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Niagara Falls
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Exploring Photos: John Waters (1808-1880) was NOTL’s first Black town councillor

John Waters was one of the most successful Black men to live in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He was a successful farmer but was also a local businessman who had tavern and grocery businesses and also rented properties to many in the community. Waters was also the first Black man to be elected as town councillor in 1874. He was re-elected a few times and held the position until he died in office in 1880. He was remembered as being well-respected and had the reputation of being a wise councillor. This photograph shows the former Waters home on King Street. It would have been located across the street from the current Pillar and Post Gardens, near John Street. The home was later owned by the Russell family, whose children are pictured here.

Correction: Last week’s photo mentioned the Jarvis Family living in Queenston. In fact, during that time they were living on Front Street in the town of Niagara.

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