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Student Guide for Legal Research



e-Laws is an online database that makes available official copies of Ontario legislation. e-Laws maintains all annual, consolidated, period-in-time and repealed/revoked/spent statutes and regulations of the province from the early 2000s to present. It also maintains some very helpful tables that make working with Ontario legislation all the easier. 


The Consolidated Laws section on e-Laws houses statutes and regulations, both current and repealed/revoked/spent, with all the amendments, revisions or changes incorporated into the text. Each piece of legislation on the e-Laws website has a currency date and a consolidation period near the top of the page, which indicate to when the text is current. Along with an interactive table of contents, each piece of consolidated legislation has a "Last amendment" section that cites to the omnibus statute responsible for the last amendment made to the legislation, as well as a list of source notes which comprise the legislative history of the statute. 

               Source Notes

 A very important component of e-Laws Consolidated Laws, and an integral tool when conducting legislative research, is the source notes included at the bottom of each section. These little bread crumbs cite to legislation that has affected the associated section in some way.  For more information on how to use and interpret source notes, look to our blog post Legal Research Survival Guide, Part 4 – Following the Breadcrumbs: Source Notes and How to Use Them.

               Historical Versions

The "Versions" tab of the e-Laws website is an extremely useful tool that makes available the historical versions of legislation at each stage (reflective of amendments) of its life through time. The linked dates that can be found under the "Versions" tab indicate the period of time for which the historical snapshot of the act is current. Historical versions of acts and regulations are available on e-Laws as far back as 2001. For more information on how to find historical versions of legislation on e-Laws, look to our blog post Finding Legislative Histories on eLaws: A Refresher.

               Regulations under this Act

Each Consolidated statute contains a "Regulations under this Act" tab which is a handy tool that gathers, consolidates and links to all regulations made under the statute. 

Source Law 

You can also search for source law, or annual statutes and regulations, on the e-Laws website. The e-Laws website has annual statutes and regulations going as far back as 2000. Annual statutes and regulations often amend other legislation, repeal and replace other legislation, or serve as the first enactment of legislation. 


There are quite a few helpful tables on e-Laws, with the two listed below being particularly helpful in conducting legislative historic research: 

               Public Statutes and Ministers Responsible

Some notable components of this table include the title of the statute, its citation, whether the act has been repealed and the legislative history of the statute. The "Legislative History" provides the source note of the piece of legislation responsible for affecting the source law in some way. This table lists public statutes going back to the beginning of 1991. 


Sometimes, provisions of a statute can't come into force unless a proclamation is issued by the Lieutenant Governor. This table specifies the date such provisions came into force, or will come into force, under the Lieutenant Governor's proclamation. It also indicates if a proclamation hasn't been issued yet. This table lists public statutes and provisions of public statutes that were included in the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, or were enacted on or after January 1, 1991. For more information on proclamations, look to our blog post A New Year’s Resolution for Legislative Researchers – Never Assume



HeinOnline isn't just for legal articles! It is also home to digitized federal and provincial statutes. At the top of the home page of HeinOnline under "Browse Databases by Category," click on the "Canadian Content" link. This will initiate a drop-down menu that allows you to browse the "Acts of the Parliament of Canada (Annual Statutes)", "Provincial Statutes of Canada" and the "Revised Statutes of Canada."  It is important to note that most of the statutes archived on HeinOnline are categorized by chapter number, not title. For certain years, useful tables and concordances have also been included. 


Provincial Statutes of Canada - Ontario 

            Statutes of Ontario (Annual) 

  • 1867-2019


  • 1877; 1887; 1897; 1914 ;1927 ;1937 ;1950 ;1960 ;1970 ;1980 ;1990


Each of the above sections are also home to special legislative historic volumes that HeinOnline has digitized and made available. 

Every licensee of the Law Society of Ontario has remote access to this database. If you're a licensee, contact us for login information. 

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Looking for Ontario bills going back to the 1st session of the 36th parliament? Look no further! Under the "Find Bills" tab of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website, the bills of the province of Ontario are made digitally available going back as early as 1995. Both private and public bills are organized in chronological order. Click into a bill to view:

  • the most recent version of the bill
  • the original version of the bill
  • the status of the bill
  • the associated Hansard


You can find some Pre-Confederation Statutes of Upper Canada and the Province of Canada on Canadiana under their Government Publications

Print Collection

And of course, the library's print collection is always available for use. We have the official federal legislative volumes (annual, revisions and special)  going back before Confederation, and have all the official legislative volumes (annual, revisions and special) for all 13 provinces and territories. The print versions of these volumes are useful to have because they possess tables like tables of public statutes and concordances that are vital to the legislative historic search. Additionally, many of our volumes have been annotated by library staff with useful information like coming into force details. For more information on our annotated volumes, look to our blog post At your Fingertips: Proclamations and Annotations​​​​​​​.