I recently read a blog post on The Confidential Resource blog that deals with searching for a legal change of name. The post notes the comprehensive work of journalists that led to a story in the Globe and Mail which revealed the man accused of dismembering and murdering a man had legally changed his name in 2006.
The post notes that changes of name are published in the Ontario Gazette, (each province publishes their own), a weekly publication listing government notices and regulations. You can conduct a key word search of any Ontario Gazette dating back to 2000, on their search page.
I had never conducted such a search before and I started by searching for a friend who changed her, and bingo, it works. But looking through the Gazatte their is a lot more information in the publication than just name changes.
I chose to put ‘Attawapiskat’ into the search box to see what sort of stuff might turn up. I quickly learned who is allowed to conducted marriages in the community, Among of things I learned that Michel Koostachin of Attawapiskat is allwoed to conduct marriages, that Section 26 of Electricity act does not apply to the Attawapiskat Power Corporation, and that aircraft landings is authorized on the Attawpiskat River.
I will no doubt be returning to site to search for people and businesses and addresses I am researching.