Series F2-2-1 - City of Guelph assessment rolls

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City of Guelph assessment rolls

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Reference code

CA ON00126 F2-F2-2-F2-2-1

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46.4 m of textual records

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Administrative history

The office of assessor was a position created yearly under by-law by the City of Guelph Council and its predecessor, the Town Council of Guelph. Under by-law, one full-time assessor was appointed by Council. Provisions in the by-law also enabled Council to appoint a second assessor if circumstances warranted. By 1923, the title of the position had changed to Assessment Commissioner, and provisions were made for the hiring of one full-time assessor and a part-time assessor, on an as-needed basis, for the completion of the assessment. Additionally, the assessors were given responsibility for the collection of the City's poll tax, which was turned over to the City Treasurer. The City of Guelph continued to conduct property assessments until 1970, when the Province of Ontario assumed responsibility of municipal property assessment.

Custodial history

The custodial history for the majority of these records, prior to their transfer to the Guelph Public Library archives, is not known or documented.

Scope and content

Series consists of five hundred and seventy bound assessment ledgers recording assessed real property values used in the calculation of property taxes in the City of Guelph.

The assessment ledgers may document property owner and occupant names, addresses, occupations, and ages, description of property (including survey and plan information), real property values and assessments, and statistical information regarding religion, school support, sex and age of residents, and number of dogs in the household. Residents were able to challenge assessed property values in the Court of Revision, which had authority to revise assessed values and regulated the record-keeping practices of the assessors.
The assessment ledgers are arranged by year and then alphabetically by ward name. The information was recorded by Assessors and arranged initially by divisions within the town. With the designation as a town under the Municipal Act of 1856, Guelph was divided into four assessment wards (North, West, East and South). By 1935, the number of assessment wards had expanded to six (St. James, St. Andrew's, St.David's, St. John's, St. Patrick's and St. George's) as the City's population grew and boundaries expanded. The City and its wards were divided into twelve divisions until the the 1950's when the number of divisions were increased.

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Physical condition

Several pre-1899 volumes are fragile and have broken spines. Some post 1941 assessment rolls have missing covers or are fragile.

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Please note that several assessment ledgers dating from 1955 show duplicate titles or overlapping divisions. It is believed that the recording of assessment information for the ward required two ledgers.

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Availability of other formats

The assessment rolls for 1852-1853 and 1855-1898 are available on self-serve microfilm.

Restrictions on access

Assessment rolls for 1852-1853 and 1855-1898 have been microfilmed and the original rolls are closed for conservation reasons. Access to later assessment rolls may be restricted for conservation reasons. Please contact the Guelph Public Library Archivist for further details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright for these records is not held by the Guelph Public Library. Please contact the Guelph Public Library archivist about how to obtain the necessary copyright permissions.

Finding aids

The 1852-1853, 1855-1898 assessment rolls can be viewed on self-serve microfilm (ask at the Information Desk of the Main Branch of the Guelph Public Library for details). For all other volumes, please consult the Volume Listing F2-2-1 to narrow down your search and then contact the Guelph Public Library archivist. Please note that all volumes of assessment rolls are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.

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Subsequent accruals were received from the following accession 2008-14.

General note

Please note that the 1884-1885 Assessment Roll - Non Residents, and post-1935 individual ward Assessment rolls are stored off-site and require several days notice for retrieval.

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