Opening for the season on May 18

Book your virtual guided tour of the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History today!

After escaping slavery in 1830, Josiah Henson, with the help of other abolitionists, sought ways to provide refugees with the education and skills needed to become self-sufficient in Upper Canada (now Ontario). In 1841, they purchased 121 hectares (300 acres) of land in present-day Dresden and established the British American Institute, one of the first schools in Canada to emphasize vocational training. The community of Dawn developed around the Institute. The stories of these freedom seekers and how they contributed to the establishment of a significant Black community in this part of the province is told at the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History.

Designed for educators, this 45-minute live tour of the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History brings the history of the Underground Railroad to life through artifacts, a walking tour of the historical buildings, interactive activities and incredible storytelling. A brief question-and-answer session will follow each tour.

An estimated 30,000 Black refugees from slavery in the United States fled to Canada along the silent tracks of the Underground Railroad – a network of people who aided these refugees as they followed the North Star to freedom. One of these freedom seekers was abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor and former slave Josiah Henson. He became known as Uncle Tom through his connection to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Josiah Henson’s story is told at the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History in Dresden, Ontario. Your live-streaming experience incorporates a tour of the museum and two-hectare (five-acre) property, including the Interpretive Centre, three historical buildings – including the Josiah Henson House – a sawmill, two cemeteries and numerous artifacts that have been preserved as a legacy to those freedom seekers.

Topics discussed include:

  • an overview of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
  • slavery in Ontario
  • a discussion on the life of Josiah Henson
  • the Underground Railroad
  • early Black settlements in Ontario

Book your live virtual guided tour today to meet a descendant of some of these courageous Underground Railroad freedom seekers and learn about the early Black presence in Ontario!


  • For an optimal viewing experience, a stable internet connection capable of streaming high-definition videos on one or more devices is recommended.
  • You’ll be able to live-stream this tour using any standard web browser. For an optimal experience, we recommend that you use the latest version of your browser.
  • Portions of the tour discuss the harsh reality of slavery in a sensitive and honest manner and may not be suitable for all ages.