Ontario Black History Society

402-10 Adelaide St. E, Toronto, ON, M5C 1J3

Temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Contact us at admin@godaddy.blackhistorysociety.ca or (416)-867-9420

Charity Registration Number: 119930295RR0001

Leonard A. Braithwaite

Leonard A. Braithwaite

Born in Toronto, of West Indian immigrant parents, Braithwaite was raised in the Kensington Market area during the Great Depression and attended Harbord Collegiate.

Joined the RCAF in 1943 – served Overseas. Graduated University of Toronto [B.Comm.1950], Harvard University [M.B.A.1952], Osgoode Hall Law School, Gold Key [LL.B.1958]. Order of Canada 1997, Order of Ontario 2005. The First Black Person elected to a Legislature in Canada [1963] and [1999] First Black Lawyer elected to be a Member of the Governing Council of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

1964, spoke out at Queen’s Park that some rural, Coloured-only schools were still legally segregating Black children. His work led to the abolishment of the 114 year old Ontario Law permitting segregation. Fought for gender equality – 1966, – questioned Ontario Legislature why Student Pages working at Queen’s Park were all Male. Later, Female Pages were appointed. Braithwaite’s life-long actions in many fields have helped effect change and opened doors for many aspiring Minority Canadians.