The Archdiocese covers a geographic region of the Great Lakes area, which stretches from the shores of Lake Ontario north to Georgian Bay. In total, the area covers some 13,000 square kilometers, comprised of intensely urban and suburban regions and also small cities, towns and rural areas. The Archdiocese of Toronto includes the City of Toronto, the regional municipalities of Peel, York and Durham that surround the City, as well as Simcoe County. The Diocese of Toronto was created from a portion of the Archdiocese of Kingston in 1841, encompassing the western half of Upper Canada. In 1856, the diocese was divided with the creation of the dioceses of Hamilton and London. In 1870 Toronto was raised to an Archdiocese. In 1958 the Archdiocese was further divided with the erection of the Diocese of St. Catharines.
Mandates/Sources of authority
In light of the Archbishop of Toronto’s responsibility to maintain both a diocesan archive where records concerning the spiritual and temporal affairs of the diocese are properly filed as well as a historical archive for material of historical value and of the Chancellor’s responsibility to ensure that the acts of the curia are kept safe in the Archives of the Curia, a Director of the Archives is mandated to administer in their name one institute for all these purposes. This institute, named the Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT), is the official repository for records and materials of any form, made or received by the Archdiocese of Toronto.
ARCAT fulfills the requirement of Canon Law that a diocesan archives be maintained.
Records management and collecting policies
ARCAT collects the official records of the Archdiocese of Toronto and those ancillary records which reflect the work of the Church within the Archdiocese. The purpose of preserving records is twofold: First, records need to be kept as evidence of business activity, in order to comply with regulatory and legislative requirements, and to support accountability. Secondly, records are kept for historical and cultural purposes. The materials preserved by ARCAT serve as an illustration of the life of the Archdiocese.
Records of the Archdiocese, including parish sacramental registers, administration fonds of the Bishops and Archbishops, parish historical records, records of clergy, religious orders, Catholic institutions, and organizations.
Finding aids, guides and publications
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 5:00. Reading room: Tuesday to Thursday, 9:30 to 12.30, 1.30-4.30. By appointment only.
Access conditions and requirements
The Catholic Pastoral Centre is located on the TTC subway line. Exit at Summerhill subway station. Turn right as you leave the station; the Catholic Pastoral Centre will be on your right, on the northeast corner of Yonge St. and Shaftesbury Ave.
There are two pay parking lots near the Catholic Pastoral Centre: the small lot is situated behind the Summerhill TTC station, on the north side of Shaftesbury Ave.; the second and much larger lot is located on Price St., two streets south.
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Genealogical (Thematic area)
Religion (Thematic area)
Ontario (Geographic subregion)
1155 Yonge Street, Suite 505 Toronto, Ontario CA M4T 1W2