Project to Digitize Ontario Legislation “Going Like Gangbusters”

The notice from Quicklaw about legislation that Shaunna just mentioned has been causing a fair bit of discussion in TALL‘s listserv. As a result, Louis Mirando, Chief Law Librarian at Osgoode Hall Law School has described the Ontario historical legislation digitizing project that is currently underway. With a slight bit of editing, here is Louis’ message, reprinted with permission:

most recent efforts have been undertaken as part of, and are funded by, the “Ontario Digitization Initiative” (ODI) of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). As its pilot ODI project, OCUL is digitizing Ontario legislative materials from the colonial period to 2000. The materials are being provided by the Ontario Legislative Library, the University of Toronto’s Bora Laskin Law Library and the Osgoode Hall Law School Library at York University. To date, the following materials have been digitized:

  • Ontario Bills (1st, 2nd & 3rd readings) – 1868-2007
  • Ontario Signed Bills (i.e., Royal Assent copies with signatures) — 1975-2007

The following materials are in process:

  • Ontario Statutes (including all revisions): 1797-1999
  • Ontario Gazette (Regulations): 1942-1999

On its own initiative, the Legislative Library has already digitized:

  • Ontario Legslative Debates (Hansard), 1947-1980
  • Ontario Legislative Journals, 1867-2005

The scanning is being done by the Internet Archive’s text scanning facility at the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library and all the documents will be available on the Internet Archive ( All are available in multiple formats (PDF, flip-book, TXT) and are full-text searchable. Currently, all materials are available as “volumes” (e.g., complete volume annual or sessional volume of statutes), not as individual documents (individual statutes).

The long-term goal of OCUL’s Ontario Digitization Initiative is to digitize all Ontario government documents that were not “born digital”. We’re currently looking for funding to undertake the scanning of the Committee Debates and also the reports of all Ontario royal commissions and commissions of inquiry, including background/research papers.

If you’d like more information about this initiative or have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Louis Mirando
Chief Law Librarian
Osgoode Hall Law School, York University


  1. Great initiative. With respect to the statutes, I very much hope that we will eventually see these in CanLII as well!