Emancipation Day Celebrated

Photo of the blog author By Superintendent Sam Fernandes,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 3:55 p.m. August 5, 2015

Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates in observance of the emancipation of slaves of African descent.

Two men in TPS uniform pose for a photo with others
Officers joined in Emancipation Day celebrations
  • Two men in TPS uniform pose for a photo with others
  • A group of people in a circle hand drumming as others take photos

It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of servitude.

In 2008, the Province of Ontario dedicated August 1 as Emancipation Day.

On Friday, July 31, 2015, at about 11.30 p.m., the TTC puts on a special train at Union Station for those celebrating this significant day. This has been a tradition for many years, yet unfamiliar to so many. The train voyages up the subway system and ends at the Downsview Station at about 12.45 a.m., on Saturday, August 1,  where the celebrators participate in a colourful formality. 32 Division officers were on hand to assist with a safe and joyous ceremony.

Under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, Toronto was founded with a commitment to abolishing slavery through the passage of the Anti-Slavery Act on July 9, 1793. Toronto would become the first jurisdiction in the British Commonwealth to move toward the abolition of slavery.

TPS crest watermark