Skip to main content

Faculty - Professor Emeriti

Gordon Darroch
Ph.D. (Duke), Professor Emeritus (Arts). Senior Scholar
1991-92 Fulbright Fellow; 1992-3 OCUFA Teaching Award;
1993-4 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Interests: Canadian and Comparative Social and Population History; Class and Stratification; Social Demography; Cultural Studies.


Current Co-leader, Canadian Century Research Infrastruture (CCRI/IRCS).

Gordon Darroch (Ph.D., Duke) conducts research and writes in the areas of social and population history, and historical methods, with a particular emphasis on the history of families, ethnicity and class. He was a pioneer in the development of large historical databases, beginning with the 1871 census database for Canada, purportedly the first national, historical microdata database made publically available to researchers.  For access to these and related data see,

For many years, he was a co-director of the journal, Histoire-sociale/Social History.  Prof. Darroch is also a past Graduate Programme Director in Sociology. His current work centers on the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century history of households and families and on nineteenth-century geographic and social mobility in Ontario.  Professor Darroch was a co-investigator in the "Canadian Families Project." This five-year research project created a publicly available five-percent sample of the 1901 Canadian census in an investigation of the history of families in Canada.  It was the basis of the CBC’s 2001 radio documentary “A Century of Children." ("Ideas," CBC Radio One) and of the book, by Sager and Baskerville, Household Counts: Canadian Families and Households in 1901. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.

He continues as one of the co-leaders of the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure (CCRI), a pan-Canadian, multi-disciplinary project that developed a set of interrelated national samples of households from the 1911, 1921, 1931, 1941 and 1951 Canadian censuses. They provide a new foundation for the study of social, economic, cultural and political change in Canada. He is the editor of and a contributor to the first book-length analysis of these data in The Dawn of Canada’s Century: Hidden Histories. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.  The York CCRI Centre has been transformed into the York, Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (282 York Lanes).

The entire CCRI data series can be accessed through this centre, see  For reasons of confidentiality the 1911 national sample is currently (2013) the only one accessible to the public at and at

The York centre also generated a useful 20% test sample of all households for Toronto in 1901.  It can be found here:

Selected Publications

Editor of and contributor to, The Dawn of Canada’s Century: Hidden Histories. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

Canadian Households in Transition: New Perspectives on Household Experiences, Immigration, Regions and Class in the Early Twentieth Century: Ménages canadiens en transition: nouvelles perspectives sur les expériences des ménages, l’immigrations, les regions et les classes sociales au début du XX° siècle, «  Popolazione e Storia,  2, 2010 (published in 2012): 133-167. 

“Losing Our Census,” Canadian Journal of Communication, 35 (4) 2010: 1-9, with Michael Darroch,

“Families, Fostering Children and Flying the Coop: Contradictions in the Historical Formation of Canadian Liberal Culture,” in Peter Baskerville and Eric Sager (eds.), Household Counts: Canadian Families and Households in 1901. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.

 “CCRI Sample Designs and Sample Point Identification, Data Entry, and Reporting (SPIDER ) Software,” Historical Methods, 40 (2) Spring 2007: 65-75, with Richard D.B. Smith and Michel Gaudreault. 

“Semi-Automated Record Linkage with Surname Samples: A Regional Study of “Case Law” Linkage, Ontario, 1861-1871,” History and Computing, 14, 1-2 (2002), published 2006: 153-83.

“Home and Away: Patterns of Residence, Schooling and Work Among Children and Never Married Young Adults, Canada, 1871 and 1901,” Journal of Family History, 26(2) April 2001: 220-250.

"Domestic Revolution and Middle-Class Formation in Nineteenth-Century Ontario." The History of the Family: An International Quarterly, 4 (4), 2000: 427-445.

“Constructing Census Families and Classifying Households: ‘Relationship to Head of Family or Household’ in the 1901 Census of Canada.” Historical Methods, 33 (4) Fall, 2000: 10-26.

Darroch, Gordon. 1998. "Scanty Fortunes and Rural Middle-Class Formation in Nineteenth-Century Rural Ontario." Canadian Historical Review 79(4) December, 1998: 621-659.

Darroch, Gordon and Lee Soltow. 1994. Property and Inequality in Victorian Canada: Structural Patterns and Cultural Communities in the 1871 Census. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.