Prejudice against Blacks in Ontario

Although slavery is long over with, discrimination and mistreatment have not disappeared for Black Canadians. Canada has come a long way to overcome racism and prejudice, there considerable work that needs to be done. This page explores the situation in Ontario, home three out of Black Canadian. In 2006  Blacks were of 3.9% of the provincial population and the third largest visible minority.

Even though the Racial Discrimination Act was passed in Ontario in March 14th 1944, which prohibited the publication and display of any sign, symbol or notice that expressed racial, religious or ethnic discrimination, there has still been lots of public complaints and concerns about how racism is dealt with in Ontario. There was an incident in Dresden, Ontario in 1954, which was covered by the Toronto Telegram where two Black customers were refused service in two restaurants within the town.

Sadly, racists attitudes are not a thing of the past. An article in the Toronto Sun states about the gun shootings in Toronto “As long as it’s just blacks killing each other, whites don’t pay much attention.”. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario has the highest proportion of reported hate-crimes in Canada, with 5.7 incidents per 100,000 population in 2010. In Ontario, Black Canadians reported the most hate-crimes with 271 incidents. So Black Ontarians were seven times more likely than the average to be the victim of a hate crime. Not only do Black Canadians report hate-crimes to the police, but they also feel discriminated by the police. An investigation conducted by The Toronto Star in 2010, revealed that Black people are three to five times more likely than white people to be stopped and questioned by the police. In one neighbourhood they were 17 times more likely. A  study conducted by Howard Sapers has shown there is a sharp, 50% increase in Black people in prison, so that now 20% of Ontario’s prison population is Black.

Discrimination is not just in the streets, it affects Blacks chances in job market as well. “Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market”, a study conducted by Sheila Block and Grace-Edward Galabuzi for the Centre for Policy Alternatives, examined racialized and non-racialized groups in Canada. A racialized group is one that is treated as if they are different by society,  In 2005 they found Blacks earned 75.6 cents for every dollar a non-racialized worker earns, for an annual earnings gap of $9,101. And that the unemployment rate was 73% higher for Blacks than for Whites.

Black Canadians continue to struggle with racial discrimination in Canada, even though promised a better life where everyone is equal. It is our job as citizens to educate ourselves on this problem and to fix it.

Seneca King

Further readings

For more information on Blacks struggles from 1911 to 2005 please look at:


9 Responses to Prejudice against Blacks in Ontario

  1. Sonja downs says:

    I am raising a child that is biracial and never in a million years did I think that racism is so alive and well in Ontario, Canada. As a baby, I would be asked,”What is he?” or people would make comments like, “I’d take him home anyway.” At school, the n word still has life, but what is stunning is that some teachers are reluctant to do anything about it at all. This type of denigration that has flourished for so long is so beyond unacceptable that I cannot find words to express how disappointed and disgusted and hurt for this child and so many others that have suffered and continue to do so. What the h is wrong with people.


  2. Bonita says:

    Problems for anyone of African descent in this world is bad for us. We have continue the work our ancestors started and that is keep on fighting and keep hope alive for the next generation.

  3. Nika Ra says:

    I am a Black American who was considering moving to Canada, however the last thing I want to deal with is racism in a place that is supposed to be friendlier to Blacks. The Us is bad in some places, but not every place is like that. I was trying to move to Canada for a better life to escape racism, not to deal with undercover racist. The police is not protecting and serving Black citizens anywhere. Historically Blacks have been through enough and the last thing we need is to deal with more racism.

  4. josephine says:

    Is that the measure that solves the issue and ends discussion? that it’s worse in the worst place? so long as Canadian racists are (usually) slightly less violent and blatant this means it’s all good here? In some parts of the US it’s actually better than here – and some parts of Canada are worse than others. The point is that according to our laws and purported values it shouldn’t be happening at all…and denial or meaningless comparisons don’t change the reality that for too many Canadians of African descent life is not only much harder than for white people- we are also ridiculed, rendered invisible and left undefended by ridiculous statements like – oh well the US is worse…. i guess that means any issue where the US is worse is not an issue at all. The state has a duty to address racism in real terms, but as long as people pretend that “its worse elsewhere” means we don’t have a problem – it will keep getting worse.

  5. Pingback: Taking a page from @WabKinew and calling out the CBC – @deliajschool

  6. Mz Feisty says:

    If you’re black don’t move to the USA. It’s worse!

    • Tina says:

      I agree! Actually Canada’s “problems” sound very minor in comparison. The USA is a far worse place.

    • I agree. Canada’s “problems” are minor for blacks in comparison to those in the USA.

      • Annie b. says:

        you people should get educated. So basically you are saying that is is okay that predudice exits here as long as it is not as much as the USA. Don’t fool yourselves, racism is far worst here since it is mostly hidden. Do you thing that Obama would ever be voted as PM of Canada?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s