Every February in Canada we celebrate the legacy of Black Canadians. Niagara-on-the-Lake has a significant connection to early Black history of this country and we look forward to incorporating some local stories in the next few weeks.
This week’s image is a schematic plan of part of the Town of Niagara that shows where many Black residents lived during the mid-1800s. This area was known as the “coloured village.” Some families stayed here for only a short time while others, such as the Waters family lived here for more than 120 years. During the 1860s, a few blocks from this neighbourhood, one would find the temporary homes of a Ku Klux Klan leader and Confederate war leaders who were “hiding out” in the Town of Niagara. How strange it must have been for the residents of the “coloured village,” who were comprised of Black Loyalists, people recently freed from enslavement, possibly those still under enslavement and runaways from the United States.
For more information on local Black history, please visit the NOTL Museum’s website or book shop.