Historical Publications

This site contains the historical general instructions of the Surveyor General as they existed from time to time. The general instructions are outdated and no longer apply on Canada Lands but may provide valuable information on the survey system and the methodology used in the past. The documents are available online either as scanned images (with optical character recognition), PDF, or HTML format.

The Surveyor General's responsibilities for issuing survey instructions for surveys of Indian Reserves officially ended on May 7, 1880, when the Department of Indian Affairs was created. The new department created its own survey office and issued general instructions for surveys of Indian Reserve. The Surveyor General continue to issue general instructions concerning township surveys. This practice continued for a period of 56 years until 1936 when the Surveyor General again was made responsible for Indian Reserve surveys.