Lovell's Canadian Dominion Directory (All six provinces) - 1871


Cat No.:   CA0192-S:

The full title of this enormous (more than 2,500 pages) book is: LOVELL'S CANADIAN DOMINION DIRECTORY FOR 1871 CONTAINING NAMES OF PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS MEN, AND OTHER INHABITANTS, IN THE CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES, THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCES OF ONTARIO, QUEBEC, NOVA SCOTIA, NEW BRUNSWICK, NEWFOUNDLAND, AND PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, and LISTS OF POST OFFICES, BANKS, GOVERNMENTAL DEPARTMENTS, HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, LAW COURTS, CUSTOM HOUSES, PORTS OF ENTRY, TARIFFS OF CUSTOMS, RAILWAYS, RAILWAY AND STEAMBOAT ROUTES, CLERGY, PATENTS OF INVENTION, BENEVOLENT AND RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES, REGISTRARS, NEWSPAPERS, &c, &c. also STATEMENTS OF IMPORTS AND EXPORTS, REVENUE, EXPENDITURE, TRADE, POPULATION, &c, &c. corrected to January, 1871. Other than the government's official census this is probably the most exhaustive single source of information on the inhabitants of The Dominion, and the two closely allied but still independent Provinces of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, in this period. In the Preface to the directory John Lovell, the editor and publisher, sets out the background to the conception and production of this mammoth work and from this it can be seen that his objective was to identify as many individuals as possible in the 6 Provinces. He did, however, appear to limit himself to listing only the heads of families and independent residents such as borders and roomers. Unlike so many contemporary directories, it includes people from all walks of life so laborers, farmers, tradesmen, merchants, professionals, military, clergy, politicians, consuls and even representatives of the Crown all get equal billing. We even noticed individuals declaring their occupation as Indian Chief and Huckster! Also in the alphabetically arranged lists are businesses and stores, usually showing the proprietor or manager as well as the address of the business. Frequently the business proprietors and managers are also listed in their own homes as well. Another unusual feature of this directory is that women who were widowed or who were heads of household in their own right are listed under their own names. Each listing for individuals gives the full name the occupation(s), the street address and an indication of the type of residence such as h for house, or bds for boards. The commercial listings give the name of the business, the nature of the business, the person to contact and the street address. Only the larger cities used house numbers, smaller places just gave the road name and sometimes an indication of a cross street or some other identifying feature, Villages frequently didn't even have (or didn't use) street names.

In addition to the wonderful alphabetical directories - one for each province - and the indexes to them, there are historical sketches of the country and the provinces, so called miscellaneous information about each province, i.e., the government and civil service, churches and clergy, major organizations, banks, etc., a post Office directory including a list of every post office in the 6 provinces, a list of all the railroads and steam ship lines in operation - even some of the stage routes, Customs Information, a list of patents of invention since 1834 (did your ancestor have a patent granted on his invention?), a report of the state of the Militia including the Active Militia List, a list of all the newspapers and periodicals being published and hundreds of pages of classified and illustrated advertising. And as long as this list is, it doesn't do full justice to the amazing wealth of additional information packed into this book. This is an essential resource for anyone researching Eastern and Central Canada in the late 1800's.

As with any 130+ year old reference work the passage of time has taken its toll and even though the book has been rebound it is in far from mint condition. Add to this that the original production was economically made, a little concentration and insight is required to make out a few words, We have taken great care to make the best scans of the pages we could get so the vast majority of the book presents no difficulty. We have made the book text searchable but, for the same reasons, the human reader will be able to make a more exhaustive search when the location to be searched is known. The alphabetical directory is divided into Provincial sections and within each section all the inhabited places, some 4,914 in total, are listed alphabetically, For each place there is an alphabetical listing of the inhabitants. This applies from the smallest post village of 10 inhabitants to Toronto and Montreal, the largest cities. For each place there is a brief description (not so brief for major cities) indicating the location, the access, the major facilities and the population. 

Searching the Library of Canada indicates that this was the last time Lovell published a single directory that attempted to include all the Canadian provinces. He issued a prospectus for a revision to this directory in the late 1880s but he doesn't appear to have received enough subscriptions to make it worth his while carrying through to the actual publication. This then is a valuable resource of the names of virtually all of the families living in the 4 Provinces of the Dominion and of Newfoundland and P.E.I in 1870/71.

In trying to assure ourselves of the comprehensive coverage of this directory we attempted to discover what Lovell meant by the phrase and other inhabitants in the title. Although it can only be a guess there are strong indications to support our interpretation that it is indeed a record of the names of the heads of every dwelling and many of the borders and roomers who were living in the 6 provinces. We based this on the findings of the 1881 & 1891 census which indicates that the average number of people in any inhabited dwelling was about 7 and 6.5 respectively. It seemed reasonable to assume that the 7 person average would also apply in 1871. Since the Directory gives the population for almost every place from villages of 10 inhabitants up to the largest cities it was easy to do random samples of the average number of inhabitants per entry for selected places and as this was usually about 7 it seems to support the conclusion that the listings were mainly one per household. We found this average number of people per entry tended to be smaller for cities and larger for rural settings and were significantly in excess of 7 per entry in some seasonal fishing villages (in Newfoundland for instance)and in some mining communities (in Nova Scotia) where it could be expected that the mining company supplied shanties actually on the mine's property for its workers and their families.

This is an enormous book of in excess of 2,500 pages. In order to make it more financially accessible to those who are only interested in one or two provinces we have published our reproduction in individual sections as well as the whole book. Each CD of an individual section provides the reader with all the indexes and general parts of the directory (including the illustrated advertising) as described above. These single province CDs are identified by a suffix to the CD product number: O for Ontario, Q for Quebec, B for New Brunswick, N for Nova Scotia, P for Prince Edward Island and M for Newfoundland. The CD of the complete directory has the suffix S.

We are indebted to the Historical Society of Ottawa for kindly loaning us this early directory so we could reproduce it for you on CD. Please join with us to thank them for their public spirited generosity in allowing us to make this rare and valuable book more accessible.

We have provided a free downloadable sampler of the book on our Downloads web page.

You can also reach the Sampler by clicking on the following link Sampler

You can return to this page by closing the Sampler Page when you are ready to purchase.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   1-897338-70-8;