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A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Search Help

The Structure of the Canada Gazette

Over the more than 165-year history of the Canada Gazette, there have been significant changes in the way the Gazette has been organized. These can present challenges not only for the novice but also for the experienced researcher. This section on the structure of the Gazette is not intended as a complete history of the Canada Gazette, but rather as an aid to researchers. It draws extensively from a more detailed description in "160 Years of the Canada Gazette" (see Further Research) as well as "The Canada Gazette" (Betty Deavy and Norma Gauld, Canadian Parliamentary Review, vol. 17, no. 2, 1994) which can be found at:

The Canada Gazette began as single publication in 1841 but was separated into distinct components beginning in 1947. On the search screens, you will be able to search any of these components (listed below).

  • 1841-1869 (Province of Canada)
  • 1867-1946 (Dominion of Canada)
  • Part I (1947-1997)
  • Part II (1947-1997)
  • Part III (1974-1997)

Province of Canada and Dominion of Canada
The first Canada Gazette was published on October 2, 1841 and it superceded the earlier Upper Canada Gazette and the Lower Canada Gazette.

As mentioned in 160 Years of the Canada Gazette, "One result of Confederation was the concurrent publication, until 1869, of two Canada gazettes. The series which had begun in 1841 continued until the end of 1869, and focused on Ontario and Quebec, with greater emphasis placed on Quebec. The new series, which began on July 1, 1867, dealt with federal matters." For the original series, the issues for 1867-1869 are designated vol. 26-28; and, for the new series, the issues for 1867-1869 are designated vol. 1-3.

Part I and Part II
In January 1947, the Canada Gazette was divided into two parts:

  • Part I - continued publishing government notices and other official information
  • Part II - published separately and included all rules, regulations, and proclamations

Part III
In December 1974, the Canada Gazette was further divided into a third part that contained all public acts.

The Canada Gazette has also published many Extras and Supplements which do not always follow the numbering and pagination of the regular issues.

Consolidated Regulations of Canada
You can also search the Consolidated Regulations of Canada. There have been five consolidations of regulations published (1874, 1889, 1949, 1955 and 1978). These are not officially part of the Canada Gazette, but have been included in the database for the convenience of researchers.

Searching the Database

The primary goal of this website is to make available to researchers the entire Canada Gazette, from 1841 to 1997. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is used to read the originals, whether on paper or microform, and transform these into a text document. Essentially, it creates a searchable document from an image. Researchers should be aware that this process is not 100% accurate, because of minor anomalies in the print quality of the originals. However, the accuracy rate of keyword searching on this database is about 90%.

For citation purposes, please note that each issue in the database (including Extras, etc.) always begins with page 1. This is not always the actual page number that you will see on the images or pdf. For example, the first page of Part I, Volume 120, Number 2, January 11, 1986, will be listed as page 1, but the actual page (on the image or pdf) is 109. If you are citing pages, please be aware of this difference, and always use the page number on the image or pdf.

General Rules About Keyword Searching

In keyword searching, you may use any word, set of words, or a phrase.

  • If you use only one word, the search will retrieve any page that contains that word.

e.g., transportation
will retrieve any page which contains the word "transportation"

  • If you use more than one word, the search will return any pages on which all words are found, in any order.

e.g., transportation Manitoba
will retrieve any pages which contain both of those words, whether or not they appear together

  • If you enclose a set of words in double quotation marks, the search will retrieve documents in which that exact phase appears.

e.g., "opening of Parliament"
will retrieve any pages which contain the exact phrase "opening of Parliament" but not pages that contain those words in any order

  • You may use an asterisk ("*") as a wildcard.

e.g., immigra*
will retrieve immigrant, immigration, etc.

Search Screens

There are three screens for keyword searching:

  • Search by Keyword
  • Advanced Search by Keyword
  • Search the Consolidated Regulations of Canada

There is one additional screen for finding entire items (issues, Extras, etc.)

  • Find an Issue

Search by Keyword
Enter a keyword, set of keywords, or keyword phrase. You may limit your search to any or all parts of the Gazette (see above, "Structure of the Canada Gazette").

e.g., enter "ships" in the search box and select "Part II" from the dropdown menu will retrieve all pages containing the word "ships" in Part II of the Gazette

Advanced Search by Keyword
Enter a keyword, set of keywords, or keyword phrase in both boxes and connect them with one of the operators (and, or, not).

e.g., the user enters "farming" in the first box and "Alberta" in the second box

"and" searches for pages which contain both keywords

"or" searches for pages which contain either of the keywords

"not" searches for pages which contain the first keyword but not the second

You may limit your search to any or all parts of the Gazette (see above, "Structure of the Canada Gazette").

You may also limit your search by date: day-month-year, month-year, or just year.

Search the Consolidated Regulations of Canada
Enter a keyword, set of keywords, or keyword phrase and select any or all of the Consolidated Regulations.

Find an Issue
Choose a specific part of the Canada Gazette and either a volume-issue-number, or a specific date.

e.g., Part I, volume 117, number 20


Part I, May 14, 1983 (14-5-1983) will both retrieve the same item

  • You may retrieve all items in a volume.

e.g., Part I, volume 117 will return all items (including Extras and Supplements) in volume 117

  • You may retrieve all items in a year.

e.g., Part I, 1983 will return all items (including Extras and Supplements) in 1983

  • You may also select a particular type of item such as Extra or Supplement.

e.g., Part I, 1983, Supplement will retrieve all Supplements issued in 1983

Search Results

Each of the search screens, except "Find an Issue" will return a list of all pages which contain the search term. The user can select either a gif or a pdf of each page listed, and can page forward or backward through the entire item (issue, Extra, Supplement, etc.).

The "Find an Issue" screen will return pdfs of the individual items (issues, Extras, etc.) that satisfy the search criteria.

Users can further search each pdf using the tools available for pdfs.