February is Black History Month
Niagara Falls, Ontario holds a place in history as one of the final destinations of the renowned ‘Underground Railroad’. Enslaved people from the United States followed the Underground Railroad to find freedom in Canada. Approximately 30,000 enslaved people between 1800 and 1865 escaped into Canada from the US using this secret network of routes and safe houses from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Among those who escaped was Harriet Tubman, a heroine who played a huge role in the Underground Railroad. Between 1852 and 1857, Tubman, who herself escaped to Canada, made 11 trips to liberate people despite a $40,000 reward for her capture — dead or alive.
Canada’s most poignant stories of freedom and courage can be explored through Niagara Parks’ collection of displays and monuments honouring Black Canadian history. Follow the scenic Niagara River Parkway from Fort Erie north to the shores of Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake and learn about Niagara’s role in the legendary Underground Railroad. Stand in the spot where Harriet Tubman first crossed into Canada in 1856, witness the safe house where fugitive slaves hid from American bounty hunters and see the printing press that printed Canada’s 1793 Act Against Slavery.
Whether driving leisurely along the Parkway or walking or cycling the 56-km (35 mi) Niagara River Recreation Trail, over 20 plaques and displays highlight some of Canada’s most historic moments that unfolded in the Niagara region. Use this map to help plan out your journey to explore Black Canadian history along the Niagara River.
Each February during Black History month, explore special exhibits, lectures and tours to honour Black Canadian History in Niagara Falls at the Niagara Falls History Museum.