In April of 1891 the Canadian government employed 4300 enumerators to ask an extensive set of questions at every household in the country. The result is a richly detailed snapshot of the Canadian people. Between 2003 and 2010 staff and students at the University of Guelph digitized a random 5% sample (10% in cities and in the west) of the 1891 population records. The data are now available through the Ontario Scholar’s Portal <odesi> and the North Atlantic Population Project. Support from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, private sector partners and the University of Guelph made possible the infrastructure.