Canada, Virginia

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Coordinates: 38°1′53.6″N 78°30′18.6″W / 38.031556°N 78.505167°W / 38.031556; -78.505167 Canada was a small community of free African-Americans established near the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in the 19th century.[1] Many residents of Canada were employed by the university. The community existed from the early 19th century until the early 20th century, by which time the increasingly valuable land had been purchased by white speculators.[2] Researchers theorize that the community was named in homage to the country bordering the United States to the north, where slavery had been abolished under the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.[3]

It was located between what is now Jefferson Park Avenue and Venable Lane, and was rediscovered during the expansion of a university parking lot in May 1993.[2] An architectural firm cataloging the finding believes that the cemetery that they've uncovered served the community; 32 graves have been discovered.[1] The site of the home of one community member is being turned into a 1-acre (4,000 m2) public park.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Canzi, Chiara (2009-03-10). C-Ville Weekly. Portico Publications, LLC Retrieved 2009-03-14.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Discoveries date to 19th century: Additional Gravesites, Artifacts Found On University-Owned Land That Once Belonged To Free African-American Family" (Press release). University of Virginia. 2005-06-08. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  3. ^ Colwell, Kate (2009-03-13). "South Lawn memorial to honor free blacks’ history". The Cavalier Daily. Retrieved 2009-03-14. He said he believes the name of the neighborhood is “likely symbolic of the fact that Canada was the final destination of runaway slaves,” and that it “perhaps reflects the significance of Kitty Foster and the free black community in the South Lawn area within the larger Charlottesville, Albemarle white community.”