Toronto celebrates Black History Month

February 1, 2018

Mayor John Tory has proclaimed February as Black History Month in the City of Toronto. Exhibits, lectures, events and other programming are planned at libraries, community centres and other public centres across the city.

"In Toronto, February is a month in which we celebrate the many successes and achievements of Black Canadians while also remembering and recognizing the sacrifices that have been made by countless members of our Black community," said Mayor Tory. "Torontonians of all cultural backgrounds are encouraged to experience the many free programs and events taking place this month, and to learn more about the vibrant and distinct history of Toronto's Black residents."

Residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in the events and programs that City divisions and agencies have planned throughout the month. As well, there are several community-based programs and online exhibits to celebrate Toronto's rich Black history.

Celebrate Black History Month at Toronto Public Library with fun and thought-provoking events. Canada’s Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke gets things started with poetry and jazz while author Robyn Maynard discusses policing Black lives. Music aficionados will enjoy performances by Joy Lapps-Lewis, Ubunto Dance and Drum Ensemble along with conversations on hip hop. Literary enthusiasts will want to check out author talks with B. Denham Jolly, William G. Herbert and Imbolo Mbue. Plus, there will be puppet shows, stories and films for the whole family. More information is available at

Free programming and events for adults and children will take place at community centres across the city and will include art and poster displays, movie nights, Black history presentations and more. An exhibit entitled Through Your Eyes features an art series highlighting the work of young artists and will be on display at civic centres throughout February.

Mackenzie House is presenting Black History Month programming on weekends in February. Members of the public are invited to learn more about Black Victorians of Toronto, featuring those who published newspapers during that era. Visitors can take a piece of this important history home when they print a souvenir copy of Mary Ann Shadd Cary's newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, in the re-created 1850s' print shop. The souvenir is included with regular admission. Admission prices, hours of operation and more are available at

A travelling exhibit, created for Mackenzie House, will also visit Scarborough Museum. It showcases some members of the Black community in Victorian Toronto and their contributions to the City of Toronto. Curated by historian Afua Cooper, the exhibit examines the varied aspects of Black life in mid-Victorian Toronto.

Toronto Archives invites members of the public to visit its two online exhibits entitled Black History in Toronto, and Donald Moore: Caribbean Connection - One Man's Crusade. Both online exhibits are available at Follow Toronto Archives on Twitter at during the month of February for images celebrating the history of Black Canadians in the City.

A detailed list of City-related exhibitions, educational displays and community-based programming is available at

This news release is also available on the City's website:

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

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Media contact: Eric Holmes, Strategic Communications, 416-392-2708, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.