This volunteer-produced website took on the truly amazing task of transcribing the 5.6 million lines of the 1901 Census of Canada and making the result freely available, with links to the original documents, in an easy-to-use web search. Not only that, but they’re closing in on completing the 1911 Census of Canada too.
Not only is the scale of such a volunteer effort a testament to the tenacity of genealogists with a mission, the interface to the data is stellar example of how very “Web 1.0” techniques, combined with no need to accommodate advertisers or graphic designers, can lead to a very usable web application.
I found my great-grandmother’s sister and brother-in-law, for example, about 15 seconds after arriving at the site. The search is easy to use and provides clear results, with helpful sound-alike suggestions, and there are hyperlinks galore, linking everything to everything else (the fact that is remarkable says a lot about how un hyperlinked a lot of modern web content is).
Another search, and I found the eight (!) residents of 100 Prince Street in 1911:
If you’re curious about Canadian ancestors who would have been in the country in either 1901 or 1911, Automated Genealogy should be your first stop.