One of the strange attributes of Library and Archives Canada is its reluctance to publicize its achievements.
Dig down into the section of the LAC website called "A Nation's Chronicle:The Canada Gazette" at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canada-gazette/index-e.html and you'll read that "as of August 2009, the database now contains over 80% of all issues of the Canada Gazette."
What's available? These components:
- 1841-1869 (Province of Canada)
- 1867-1946 (Dominion of Canada)
- Part I (1947-1997)
- Part II (1947-1997)
- Part III (1974-1997)
From the navigation bar in the left hand column at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canada-gazette/index-e.html you can do a keyword search, advanced keyword search, search the Consolidated Regulations of Canada, find an specific issue, get help on search, and make a comment.
A test search on the Dominion of Canada (1867-1946) database found 95 items with keyword Northwood. You can view each item as either a gif image, which comes up quickly, or a pdf which takes a bit more time.
The keyword isn't automatically highlighted in either format, but you can search the pdf for the keyword (or any other word). One hit on the keyword is highlighted on the pdf at a time; you need to move forward to the next hit if any. It's the same procedure as implemented on the French-Canadian newspaper database, There's room for improvement.
What can you find? The Northwood search gave 95 hits on both English and French language pages. Several were for a location named Northwood, others for people by that name forming a joint stock company and giving notice about land, and many reporting appointments, promotions and retirements from the military. There was little military coverage during WW1, except an award of a Military Cross was included; more during WW2. Several times a notice was for a promotion of someone vice Northwood.
I took a look at the issue for my date of birth. It contains notices mentioning names for bankruptcy, military appointments, promotions and retirements, application to Parliament for divorce, company notices, notice of candidacy for election, military decorations, granting of letters patent. You can view, and even download or print complete issues.
Searches can be completed with "and" "or" and wildcard "*". The search help page is helpful if you need assistance.