Canadian Land Records

by E.B. Lapointe

Although this column can point to general sources of information on land grants in Canada, it is best to contact the archives within the province or territory if the reader has a specific question about land grants anywhere in Canada. Many records have been microfilmed and are available through inter-institutional loan, and many archives have published finding aids or guides which can be ordered before one starts to research.

There are two guides which have been published to help one locate a land record in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The first book is A Guide to Government Records of Newfoundland and the second is An Inventory of the Government Records Collection, and they are held by the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland & Labrador. Along with the books, one can search government records on the archives website. Please contact the archives at for more details.

There are indexed microfilm of land grants and petitions for land grants at the Nova Scotia Archives Records Management (, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS B3H 1W4.

Land grants before 1900 for Prince Edward Island are held on microfilm in the Public Archives & Records Office, P.O. Box 1000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7M4. After 1900, the records are held at the Registry of Deeds, P.O. Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8. The Island Register at also has a searchable database on it’s website called “The Prince Edward Island Land Record Database.”

In New Brunswick, land grants, including American Loyalist records, are contained on a website at From 1763 to 1803, over 9,000 people received land grants in New Brunswick, and they are listed online at the New Brunswick Land Grant Database.

In Quebec, all land records from 1763 to 1890 have been indexed by the Quebec Family History Society (QFHS), and are available as booklets from the society at a very modest fee. They may be contacted at the QFHS, P.O. Box 1026, Pointe-Claire, Quebec H9S 4H9. Their website address is

In Ontario, land grants such as those given under the Canada Company and the Peter Robinson Settlers from 1780 to 1920 are at the Archives of Ontario, 77 Granville Street West, Toronto, ON M7A 2R9. Their website address is . They have published the very helpful A Guide to Ontario Land Registry Records. ISBN 0-7779-0184-6

In the Library and Archives of Canada is a searchable database by surname of the Western Land Grants (1870-1930), of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and parts of British Columbia. They can be accessed through the website.

They are also on microfilm at the Archives of Manitoba, 200 Vaughn Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1T5 and on microfilm at the Saskatchewan Archives Board at 3 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A4, where they are indexed as a list of grants. Their website address is

The land grant records for Alberta are housed in the Provincial Archives of Alberta, 12845-102 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5N 0M6. Their website address is

There are two finding aids online at the British Columbia Archives at and they are the “Land Settlement Records for Railway Belt & Peace River Block, 1885-1949,” and the “British Columbia Department of Lands (Preemption Records to 1970)”.

Land records for the Northwest Territories and the Yukon are held at the Registrar of Titles, Northwest Territories Land Registration District, Yellowknife, NT X0E 1H0, and in the Yukon, after 1899, records are held at the Registrar of Land Titles, Whitehorse, YK Y1A 2C6


This ends the series of columns on how to find your Canadian ancestor. Subsequent columns will deal with various Canadian genealogy topics.

<< Canadian Connections

Additional Articles

  • Canadian Church Records
  • Civil Registrations - Part II
  • Civil Registrations - Part I

    "A former newspaper reporter in Canada's capital, Ottawa, I became interested in writing about genealogy when researching my own ancestor, Andrew Barclay, an American Loyalist from Boston, Massachusetts, early in 1990. Quickly, my interest spread beyond my own family, and by 1994, I was editing a genealogy newsletter and by 1997, I was editing the Sourcing Canada series of books. Since then, I have gone on to write "My Ancestor Was French Canadian" and a series of booklets on Canadian genealogy. I love to travel the Canadian and American countryside looking for interesting people and places to photograph and to write about." - E.B. Lapointe

  • What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
    click to view original photo