Virtual Conference 2023 Ontario Ancestors, The Ontario Genealogical Society

Did your ancestor lease land in Upper Canada? Sponsored by the Halton-Peel Branch

Presented by: Jane E. MacNamara

Sponsored by:


For the sake of economy or a favourable location, some settlers may have leased rather than owned land. Discover these early records in Township Papers. 


A portion of each township in Ontario was reserved for the support of an Anglican clergy and schools. These lots were only available by lease—which meant many of early settlers did not own the land they lived on. Some got the opportunity to purchase the property later, but if not, the records of their occupancy can be hard to find. This session will look at records of clergy and school reserve leases as well as private rental agreements that have been preserved in the recently digitized Township Papers.