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  • UPDATE – Provincial announcement regarding public libraries and pickups


    We greatly appreciate the Province’s announcement that as part of the first phase of reopening libraries can begin to offer pick-up or delivery of materials. 

    There is a lot of work to do be able to offer these services while ensuring the safety of our employees and our customers. Our plan to resume our physical services needs to account for physical distancing requirements, provision of personal protective equipment, enhanced sanitary controls, and new protocols for employees and customers. We are working on offering holds pick-ups as soon as we can safely do so.  

    We will be communicating all new developments in our service offering to you on all our platforms, as soon as we have updates. 

    Thank you for your patience as we move through this rapidly evolving situation. 


    OPL branches, Bookmobile stops and Homebound delivery services are closed until June 30, 2020. The closure is in response to advice from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) with regards to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as the situation evolves. Currently, please note:  

    • Due dates for all currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended.
    • Book drops are not available since branches are closed. Hold on to OPL items and return them when branches reopen. 
    • Holds are suspended, and pick up expiry dates extended. This includes interlibrary loans (ILL).
    • Meeting room rentals are cancelled, and fees are being refunded; and
    • Computer bookings, programs, events and outreach activities are cancelled.
    • Expired cards, or those about to expire, have been extended. 

    You can use the Library online:

    We thank you for your patience and support, and we look forward to seeing you online and in person again soon.

Research guide: church records

Church records contain information on baptisms, marriages, and burials, and usually also give the date of birth and death.  Church records are particularly valuable for the period before civil registration began, or when the civil registration record cannot be found.  Beyond baptism, marriage, and burial information, church records may provide information about an ancestor’s place of origin, year and place of settlement, family members, etc.

Church registers are kept in the parish or in the archives of the particular denomination.  Transcriptions of many church registers have been published by genealogical societies.

Where to find church records

Library resources


The library has an extensive collection of church register transcriptions for individual parishes in Ontario and Quebec.  To find these:

Online resources

Ancestry Library

  • Drouin collection of parish registers of all denominations from Quebec; selected Catholic parish registers from Ontario
  • Many church record collections from other countries;  Explore by Location for the country you are interested in

Généalogie Québec

  • Quebec parish registers up to the 21st century


Archives of Ontario Church Records

  • List of Archives of Ontario’s microfilm holdings of Ontario church records. Sources of Religious Records in Ontario explains where to look for religious records not held by the provincial archives.

Search tips

  • To use church records effectively, you need to know the denomination.  Religious denomination can be found in census records.
  • Keep in mind that a family’s religious denomination may change over time.  Check the denomination in the census closest to the event that you are seeking.