Wilberforce Street


Photo of church
The African Episcopal Methodist Church
©Jeri Danyleyko

Wilberforce Street, located in Simcoe County, was a colonization settlement started by the British in the 1820s. Its main purpose was to fulfill the British goal of establishing a black settlement in British North America.

The first settlers were primarily soldiers who fought for the British during the war of 1812. Many of those who followed afterwards are believed to be former slaves who arrived via the Underground Railway.

Overall the settlers were not successful as farmers. Lack of background and training in farming practices is one likely reason. By the late 1880s, many began to slip away to other areas where they could earn good wages in lumbering or with the railways.

Today the site is marked by a number of historical plaques. One building still stands – the African Episcopal Methodist Church. The church, built in 1849, has been restored and is now designated as a National Historic Site. Learn more

How to get there

The location, historical plaque and church can all be found in the Barrie area. See a more detailed map for actual directions.

View Ontario Ghost Town Map

Please note: these maps are generated by Google. We have no control over the contents. Incorrect street data and/or similar problems must be reported directly to Google. For detailed information on roads, please consult a regular road map.

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