The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway


When the Lincoln Alexander Parkway was named, it was a triumph not only for this distinguished Canadian but for all African Canadians. The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway looks at the history of blacks in the Ancaster-Burlington-Hamilton area, their long struggle for justice and equality in education and opportunity, and their achievements, presented in a fascinating and meticulously researched historical narrative.

Although popular wisdom suggests that blacks first came via the Underground Railroad, the possibility that slaves owned by early settlers were part of the initial community, then known as the "Head of the Lake," is explored.

Adrienne Shadd’s original research offers new insights into urban black history, filling in gaps on the background of families and individuals who are very much part of the history of this region, while also exploding stereotypes, such as that of the uneducated, low-income early black Hamiltonian.


By overlooking the lives and achievements of blacks in the larger story of Canadas development, historians have done a disservice to the thousands of Africans who came to Hamilton beginning in the 1800s, when the area was known as Head of the Lake. In what is clearly both a labour of love and an extensively researched document, Adrienne Shadd has corrected this oversight in The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway. The bookshould find a welcome place in university history courses and on the shelves of high school libraries.

Quill and Quire (April, 2011)

Adrienne Shadd's The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton is a thoroughly researched and welcome contribution to both Canadian history and black history in Canada. Ambitiously examining four centuries of Canadian history, beginning with slavery in eighteenth-century Canada and ending in contemporary Canada, Shadd provides an impressively detailed history of African Canadians in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Canadian Historical Review (December, 2011)

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