Sources Black History Leslieville




“Farewell, ole Maser, don’t think hard of me, I’m going on to Canada, where all the slaves are free”

1861 Census
Globe, September 14, 1880
1851 Census Stephen Sea, Alonzo Gray, Smith Walker, “Negro” James Allanson, Thomas Wilson, James French…all lived near and probably in Daniel O’Sullivan’s Blacksmith Arms Hotel on Kingston Road near Lee Avenue. This was a year after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. No wonder someone didn’t want to give his name.
1851 Census, Samuel and Rachel Sewell and family, Leslieville
1861 Census James Barry (also spelled Berry)
1861 Samuel Sewell, Rachel Sewell and Robert Johnson, Leslieville
1871 Census James Berry and his family, Leslieville
1871 Census Samuel Sewell and William and Walter Winders

Samuel Sewell death, May 11, 1873 from the ledgers of The Necopolis Cemetery

Ocean and sand

More to come

More will be posted over the coming days. Please share this material.

Joanne Doucette, historian, Leslieville Historical Society

Sand and ocean


Why not research your own history? A great place to start is the Local History collection in your public library.

Clear water at the beach

Another source

My history has a lot of information about those who escaped slavery to live here. It is available free on line at:

Globe, April 15, 1851

From early on ice from Ashbridge’s Bay was cut and sold by settlers like the Ashbridges.  Some who exploited this resource were the black entrepreneurs, the Cary (or Carey) Brothers. George, Isaac, John and Thomas Cary came from Virginia to Toronto in the 1830s where they opened several barber shops. (In 1856 Thomas Cary married Mary Ann Shadd, the publisher of the Provincial Freeman.) Their workers in the ice business were often black men who had escaped slavery. In 1854, Thomas Cary and Richard B. Richards opened four ice houses. Some of the ice came from the Yorkville springs; some is reported to have come from Ashbridge’s Bay:

Ice! Ice!! Ice!!! The Undersigned begs to return his best thanks to his customers, for the liberal patronage he has received for the last nine years, and to announce that he has enlarged and added to the number of his Ice Houses, having now four which are filled with pure and wholesome Spring Water Ice, from Yorkville. He is prepared to supply the same to consumers, by contract or otherwise, during the season, commencing from the 1st of June next. The Ice will be conveyed by waggon daily, to places within six miles of Toronto. All orders sent to Thomas F. Cary, hairdresser, Front Street, two doors from Church Street, will be punctually attended to. R.B. Richards, Toronto April 19, 1854.(Globe, August 27, 1855.)