August 4, 2021

Thank you to the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton for creating this self-guided itinerary.

Learn more about Oakville’s Black history while exploring the beauty of Kerr Village with the help of the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton’s self-guided walking tour!

Follow the itinerary below to get started:

Please remember to respect local COVID-19 policies when getting your exercise and practice social distancing when checking out these important landmarks and heritage sites.

Stop 1: Burnet Park

Burnet St. and Kerr St.

As an official Port of Entry into Canada, Oakville was one of the major destinations along the Underground Railroad and the first glimpse of freedom for many escaped African American slaves. The Underground Railroad saw over 40,000 African American people migrating from the United States to Canada between 1850 and 1860 alone. In 2019, descendants of the Adams, Wayner, Duncan and Skeet families were present for the unveiling of the commemorative plaque.

Stop 2: The Adams Home

104 Burnet St.

Jeremiah B Adams, a prominent figure in Oakville’s Black history, purchased a house with his wife Eliza in 1909 that was on the southwest corner of Burnet and Kerr Streets. This house was passed on to their daughter, Nina Adams and then to other descendants of Jeremiah Adams in the Wayner, Duncan and Skeete families for over 100 years. While the house was demolished in 2016, a plaque was put in place in Burnet Park in 2019 to commemorate Oakville’s Black history and community members.

Stop 3: Shipyard Park

Francis St. and Lakeshore Rd. West

The CCAH is working with the Town of Oakville to redesign Shipyard Park into a beautiful space dedicated to Oakville’s Black history in a public and permanent way. William Chisholm purchased the land around Sixteen Mile Creek in 1827 and in 1834 the Town of Oakville became an official Port of Entry into Canada. Ships from Oakville sailed throughout the Great Lakes and beyond, and many slaves were assisted by ship captains to stow away in grain vessels.

Stop 4: Kerr Street – Carousel of Nations Festival

Kerr Street was the original home of the Carousel of Nations Multicultural Festival, a family event that contributes to the social cohesion of the Halton Region community. Since 1999, the festival remains to be a successful collaboration among the local ethno-cultural groups, professional and amateur multicultural artists, Halton Regional Police Service, local businesses, government and corporate sponsors.

Stop 5: Turner Chapel Antiques

37 Lakeshore Rd. West

The Turner African Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1891 by former slaves. The congregation included African Americans from Oakville and Bronte. The congregation remained very active for nearly 100 years.

Please explore Oakville safely and responsibly, and don’t forget to tag @VisitOakville in your adventures!

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