Doing Legal Research in Canada – Canadian Legal Publishers

Guide: Table of Contents / Introduction / Canadian Primary Resources / Canadian Secondary Resources
Canadian Legal Organizations / Canadian Legal Publishers / Research by Topic

This section of Doing Legal Research in Canada provides information and links to Canadian legal publishers. The sites listed below are a good source for finding specific law-related publications or for seeing what materials may be available on a particular legal topic. Publishers identified with the marking <online> offer extensive online access to their publications (usually by subscription only). . Legal publishers:

  1. Introduction to Canadian Legal Publishing
  2. Used-Book Dealers (Legal Materials)
  3. Butterworths Canada and LexisNexis Canada <online>
  4. Canada Law Book <online>
  5. Carswell and WestlaweCARSWELL <online>
  6. Canadian Bar Association Publications
  7. CCH Canadian and CCH Online <online>
  8. Continuing Legal Education of B.C.
  9. Dye & Durham
  10. Emond Montgomery Publications
  11. Federal Publications Inc.
  12. FP Infomart <online>
  13. Irwin Law
  14. LSUC – CLE Publications
  15. Maritime Law Book <online>
  16. McGraw-Hill Ryerson
  17. Publications Ontario (now ServiceOntario Publications)
  18. QUICKLAW <online>
  19. Self-Counsel Press
  20. SOQUIJ <online>
  21. Western Legal Publications

Introduction to Canadian Legal Publishing

In comparison to the United States, Canada has an extremely small market for legal materials. This has impacted the legal research industry in several ways. Indexing of material in Canada has traditionally been quite weak because profit margins are small and publishers have not always been able to make the investment that could more easily be made in creating good indexes given a larger market for the materials. Because publishing runs are quite small, book prices tend to be quite expensive (albeit in Canadian dollars). Despite the small market, however, competition has always been quite strong in Canada, resulting in some measure of quality control by the publishers. The federal and provincial governments are relatively large publishers of legal information (in the form of legislation and case law), but it is the commercial publishers who tend to provide added-value features such as annotations and regular consolidations of material.

There is a definite trend by Canadian publishers towards publishing in CD-ROM format or on the Internet (see the individual links below for more information). As in other jurisdictions, Canada is still in a transition period, something which results in many firms and libraries acquiring both the print and electronic version of the same title to evaluate whether the electronic version is a reasonable alternative to the print version.

The list of publishers below is alphabetical and includes both minor and major publishers. The largest legal publishers, however, would include LexisNexis / Butterworths Canada, Canada Law Book, Thomson Carswell, and CCH Canada.

Used Book Dealers (Legal Materials)

There is a relatively active market in Canada for used legal materials, although used law books do not generally attract a high selling price. The main used book dealer for legal materials is Helaine Distributors Inc. (Helen Rentis, [email protected]).

Butterworths Canada and LexisNexis Canada

Butterworths and LexisNexis Canada are sister companies that are part of the Reed-Elsevier Group.

Butterworths Canada traces its roots in Canada to 1912 and according to its website is a leading publisher of “textbooks, journals, newsletters, looseleaf services, law reports, newspapers, CD-ROMs and on-line services.” Their publications are generally very reliable and most lawyers in Canada would know the Butterworths name and regularly use their publications, which often are aimed at the practitioner. They also publish The Lawyers Weekly.

LexisNexis Canada is the Canadian division of LexisNexis and offers an extensive online database of legal, news and business information, including the content of the former “Quicklaw” databases. In the past few years, LexisNexis Canada has added extensive Canadian content to their database, including Canadian case law, legislation, law journals and newspapers.

Contact info for Butterworths Canada/Lexis-Nexis Canada:

Address: Butterworths Canada/LexisNexis Canada
75 Clegg Road
Markham, Ontario, Canada L6G 1A1
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-387-0899
E-mail: [email protected]

Canada Law Book

Canada Law Book is a major Canadian legal publishers whose roots date back to 1855. In addition to their textbooks on major legal subjects, such as Professor Waddams’ The Law of Contracts, Canada Law Book’s most well-known publications would be their two leading case law reporters, the Dominion Law Reports and Canadian Criminal Cases, both of which are also available on CD-ROM and through online versions (by subscription). They also publish a leading legal newspaper, Law Times, and legal magazine, Canadian Lawyer. Their CD-ROM and Internet subscriptions versions of federal statutes and regulations (Canada Statute Citator) and Ontario statutes and regulations (Ontario Statute Citator) are also very popular. They have a separate page for their online subscriptions services. As of April 1, 2008, the company is starting a new web-based subscriptions service called Best Case, a database of their full-text and case law summary products, including an online citator.

Contact info for Canada Law Book:

Address: Canada Law Book
240 Edward Street
Aurora, Ontario
L4G 3S9
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-263-2037 (in Canada)
1-800-263-3269 (outside Canada)
Fax: 1-905-841-5085

Carswell and WestlaweCARSWELL <online>

CARSWELL, whose roots date back to 1864, is a major publisher of Canadian legal material in print, CD-ROM and online, through WesteCARSWELL. Carswell is a sister company of the West Group, both of which are part of the Thomson Corporation. CARSWELL also has affiliations with Sweet & Maxwell (U.K.).

CARSWELL’s strength has traditionally been its print topical case law reporters and legal textbooks. It is also well known as the publisher of the Canadian Abridgment, a case law digest system (similar to West’s Decennial Digests and The Digest in England) and the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, a legal encyclopedia (similar to the Corpus Juris Secundum and Halsbury’s Laws of England). Both the Canadian Abridgment and the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest are also available on CD-ROM and WesteCARSWELL.

CARSWELL is also known for its “partner product” CD-ROMs which contain the relevant legislation, case law and Carswell-published textbooks on specific areas of law, including family law, criminal law, insolvency law, corporate law and employment law. Carswell is currently offering Internet equivalents of some of these CD-ROM products in the form of criminalSource, FamilySource, InsolvencySource, Trusts and Estates Source, IPSource, Litigator, and SecuritiesSource.


2075 Kennedy Road
Scarborough, Ontario,
M1T 3V4
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-38705164 (Canada & U.S.)
416-609-3800 (Toronto & International)
Fax: 416-298-5082

Canadian Bar Association Publications

The Canadian Bar Association is a major publisher of continuing legal education (CLE) material for practicing lawyers. Their publications are often in the form of 3-ring binders and are usually provided at a seminar on the same topic. Many of these binders, however, retain their value even if one does not attend the seminar and are sold separately as well as in conjunction with the seminar. They offer an online store to order their publications.

Contact info for Canadian Bar Association Publications:

Address: Canadian Bar Association
500 – 865 Carling Avenue
Ottawa ON K1S 5S8
Online Store:
Telephone: (613) 237-2925 or (613) 237-1988
Fax: (613) 237-0185
E-mail: [email protected]

CCH Canadian and CCH Online <online>

CCH Canadian is a leading publisher of Canadian legal resources in a variety of formats, including print, CD-ROM and most recently on the Internet, through CCH Online. Materials are divided by subject area (tax, legal, human resources, and business). Within the legal category, the strengths of CCH Canadian are in alternative dispute resolution, corporate, environmental, family, health, estate, insurance, real estate and securities law.

Contact info for CCH Canadian and CCH Online:

Address: CCH Canadian
90 Sheppard Avenue East
Suite 300
North York, ON
M2N 6X1
Online Catalog:
Telephone: (416) 224-2248
Fax: (416) 224-2243

Continuing Legal Education of B.C.

The Continuing Legal Education of B.C. provides continuing legal education material for practicing lawyers in British Columbia. They offer seminars with supporting material, textbooks on a variety of legal topics, and a case digest service of British Columbia court decisions.

Contact info for the Continuing Legal Education of B.C.:

Online Store:
Telephone: 1-888-393-3874

Dye & Durham

Dye & Durham is a Canadian company with roots back to 1874 (it is associated with Canada Law Book). It is most well known as a printer of legal forms and stationary, but it also offers corporate and trademark searching. It now also offers legal forms in electronic format.

Contact info for Dye & Durham:

Address: Head Office
Dye & Durham
1060 Tapscott Road,
Scarborough, Ontario,
Canada M1X 1G3
Telephone: 1-888-393-3874

Emond Montgomery Publications

Founded in 1977 and associated with Canada Law Book, Emond Montgomery Publications is a specialized legal publisher. As described on its website, its market is focused on “university bookstores (academic sales), to college law and law-related programs such as Police Foundations, to the legal profession, and to specialized non-law markets, such as educationalists and human resource specialists.” Their publications for practicing lawyers focus on legislation and other specialty areas including corporate counsel, education law, employment law and human rights law.

Contact info for Emond Montgomery Publications:

Address: Emond Montgomery Publications
60 Shaftesbury Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4T 1A3
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-888-837-0815
Fax: 416-975-3924
E-mail: [email protected]

Federal Publications Inc.

Formed in 1985, Federal Publications Inc. describes itself on its website as “the largest agent for Canadian Government Publishing” and “the only specialist supplier of Canadian federal government publications, maps and charts.” They also act as a distributor for several commercial publishers, including Carswell, CCH and Self-Counsel Press. They are perhaps most often used by Canadian lawyers as the source for print copies of Federal bills and legislation, including consolidated copies of legislation.

Contact info for Federal Publications Inc.:

Address: Federal Publications
165 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario Canada
M5H 3B8

Federal Publications
1185 University Street
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3B 3A7

Online Catalog:
Telephone: Toll-free: 1-888-433-3782
Toronto: (416) 860-1611
Montreal: (514) 954-1633
Fax: Toronto: (416) 860-1608
E-mail: [email protected]

FPInfomart Dialog Limited

FPInfomart provides a subscription service for its extensive database of news and corporate information. It is a member of the CanWest. Database coverage includes access to full-text journals, newspapers, financial profiles, patents and data on chemical substances and the Infomart newspaper databases (which includes a large number of Canadian newspapers such as the National Post.

Contact info for FPInfomart:

Address: FPInfomart
1450 Don Mills Rd.
Toronto ON M3B 2X7
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-661-7678 or 416-442-2121
Fax: 416-442-2968
E-mail: [email protected]

Irwin Law

Irwin Law is a recent legal publisher in Canada but have been quite successful in their sales of its “Essential of Canadian Law Series,” which are softcover textbooks each providing an extensive but simply overview of core areas of law such as evidence law, constitutional law, criminal law, family law and so on. Most of the Irwin Law textbooks titles are available on QUICKLAW in full-text.

Contact info for Irwin Law:

Address: Irwin Law
14 Duncan Street
Suite 206
Toronto ON M5H 3G8
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 416-862-7690
Fax: 416-862-9236

LSUC – CLE Publications

The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) publishes a wide variety of continuing legal education seminar binders. Topics includes administrative law, bar admission course materials, business law, Charter and human rights, civil litigation, computer-assisted instruction, construction law, criminal law, dispute resolution, entertainment/advertising, estates, family law, immigration, insolvency, intellectual property, labour and employment law, law office management, legal writing, municipal, real estate and tax. Some material is also available on audio-tape.

Contact info for LSUC – CLE Publications:

Address: Law Society of Upper Canada Publications
Osgoode Hall
130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6
Online Catalog:
Telephone: (416) 947-3300

Maritime Law Book

Maritime Law Book, founded in 1969, is a publisher of Canadian case law and publishes 14 reporters. It offers its materials in print, CD-ROM and now through an Internet subscription. Its reporter titles include Alberta Reports (A.R.), Atlantic Provinces Reports (A.P.R.), British Columbia Appeal Cases (B.C.A.C.), British Columbia Trial Cases (B.C.T.C.), Federal Trial Reports (F.T.R.), Manitoba Reports (2d) (Man.R.(2d)), National Reporter (N.R.), New Brunswick Reports (2d) (N.B.R.(2d)), Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island Reports (Nfld. & P.E.I.R.), Nova Scotia Reports (2d) (N.S.R.(2d)), Ontario Appeal Cases (O.A.C.), Ontario Trial Cases (O.T.C.), Saskatchewan Reports (S.R.), and Western Appeal Cases (W.A.C.).

Contact info for Maritime Law Book:

Address: Maritime Law Book Ltd.
P.O. Box 302
Fredericton N.B. Canada
E3B 4Y9
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-561-0220
Fax: (506) 453-9525
E-mail: [email protected]

McGraw-Hill Ryerson

McGraw-Hill Ryerson is a major Canadian publisher. They are listed here not so much for their “legal” content but for their wide assortment of business and other publications that may be of interest.

Contact info for McGraw-Hill Ryerson:

Address: McGraw-Hill Ryerson
300 Water Street
Whitby Ontario L1N 9B6
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-565-5758

Publications Ontario (now ServiceOntario Publications)

Publications Ontario (now ServiceOntario Publications) is the Queen’s Printer for Ontario and provides access to a large number of government-related publications, including legislation.

Contact info for ServiceOntario Publications:

Address: Publications Ontario
50 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON
M7A 1N8
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 1-800-668-9938
(416) 326-5300
Fax: (416) 326-5317


Founded in 1972, QUICKLAW is now part of the LexisNexis Canada family. It has an extensive database of online case law, legislation and other law-related material.

Contact info for QUICKLAW:

Address: Quicklaw LexisNexis Canada
Suite 700, 123 Commerce Valley Drive East
Markham, ON L3T 7W8
Telephone: Canada/US: 1-800-387-0899
Fax: Canada: 1-800-214-7085
E-mail: [email protected]

Self-Counsel Press

Self-Counsel Press is a publisher of popular “self-help” legal books written by lawyers but aimed at the general public who need help to conduct their own divorce, prepare a will or fight a traffic ticket in court. Even lawyers find that these books provide a good overview of the subject presented in the book. The American “equivalent” of Self-Counsel Press would be Nolo Press. Self-Counsel Press titles are generally sold in softcover format and include titles beyond those that are purely on legal topics.

Contact info for Self-Counsel Press:

Address: Self-Counsel Press
1481 Charlotte Road
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7J 1H1
Online Catalog:
Telephone: 604-986-3366
Fax: 604-986-3947
E-mail: [email protected]


SOQUIJ is the acronym for La Société québécoise d’information juridique, which was founded in 1976. SOQUIJ is a legal information society created for the purpose of making Québec law available and for promoting legal research in Québec. It publishes in print, CD-ROM and through an Internet subscription various sources of primary law in Québec, including legislation, the reports of the Québec courts and various administrative tribunals within Québec.

Contact info for SOQUIJ:

Address: SOQUIJ
715, square Victoria, bureau 800,
Montréal, H2Y 2H7
Telephone: (514) 842-8741
Fax: (514) 844-8984

Western Legal Publications

Western Legal Publications, established in 1973, is affiliated with Canada Law Book and offers a variety of law-related print and electronic products, including annotated and consolidated legislation, British Columbia rules of court, and case law from Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and other Canadian jurisdictions. For more information, see the entry above for Canada Law Book.

© 2000-2008 Ted Tjaden. Users may browse, download, print and link to this “Doing Legal Research in Canada Guide” for any non-commercial use or for educational use.

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