Book cover with the title "NEW EDITION" "THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD" large in the top left, with the subtitle below "NEXT STOP, TORONTO!" In the bottom left there are the authors names "Adrienne Shadd, ​​Afua Cooper, and Karolyn Smardz Frost". The text is overtop five images collaged together. At the top left there is a building, below a woman, top right a man, below a battle, below a body of water.

The Underground Railroad Toronto

Book cover with the title "NEW EDITION" "THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD" large in the top left, with the subtitle below "NEXT STOP, TORONTO!" In the bottom left there are the authors names "Adrienne Shadd, ​​Afua Cooper, and Karolyn Smardz Frost". The text is overtop five images collaged together. At the top left there is a building, below a woman, top right a man, below a battle, below a body of water.

Cover of “The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto!”, 2023 Heritage Toronto Book Award nominee. Cover designed by Karen Alexiou.

Authors: Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper, and Karolyn Smardz Frost

Publisher: Dundurn Press

The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! explores Toronto’s role as a destination for thousands of freedom seekers before the American Civil War. This new edition traces pathways taken by people, enslaved and free, who courageously made the trip north in search of liberty and offers new biographies, images, and information, some of which is augmented by a 2015 archaeological dig in downtown Toronto.

Within its pages are stories of courageous men, women, and children who overcame barriers of prejudice and racism to create homes, institutions, and a rich and vibrant community life in Canada’s largest city. These brave individuals established organizations not only to help newcomers but also to oppose the ongoing slavery in the United States and to resist racism in their adopted city.

Based entirely on original research, The Underground Railroad offers fresh insights into the rich heritage of African Americans who became African Canadians and helped build Toronto as we know the city today.


About the Authors:

Adrienne Shadd is a consultant, curator, and author who has conducted research for plaques, films, and exhibits. She is the author, co-author and editor of numerous books and articles, including The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton and The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! Adrienne has been recognized with the William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations and the J.C. Holland Award for Arts Achievement for her research and writing. She is currently part of the Dalhousie University team that is working on a comprehensive new research and education project entitled ‘A Black People’s History of Canada.’

Afua Cooper is the Chair of the Scholarly Panel on Lord Dalhousie’s Relationship to Race and Slavery and co-author of the Report. She is also the the former James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies. Her research interests are African Canadian studies, with specific regard to the period of enslavement and emancipation in 18th and 19th century Canada and the Black Atlantic; African-Nova Scotian history; political consciousness; community building and culture; slavery’s aftermath; Black youth studies. Dr. Cooper founded the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA), which she currently chairs. Read about its first conference here. She recently wrote and performed: “15 Ships to Sierra Leone” Black Halifax: Stories from Here

Karolyn Smardz Frost is an award-winning author, historian, archaeologist and educator committed to discovering and sharing the lost narratives of our human past. She specializes in teaching primary research methods for African Canadian and African American history. A founder of the public archaeology/public history movement in Canada, she administered Toronto’s Archaeological Resource Centre in 1985, where more than 100,000 schoolchildren helped dig into their own city’s past. Karolyn is currently researching direct connections between slavery and the early history of King’s College, Halifax.