Toronto city council to commemorate Canada’s first two Black doctors

From the CityNews article

Toronto City Council recently voted to celebrate Canada’s first two Black doctors with a pair of plaques close to where they lived, learned and practiced.

Doctors Alexander Augusta and Anderson Abbott lived in Toronto in the 19th century, each overcoming prejudice and racism to become leaders in Ontario’s Black community.

Dr. Nav Persaud, a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, was part of the team that brought Augusta’s story forward to Heritage Toronto.

“The accounts that we have of him as a student indicate he was exemplary,” Persaud said.

“There were accounts of Augusta from some of his professors at the time, and others he had sought reference letters from,” he explained. “We can see the endorsements of Augusta at the time and it seems like there were a number of individuals in Toronto, or Upper Canada at the time, who thought very highly of Augusta and his abilities as a physician.”

Abbott, meanwhile, was born in Toronto in 1837. His parents came to the city three years earlier, from Alabama after their store was ransacked. Abbott went to University College and then to medical school. He apprenticed under Augusta and was licensed in 1862, making him the first Canadian-born Black doctor.

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