Tomorrow, Mayor John Tory will proclaim February as Black History Month in Toronto, recognizing the history, heritage and contributions of African-Canadians. The Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square will also be lit red, black and green to mark the first day of the month.
Residents are encouraged to take part in the City of Toronto’s planned programs along with virtual community-based programs and events. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, City recognition and celebratory programs and events will be held virtually this year.
Toronto History Museums
Educators from the Toronto History Museums will be guest-speaking at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)’s Virtual School Programs , a series of live 30-minute virtual field trips, free of charge on February 3, 17 and 24. Select sessions will explore moments in history inspired by Black Torontonians, including Joshua Glover and Mary Ann Shadd, and feature a discussion of an artwork from the AGO Collection and a mini-art making activity. Co-led by educators from three of the Toronto History Museums (Montgomery’s Inn, Fort York and Mackenzie House) and AGO Art Educators, sessions are available on each of those days for students in school or at home in JK to Grade 3, Grade 4 to 8 and Grade 9 to 12. Registration is required at Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)’s Virtual School Programs .
Toronto History Museums also invites Torontonians to Awakenings, its Black History Month YouTube Playlist. The Awakenings playlist features short films and conversations with Black, Indigenous and artists of colour, operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism. Toronto History Museums also pays tribute to some of the women who have made or are continuing to make important contributions to Toronto’s history and story. The inspiring lives of exceptional women are highlighted on the Toronto History Museums HerStory page. More information about these and other projects can be experienced safely at home through Toronto History Museums .
The Toronto Archives’ Black History in Toronto webpage highlights the history of Black communities, activists and leaders, service organizations and much more. Visit Black History in Toronto. Social media users can follow the Toronto Archives’ Twitter account and Instagram account to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, and for images and stories of significant Black figures, including William Peyton Hubbard, Dr. Alvin Curling and Donald Moore. These images will help followers discover more about the records and resources available at the Archives and beyond.
Parks, Forestry & Recreation
Starting February 1, the “Did you know?” poster series will be displayed at City facilities, including outdoor ice rinks, Centennial and Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centres, and the five City golf courses. The posters, painted by local youth artists, feature captivating illustrations of notable Black figures and their contributions.
Many Community Centres will have Black History Month themed activities and those with viewing screens will play presentations highlighting Black Canadians who have made significant contributions across various sectors, including sports, entertainment and politics.
Toronto Public Library
Toronto Public Library celebrates Black History with year-round events and programs that honour Black heritage and consider the historical significance and contemporary contributions of Black activists and artists from around the world. Discover upcoming events, reading lists, videos, podcast episodes and more at Toronto Public Library Black History .
A listing of all Black History Month events and how to access them is also available at City of Toronto Black History Month.
“Toronto became the first Canadian municipality to proclaim Black History Month in 1979, and since then, each February we use this opportunity to learn more about the history of Black Canadians and celebrate their many contributions to our city and our country. I encourage all Torontonians to learn and celebrate Black History Month, and to participate in the programs and activities taking place across the city. By being informed and recognizing the contributions and achievements of Toronto’s Black community we can continue to make our city more inclusive and equitable.”
– Mayor John Tory