeds, and associated Copybooks.

Dates run from Patent (first registration) to about the mid-20th century.

Recorded information: Owners of lots, instrument (deed) reference numbers, transaction details including surveying boundaries of lots (in textual form) and lot value. Build dates of structures can sometimes be inferred but are not recorded per se. Builders, architects, or details of structures on lots are not recorded.

Special note: The Province of Ontario officially administers these records. You can also access them through the Peel Land Registry Office (LRO) through the LRO’s online portal, OnLand (see Online Resources and Link for more information).

Municipal property tax records (assessment rolls)

The Archives holds sets of assessment rolls for lots within the current and historic municipalities of Peel.

Dates are highly variable, ranging from the mid-19th century to the later-20th century, depending on the municipality. There are significant or fragmentary gaps in coverage.

Recorded information: The tax rolls record the person paying tax on the property (not necessarily the owner) and the tax owed. Some earlier rolls record some information about this person and about structures on the lots. They do not record build dates (these can sometimes be inferred), architects, or builders.

Maps and plans

Check out our Maps and Plans guide and our Fire Insurance Plans guide for an overview of our collection strengths. 

Family and local histories

Numerous published and unpublished local histories exist. While sometimes they address a particular property, often their value lies in establishing the social and geographical context of that property.

Frequently used histories include:

  • The William Perkins Bull series including the family files, towns and villages files, and annotated land records.
  • Women’s Institute Histories (“Tweedsmuir histories”)
  • Published local histories found in our Reading Room.

Online resources and links

The links in this section are largely to Peel-related content offered by other organizations that may be useful for Peel property research. Some of the records linked to are duplicates of records held in the Archives.

We suggest these external sources as a courtesy, but please note that we are not responsible for the content or functionality of non-regional sources.

Using OnLand for registered land records

The Province of Ontario is officially responsible for land ownership (registration) records. Copies of deeds (instruments) and indexes (lists) of deeds are held by the Land Registry Office

The Land Registry Office provides digital access to land records via its online portal OnLand. Here are some search tips. However, please note that LRO staff are your best guide to using this material. 

To find historical indexes to deeds (abstract books).

For instruments (deeds):

The  Archives of Ontario also holds some copies of land records on microfilm. Watch their website for their opening status.

Municipal property and lot information

  • Lots and concessions in Peel Region is an interactive map created by Region of Peel Integrated Planning which can help you determine what Lot and Concession a piece of property is located in.

  • City of Mississauga Property Information is a database maintained by the City of Mississauga where you can access various information pertaining to a street address, including the legal description of that property.

  • City of Brampton Property Assumption Status is a database maintained by the City of Brampton where you can access various information pertaining to a street address

  • Map of M-plans is a tool created by Region of Peel Integrated Planning which provides access to one type of subdivision plans. The plans show boundaries of lots in relation to one another.

Aerial photographs

These links are to aerial photographs provided by other organizations. Please contact those organizations with any inquiries.

  • City of Mississauga aerials, beginning in 1944 (partial) and 1954 (complete), up to 2020. To access, look for the blue diamond button, meant to signify layers.
  • City of Brampton GeoHub orthophotos, aerials from 2000, 2004, 2011
  • Town of Caledon aerials, from 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and annual from 2013 to 2020 
  • Historic Hamilton Portal, posted by McMaster University Library, which offers aerials of southern Toronto Township (Mississauga) in 1959, Clarkson in 1962, and parallel to the QEW in 1970
  • City of Toronto Archives aerial photographs, Brampton and Mississauga 1961, 1968, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992. Note that Brampton is partial for each year. Mississauga's coverage is complete or near complete in earlier years, but eventually contracts in to portions near the Etobicoke border.

Peel property records via FamilySearch.org

The free genealogy subscription website FamilySearch.org is gradually uploading copies of selected Peel land records, including abstract indexes to deeds, assessment rolls, and Township papers (early correspondence and other records regarding lots prior to first patent). You will need to register for a free account to access these links. Here are the available reels:

Early land registration

Library and Archives Canada and the Archives of Ontario retain and provide access to the earliest land records of Canada, including land within Peel. Such records include land petitions and patents. Please consult their guides to land records for links to their online offerings.

Indigenous land history and treaties

Land in the Region of Peel is subject to historical treaties numbered 19, 14, 22 and 23 with the area’s Indigenous peoples. You can learn more about treaties in general and some of these treaties via these sites.

  • Treaties and Agreements, is a Government of Canada site that provides information about the function of treaties as well as links to texts of selected treaties.
  • The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation provide historical land agreement information on their own site.
  • The Mississaugas is a series of articles produced by Heritage Mississauga which outlines treaties and the reservation along the Credit River.
  • Indian Treaties and Surrenders 1680-1890 is a book published in 1905 that indexes and reprints the text for historical treaties in Canada. The table of contents provides direction for looking up treaties by township or peoples (in the case of Peel, the Mississaugas).