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Brought in Bondage: Black Enslavement in Upper Canada

Published July 13, 2020.


People of African descent have a unique experience of arrival to the early Toronto. The first Africans in the Town of York arrived through forced migration as the enslaved property of the military and government elite white Loyalists who relocated to the town. White loyalists enslaved Black men, women, and children to exploit their labour for the purpose of increasing personal wealth and to support the development of the new colonies with the use of a free labour force.

Enslaved Africans were legally chattel property and did not have any rights or freedoms. They were considered to be property and not persons.

Developed in partnership with the Ontario Black History Society

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