website security

Two important August days

The first weekend in August is a long one in Ontario. This year the calendar lets us celebrate two important days.

In Toronto, the first Monday in August is Simcoe Day, honouring John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada’s first lieutenant governor. Simcoe is credited with the founding of Toronto, and other major steps in the colonization of Ontario. But let’s also remember his efforts to end slavery. The Act of 1793 Against Slavery was a compromise. It stopped the importation of enslaved persons, but not their sale across the border. And it freed the children of enslaved persons born in Upper Canada after 1793 at age 25, but not any of the more than 500 enslaved persons in Upper Canada.

August 1 is Emancipation Day, celebrating the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act that freed more than 800,000 enslaved people of African descent throughout the British Empire, including Canada, on August 1, 1834.

To learn more about slavery in Canada, a good place to start is Natasha Henry’s contribution to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Man on horse leading parade through street.

Emancipation Day parade, Amherstburg Ontario, 1894. Library and Archives Canada/PA-163923, Item ID number 3227511.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no Emancipation Day parades this year, but there are many virtual celebrations. The Ontario Heritage Foundation and Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site are hosting a week of commemorative events.  Owen Sound and area residents have held an annual  Emancipation Day festival for almost a century and a half, and are planning a special digital program this August 1. And the Archives of Ontario website has online exhibits you can browse on Enslaved Africans in Upper Canada and The Black Canadian Experience in Ontario 1834-1914: Flight, Freedom, Foundation

Comments are closed.

Toronto Branch Meetings

Jan
25
Mon
7:30 pm Becoming a Genealogy N.I.N.J.A.
Becoming a Genealogy N.I.N.J.A.
Jan 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Becoming a Genealogy N.I.N.J.A. @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
All genealogists have hit a brick wall at one point or another. For the new researcher this can be a painful and frustrating experience. Using sound genealogical research methodology is the first step in overcoming[...]
Feb
22
Mon
7:30 pm Using Evernote for Genealogy
Using Evernote for Genealogy
Feb 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Are you afraid to close your browser for fear of losing something important? Ever filed something away carefully on your computer in a folder never to see it again? Is your desktop a mass of[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

Jan
14
Thu
7:30 pm Understanding Ontario Land Regis...
Understanding Ontario Land Regis...
Jan 14 @ 7:30 pm – Jan 28 @ 9:00 pm
Understanding Ontario Land Registry Records @ THREE-SESSION ONLINE COURSE | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Back by popular demand! Three-session online course: January 14, 21 and 28, 2021 $30 OGS members / $35 non-members Despite the recent closure of Land Registry Offices, Ontario land registry records are becoming more available[...]
Join Our Email List

Did you know?

That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 500 members? That members get a discount on course and workshop registration fees?