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Searching on MyCommunityInfo.ca

Search results are delivered in two stages. The first set of results are derived from web sites within the Waterloo Region including local government, libraries, and community organizations.

At the top and bottom of the first results you will see a gray bar with the text, "Search Province of Ontario and Government of Canada Resources." When you click on this bar, a second search is launched and returns results from web sites of the Province of Ontario and the Government of Ontario.

You do not need to know what level of government or what community agencies provide useful answers. All you need to know is how to search effectively.

Keywords

Keyword searching is most effective when you use words that are most likely used in a document you are looking for and least likely to occur in documents you are not looking for. For instance, you might be searching for information on farm taxes.

If you enter just the word taxes, you get information on all sorts of taxes: property taxes, commercial and business taxes, farm tax rebate program and income tax.

Try entering farm taxes. Instead of hunting through several results, important information on the farm tax rebate program in the City of London is now at the top of the list.

Effect of Geography

Perhaps what you were really looking for is information on farm taxes in the County of Middlesex. In that case, you should be searching for Middlesex farm taxes. The results will reflect what information on farm taxes has been published to the Internet by Middlesex County.

First and Second Results

The second set of results available through mycommunityinfo.ca is for the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada. Try any one of the searches above and click on the gray bar to see search results for the two senior levels of government. As you might expect, these results reflect a much broader view of farm taxation. Occasionally, very local information is published by the senior levels of government that is not published by local levels of government. If you haven't found what you are looking for in the first set of results, try clicking the gray bar.

Effect of Spelling

The search engine returns literal results, such that entering the word taxes doesn’t guarantee that you will get documents with the word tax. Try searching on the two forms of the word and compare the results.

British and North American spelling can create searching problems. A search using the word licence will not return any documents containing the word license. In the same fashion, a search on program will not return any documents containing the same word spelled programme.

Try comparative searches on the word variations above. Note that in the dark blue bar below the gray bar, the number of hits is reported. Note the difference in number of hits between "program" and "programme" for instance.

Private Sector Web Sites

Many useful web sites are published by private sector ("for profit") organizations. While mycommunityinfo.ca does not index private sector sites, we do provide a few links for popular searches on such topics as places of worship, newspapers and other media sources, apartments and rentals, and movies. Click here to view this page.

In-Page Find

Perhaps a search has returned a very long document. You know the word(s) you are looking for are somewhere in the document but reading the document just to find them seems like a waste of time. You can use the FIND function built into the Web browser.

Click on any word of the document to ensure that you will search only the document. Press the CTRL key and tap the F key. Release the CTRL key. A window pops up. Type the most important word you wish to find. The FIND function will locate every occurrence of that word in the document.

Note that in Adobe Acrobat documents (.PDF files) you need to click on the binoculars in the upper tool bar to launch a FIND function.