We always keep our eyes out for little-known or used sites that might assist in legal research, which we will feature in our new series: “Sites Unseen”. First up to the plate:
Hands-down one of the most time-consuming legal research tasks is legislative research; that is, trying to trace the law to find out what it looked like in a certain year, updating it with amendments, finding copies of older orders-in-council, etc. It is mostly time-consuming because if you are interested in a year prior to the early 2000s, very little is available online and you will mostly be working with the bulky print volumes of statutes or regulations.
Fortunately, the Osgoode Law School at York University has made considerable strides in assisting in this area and now offers pdfs of Ontario Annual Statutes back to 1970, and Ontario Revised Statutes back to 1914. What is even better, as can be seen below (click to enlarge), is they are broken down into separate pdfs and fully browsable by the individual acts (goodbye 400+ page pdfs!):
So if you need a copy of an older Ontario Act, bookmark this site and have a look! I use it constantly in my legislative research here, even just to to get a cleaner-looking scan of a particular Act.
They also have digital copies available of all the old Ontario Law Reform Commission reports, something we get questions about as well.