Banner with the caption The TTC is proud to support Black History Month with portraits of Frederick Landon Hubbard and Perdita Felicien 

The TTC is celebrating Black History Month by showcasing several prominent African-Canadians who played an instrumental role in politics, social justice and advocacy in Toronto, Ontario and Canada. Below are their photos and a description of their contribution.

Thornton Blackburn

Introduced Toronto’s first horse-drawn cab company in 1837. The carriages were painted red and yellow, and these colours were adopted by the Toronto Transit Commission for its own vehicles after 1921.

Jean Augustine

Portrait of Jean Augustine

First Black female to be elected to the House of Commons, appointed to the federal cabinet and served as the first Fairness Commissioner of the Government of Ontario. 

William Peyton Hubbard

Portrait of William Peyton Hubbard

City of Toronto’s first African-Canadian councillor. Mr. Hubbard played an integral role in the founding of Toronto’s Hydro Electric System.

Michaëlle Jean

Portrait of Michaelle Jean

First Black person appointed as Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. As Governor General she advocated for the disadvantaged, paying special attention to youth.

Larry McLarty

Portrait of Larry McLarty

First Black male to serve as a police officer on the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force in 1960.

Donovan Bailey

Portrait of Donovan Bailey

First African-Canadian male sprinter to legally break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m.

Lincoln Alexander

Portrait of Lincoln Alexander

First Black male to be elected to the House of Commons, appointed to the federal cabinet, serve as chair of the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board and be appointed as the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Fergie Jenkins

Portrait of Fergie Jenkins

First Canadian-born black MLB baseball player, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rosemary Brown

Portrait of Rosemary Brown

First Black female to be elected as a member of a provincial legislature, and the first female to run for leadership of a federal political party.

Charles Conliff Mende Roach

Portrait of Charles Conliff Mende Roach

Canadian civil rights lawyer and an activist in the Black community in Toronto. He was a co-founder of the Caribana Festival, serving as its first chair.

Anderson Ruffin Abbott

Portrait of Anderson Ruffin Abbott

First African-Canadian to be licensed as a family physician in Canada. He was also a public advocate for integrated schools.

Daniel Grafton Hill III

Portrait of Daniel Grafton Hill III

First Black person to serve on the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Perdita Felicien

Portrait of Perdita Felicien

The first Canadian woman in history to win a world championship gold medal in track and field.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Portrait of Mary Ann Shadd Cary

First Black female publisher in Canada.

Elijah McCoy

Portrait of Elijah McCoy

First African-Canadian male to invent a device for steam-powered engines.

Frederick Langdon Hubbard

Portrait of Frederick Langdon Hubbard

Frederick Langdon Hubbard, 1932, first African-Canadian to serve on the Toronto Transit Commission.

Willy O'Ree

Portrait of Willie O'Ree

A Canadian and first Black player to play in the NHL. Willie started with the Boston Bruins in 1957 and played for more than 20 seasons.

For more information about Black History Month visit: