Media Coverage and Reactions

I’m delighted to be the recipient of the 2014 Heritage Toronto Award of Merit. It’s an honour to know that people are using this site as a research resource. Heritage Toronto Award: Historical Maps of Toronto

Highlights from print, television, radio, and the internet, as well as some choice quotes:

The Toronto Star
Online Toronto maps project puts the history of familiar streets a click away
by Tim Alamenciak

“Toronto’s Nathan Ng noticed there’s a wealth of historical maps of Toronto, but they’re hard to browse; his website posts them in an accessible way for everyone”
[Download as: PDF]

CTV News
Toronto’s History Just a Click Away
Interview by Marcia MacMillan

CBC Metro Morning 
Historical Maps of Toronto interview: Nathan Ng
Interview by host Matt Galloway
Press the orange 'Play' button to listen (or click the above link if the button does not appear):


Tracing Toronto’s History Through Maps
by Jamie Bradburn

“A new website takes a cartographic approach to charting Toronto’s past”

The Canadian Encyclopedia—TCE Blog
Historical Maps of Toronto: Q&A with Nathan Ng
by Davina Choy

“Maps! These visual, information-rich records show us where we are and where we’ve been. What would we do without them? ... We picked Nathan’s brain about his love for maps, the Historical Maps of Toronto project, and his thoughts on the internet’s role in history education.”

Historical Maps of Toronto – a collection of maps to amuse, delight and inform

Jim Clifford from asked me to take a step back and explain why I invested the time and effort to put it all together. What made it so important to share these dusty old maps?

Notable Quotes and Reactions

Click the quotes to view original context/source; some have been excerpted for clarity. Note: Inclusion does not imply endorsement—but the words pretty much speak for themselves.

“A true labour of love [...] this work has given fans of our city’s fascinating history a wonderful new research tool.”
–Mike Filey, author & columnist for The Way We Were, Toronto Sun

“I’ve seen many of these items but have never seen a large collection of historical Toronto maps pulled together like this.”
–Larry Richards, Dean (Fmr.), John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, University of Toronto

“...a fabulous, civic-minded project.”
–John Lorinc, journalist, and Senior Editor–Spacing magazine

“... indeed pretty wonderful.”
–Christopher Moore, Canadian historian, journalist & author

“Gathers a wonderful selection of maps and arranges them chronologically.”
–Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

“Really cool!”
–Paul Ainslie, Councillor: City of Toronto, Ward 43 Scarborough East

“Excellent resource for historical geography.”
–Sean Kheraj, Professor of Canadian & Environmental History, York University

“What a great contribution to Toronto history online!”
–Alden Cunanin, Toronto Before

“An excellent online collection of historical maps relating to Toronto.”
–Brent Wiancko, War of 1812 RealTime project author

“... a fantastic collection.”
–Mike Reid, historian

“For all you map junkies — check out oldtorontomaps. #TOHistory #Cartophile”
–Daniel Thomson, Asst. Director, Explosion 1812; producer, Hangman’s Graveyard

“This too.”
–Chris Bateman, blogTO Staff Writer

“... useful for research or for general browsing [...] Hats off to the creator.”
–The Toronto Post

“Beautiful collection.”
–Mackenzie House, Toronto Historic Museums

“... a helpful resource for sure!”
–Adam Bunch, Toronto Dreams Project

“Nicely done.”
–Rowan Caister, TOHandbook author

“It’s great to see historical information made easily and freely accessible.”
–Toronto Area Archivists Group (TAAG)

“A window onto the streets of old Muddy York.”
–Jeff Hynds, English teacher

“Cool new website rewinds Toronto’s cartographic past.”
–Globe and Mail, Life

“Beautiful and historical maps of #TO go digital. No more digging through city archives!”
–Balzac’s Coffee

“Very cool project: man puts old Toronto maps online, makes ‘em easily findable”
–Daniel Dale, City Hall Reporter, Toronto Star

“...easy to use and navigate.”
–South Armour Heights Neighbourhood Residents Association

“...Very useful site...”
–St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association

“If you’ve ever toiled away at researching the history for your neighbourhood the City’s historical maps are generally the first place you look. Recently a website was created for these maps and is very extensive and easy to use.”
–North Rosedale Ratepayer’s Association

“I’ll be using the site when called to do research in Toronto.”
–Elizabeth Lapointe, Canadian genealogist

“Wonderful free online Toronto maps...”
–, Canadian Genealogy Research

“A great resource.”
–Antonio Gomez-Palacio, DIALOG founding partner

“A fantastic perspective on the history of growth in Toronto.”
–Anthony Leclair, Swept Media

–Jane MacNamara, Family and local history researcher, teacher, and author

“Get lost! A chronological feast of Toronto maps.”
–TPL Teens: Word Out @ TPL, Official feed for teens’ books & events at the Toronto Public Library

“Students of Toronto history will marvel at the sheer scope of change that has occurred since the city’s incorporation...”
Rapport: Ontario History and Social Sciences Teacher’s Association Quarterly

“Showcases Toronto’s first century and vision for the city, delving deep into the city's past.”
–Alana Charles, Curbed Toronto

“Check out Nathan Ng’s fascinating website... where I have no doubt you’ll be educated and entertained for hours.”
–Mike Filey (yes, a second time), author & columnist for The Way We Were, Toronto Sun

More Coverage...

The City Centre Mirror
Finding city’s history through online maps (p.9)
by Justin Skinner

“Downtown Toronto resident creates two websites to give residents access to maps”

Toronto Standard
Historical Maps of Toronto Now Available Online
by Eva Voinigescu

“Project digitizes maps previously available only through the Reference Library and City Archives”

Zoomable 1858 Boulton Atlas

When I posted (with the help of Carrie Martin) the 1858 Atlas of the City of Toronto and Vicinity in zoomable form as part of the project, reaction was warm:

CBC Metro Morning 
Zoomable 1858 Boulton Atlas discussion
Matt Galloway discusses my posting of the 1858 Boulton Atlas of the City of Toronto.
Press the orange 'Play' button to listen:

Google Maps in Toronto, the 1858 version
by Chris Bateman

“Enter Nathan Ng, Toronto's map hero. His latest project - following on from three comprehensive archives of Toronto maps that collect the earliest sketches by the area's first visitors, plans of Fort York, and detailed insurance plans - brings the separate pieces of a 155-year-old street plan in to the 21st century with the help of some much-needed navigation tools.”

The Huffington Post
Toronto 1858 'Google' Map Is A History Nerd’s Dream

“What did Toronto look like in 1858? Well, there were probably lots of horses, fewer buildings and more men wearing top hats.

Toronto writer and history enthusiast Nathan Ng (with the help of a few friends) stitched together map plates from an 1858 survey of Toronto into an interactive map that gives you a great sense of scale of the growing Victorian city.”

“Historical map aficionado Nathan Ng has put together an incredible little widget.”
–Steve Kupferman, Torontoist [now Asst. Editor, Toronto Life]

Fort York and Garrison Common Maps Coverage

The Globe and Mail
by John Lorinc

“...a thoroughly 21st-century collaboration, which seeks to make the fort’s rich, but largely paper-based, mapping legacy readily available to the citizen historians who trawl the Web.”

“Check out this neat site looking at evolution of Fort York - really neat old maps.”
–Shawn Micallef, author & Spacing co-founder

“Another collection of cartographical wonders”
–Chris Bateman, blogTO Staff Writer

“Using modern day tools to map Fort York. Very cool.”
–Champlain Society

“What a great resource!”
–Archaeological Services Inc.

“... for all your reference and procrastinating needs”
–Hamutal Dotan, Torontoist Editor-in-Chief [wrt Goad’s Atlas—Online!]

Toronto Historical Map Viewer Project

This recent project by Chris Olsen (which used my aggregation of Goad Atlas plates) is a wonderful example of why freely sharing these maps benefits everyone. This important new tool garnered attention in Torontoist, BlogTO, and Metro News.