“Despite the reputation for promoting multiculturalism and diversity… Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation and marginalization of African Canadians has left a legacy of anti-Black racism and had a deleterious impact on people of African descent, which must be addressed in partnership with the affected communities”.
"There were cheers in the United Nations as Canada officially removed its objector status to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Tuesday, almost a decade after it was adopted by the General Assembly."
Prior to the arrival of British and French colonizers, various Indigenous Nations lived on these lands, today known as "Toronto", to gather resources, serve, and celebrate their communities. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, as the British and French begun to settle these lands, the Indigenous maintained generally peaceful relations with the British and French. Their support included trade, friendships, and aid against American invasions of what we call "Canada" today.In 1787, the British Crown distributed £1,700 worth of gifts to the Mississaugas of the Credit as an award for their contributions during the American Revolution. Unbeknownst to the Indigenous, the British also included conditions in that exchange for the Indigenous people's land to be sold to the Crown. This failed and false sale is known as the “Sale of Toronto". In 1805, when it was recognized that the British Crown did not have legal claim to the land, the Crown entered a second purchase agreement to confirm the boundaries established in 1787. For transferring legal claim to the land to the British crown, the Mississaugas were paid 10 shillings for the 250,000 acres of land, which covers much of Toronto today. To this day, many Indigenous people agree that this sale was unjust. This led to the Mississaugas' 1986 submitted claim for compensation. 36 years later, in 2010, the Canadian government reached a settlement to pay the Indigenous people a mere $20,000 per each adult band member.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, many Indigenous and African peoples in Canada were enslaved by British colonial settlers. Here in Toronto for example, many distinguished names such as William Jarvis, and Peter Russell owned Africans as slaves, and others including Henry Dundas, opposed the abolition of slavery. While the practice of chattel slavery in Canada was abolished in 1834, its impacts are linked to the racial segregation and anti-Black racism faced by Black Canadians today. The University of Toronto denied admission to Black applicants in the 1920s, nursing schools didn't allow Black women to join due to the racist idea that "White patients did not want to be touched by Black nurses". Racism also fueled the creation of segregated schools for only Black children. Up till the mid 1960s, Toronto operated segregated schools for Black children. In 1965 Toronto's last formally segregated school closed.
CP Planning's Executive Director is currently serving as a Co-Chair of the Black Community Housing Advisory Table (BCHAT).
The Black Community Housing Advisory Table (BCHAT) was founded in 2021. We are a coalition of social service and housing providers, developers, planning experts, government and community leaders who aim to eliminate housing inequity for Black residents across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). This is achieved through the articulation of housing needs for Black communities, and the provision of guidance and recommendations designed to improve their access to a broad spectrum of secure, safe, and affordable housing.
The average and typical participant of a community planning consultation, from 1905 to today, has been White homeowners. Through the lack inclusion of Black, Indigenous, or other marginalized voices, the City of Toronto's neighbourhoods have not been designed to provide adequate supplies of housing accessible to groups who experience anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.
New communities were build in Toronto. These new communities included predominantly or only detached housing. This housing was purchased by wealthier and White residents to 'escape' neighbourhoods that included people of other ethnic backgrounds.
Due to the racial segregation, privileged to White and wealthier residents, many of these neighbourhoods were not welcome or safe to Black, Indigenous, or other persons of colour. Well into the 2000s and today, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour report that racism has been a barrier making it difficult for them to attain secure and affordable housing in many neighbourhoods.
Average individual income: $35,000
White individuals: $75,000
Applicants with Black sounding names
are less likely to be called back for an interview.
Families are about 3x more likely to be living on low incomes than White families.
Average individual income: $33,000
White individuals: $75,000
Applicants with Indigenous sounding names
are less likely to be called back for an interview
Over one in four are living below the low-income cut-off point, compared to 18% of non-Indigenous people.
34% of Black households own their home. Compared to 49% French, 58% British, and 83% Italian.
Due to higher likelyhood to rent, Black families more at risk from gentrification. They are more likely to be displaced from their neighbourhoods, due to the rising cost of housing.
Despite Ontario Human Rights Codes, Black people are turned away from rental units by landlords who oppose renting to Black tenants.
31% of Toronto’s homeless population is Black, despite Black people only representing 9% of the City’s population.
16% of Indigenous households own their home. Compared to 49% French, 58% British, and 83% Italian.
Due to higher likelyhood to rent, Indigenous families more at risk from gentrification. They are more likely to be displaced from their neighbourhoods, due to the rising cost
Despite Ontario Human Rights Codes, Indigneous people are turned away from rental units by landlords who oppose renting to Indigenous tenants.
9.9% of Toronto’s homeless population is Indigenous, despite Indigenous people only representing 2% of the City’s population.