Ontario Newsroom

Celebrating Animals in the Archives

News Release

Celebrating Animals in the Archives

New exhibit to commemorate the importance of animals to the history of Ontario

Today, Ontario's Government for the People opened the new Archives of Ontario's ANIMALIA: Animals in the Archives exhibit, demonstrating the important role animals have played in the lives of Ontarians. 

"Animals have always been a key part of Ontario's history, helping to shape our past. From pets, to farming and hunting, to service animals, they hold a special place in our hearts and in our province. This exhibit will enrich the lives of audiences and create a better understanding of our history," said Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

The exhibit explores five distinct animal groups and their significance to Ontario's history: bears, birds, dogs, fish and horses.

Each animal's section will feature:

  • A summary of the animal's changing role in Ontario
  • A selection of records demonstrating the animal's importance in Ontario's past
  • A spotlight on the work of an external institution to document, study, and/or maintain the animal's role in Ontario
  • An interactive moment to engage visitors in the exhibit content.

"This free exhibit will also feature new curriculum-linked educational lesson kits and a workshop, making it fun and engaging for learners of all ages", said Walker.  

The exhibit is free and open during regular business hours. Learn more: http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/explore/gallery/gallery.aspx

Quick Facts

  • The Archives of Ontario’s exhibit programme makes archival records accessible to the public and tells important stories from the province’s past.
  • Thousands of visitors engage with the Archives of Ontario’s onsite exhibits each year.
  • ANIMALIA: Animals in the Archives features more than one hundred archival records documenting different species across Ontario as far back as the late 18th century.
  • The Archives of Ontario is the largest provincial archives in Canada and is located on the Keele Street Campus of York University.
  • The Archives of Ontario offers many services to the public, including research guidance on genealogy and other records holdings. Learn more: http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/public/public.aspx

Media Contacts

  • Jessica Georgakopoulos

    Minister’s Office


  • Harry Malhi,

    Ministry of Government and Consumer Services