City directories provide information about the occupant who resides at a property and also their occupation (if known). Prior to 1880, the directories provide an alphabetical listing of names but not the corresponding house number, while later versions will include this information. Most useful is the street section, organized by each side of the street and address number -- so an address can be traced through the years.
City directories also contain business listings, advertisements, municipal information, history of community and county sections. Archives Staff can provide instruction on the use of the city directories and the microform readers.
The London city directories are available in the Reading Room for:
• 1856-1961 on microfilm or microfiche;
• 1961-2013 in book format.
Library and Archives Canada has digitized some of the earliest London city directories, circa 1856-1901. They are in PDF format and are available here.
For a guide to abbreviations used in the directories, see the Guide to City Directories published by the Toronto Public Library.