In this talk, I offer insights from the Ontario Dialects Project in which I have been documenting ways of speaking in Ontario, Canada for nearly 20 years. As of 2020, the archive comprises 19 communities with representation from the largest city, Toronto to many localities in the Near North (e.g. Tagliamonte, 2013; 2014a). In addition to the intrinsic contribution of these corpora to dialect documentation, this research provides explicit evidence for language innovation and obsolescence, contact, koenization, dialect levelling and can even have significance outside of Linguistics (history, cultural studies, contemporary literature). By reviewing the procedures, practicalities, and products of this large-scale sociolinguistic enterprise (Tagliamonte, 2007), I hope to show how community-based research can lead to new insights into social and linguistic patterns and thereby more integrated explanations. It can also lead to rich and accessible language materials that are not only of use to linguists but also to the broader population where there is an abiding interest in colourful words and expressions.