Ministry of Natural Resources township survey plans Help

Ontario Government Record Series RG 1-470

Ministry of Natural Resources township survey plans

About these records

Ministry of Natural Resources township survey plans
Dates of Creation
Physical Description

335 plans

Scope and Content

Series consists of official, large- scale plans of Ontario townships which were prepared by the Surveyor General's Office and its successors. The maps were created by the Office of the Surveyor General, which was responsible for surveying the province. The preparation of plans and maps, both as field notes and as separate entities, was a fundamental component of the process of surveying. With townships serving as the basic unit for mapping and land division in the province, township plans were a necessary tool to be used in settlement and defensive planning.

Upon completion of a survey, the surveyor would submit his field notes, diaries, and related material to the Surveyor General's office. Then the surveyor or a draughtsman in the office would prepare finished plans based on the survey records. Numerous conventions of presentation were established in the office, including the designation of scales and the use of certain types of ink and colours for various purposes. For example, clergy reserves and crown reserves were often designated on township plans through the use of different colours of ink -- gray for clergy reserves and red for crown reserves. Plans used as office or working copies frequently include later additions of information.

Plans are arranged alphabetically by township name.

Some plans have reference notes which refer to MNR SR series Microfilm. These microfilm copies are currently retained by the Ministry of Natural Resources and are not available to researchers.

Restrictions on Access
Some plans may be closed for conservation reasons. Researchers must use reference copies when available.
Terms For Use and Reproduction
Copyright is primarily held by the Crown. There are no restrictions on reproduction. Permission of the Archives of Ontario is required for publication; submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast Form. Not all plans are in a condition which permits copying. One reproduction process may be preferable to another given the size/condition of the plan. Please consult with the Reference Archivist.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Plans were transferred directly to the Archives of Ontario from the Office of the Surveyor General.
Associated Material

The Crown Land Surveys office of the Ministry of Natural Resources continues to hold a large quantity of township plans. While, for the most part, these plans document the first or original survey of townships, a smaller number of plans relate to later resurveys. In addition, this office holds a large collection of partial surveys of townships.

Related Material

Office copies of township plans were used at the ministry to record Crown patent information and/or to document locations. Originally held by the Patents Office, these plans are now available through the Archives of Ontario Reading Room as Series RG 1-100, Patent plans.

Township plans also may be found in the Township plan collection (C 277), a collection of township plans of varying provenance, and can be found throughout the cartographic records of the Ministry of Transportation.


Accruals are received from the Ministry when plans are superseded. Further accruals are expected.

Finding Aid
An item list is available for this series.

View an online list of these records.

Agency or agencies that created these records

These records were created by the following Ontario government agency or agencies. Click on the agency reference code for information about this agency and other records it created.

1783-1791 :

Surveyor General's Office (BA139)

1791-1845 :

Surveyor General's Office (BA84)

1845-1867 :

Crown Lands Department (AA100) Surveying Department-Canada West (CA550)

1867-1870 :

Department of Crown Lands (AA49) Surveys Branch (CA504)

1870-1900 :

Department of Crown Lands (AA49) Surveys, Patents and Roads Branch (CA505)

1900-1905 :

Department of Crown Lands (AA49) Surveys and Patents Branch (CA506)

1905-1906 :

Department of Lands and Mines (AA50) Surveys and Patents Branch (CA506)

1906-1912 :

Department of Lands, Forests and Mines (AA51) Surveys and Patents Branch (CA506)

1912-1920 :

Department of Lands, Forests and Mines (AA51) Surveys Branch (CA507)

1941-1944 :

Department of Lands and Forests (AA52) Surveys Branch (CA507)

1941-1944 :

Department of Lands and Forests (AA52) Division of Surveys (CA508)

1944-1948 :

Department of Lands and Forests (AA52) Division of Surveys and Engineering (CA509)

How to order these records

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By Microfilm Interloan
This material is not available through Interloan.