Blackburn, Thornton and Lucie National Historic Person

Toronto, Ontario
Blackburn, Thornton and Lucie (© Parks Canada // Parcs Canada)
Plaque for Thornton and Lucie Blackburn
(© Parks Canada // Parcs Canada)
Address : 19 Sackville Street, Toronto, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1999-05-04
Life Date: 0 to 1890

Other Name(s):
  • Blackburn, Thornton and Lucie  (Designation Name)
  • Thornton Blackburn  (Other Name)
  • Lucie Blackburn  (Other Name)

Importance: Legendary escapees from slavery who established first cab company in Toronto


Existing plaque:  19 Sackville Street, Toronto, Ontario

The Blackburns' determination to build free lives provides a window on the experience of many refugees in the Underground Railroad era. Having fled slavery in Kentucky, they were arrested in Detroit in 1833. Their capture sparked riots and in the confusion they managed to escape to Upper Canada. Here, the government twice defended them against extradition, and by 1834 the couple had settled in Toronto. Respected citizens, they established the city's first cab company, worked for Abolition and contributed to the well-being of their community.