Black Presence in Berlin

Our Black history walking tour in Downtown Kitchener might expand your perspective on this city’s early history – which is the point of a good walking tour!

Image of Charles Jones_Black History Walking Tour in Kitchener

Many people think that Kitchener’s first Black residents only came here in the 1960s and 70s, but did you know that the first Black person actually arrived in Waterloo region in 1806?

On this walk we will talk about Berlin’s connection to the early Black settlers of the Queens Bush settlement. Further, we will visit former sites where Black residents lived, had their businesses and schools in the 19thcentury and learn about their lives and contributions to our community. You will hear about Black teachers, a Black lawyer, and Black domestic workers. While there are only a few stories, you will also learn about the lives of a few Black women, a jeweller and inventor and community celebrations such as Emancipation Day. Did you know that one of Berlin’s Black residents even ran for office! Come join us to find out who that was.

As we recover and re-tell these histories you’ll look at this town differently and realize that Kitchener’s heritage is more colourful and richer than we thought.  

Led by: Peggy Plet

Accessibility: Route follows paved surfaces on main and neighbourhood streets. Accessible for scooters & wheelchairs.

Black History Walking Tour Details

Of course, we have the obligatory Liability Waiver and Release form that must be signed by each person in advance of joining the walk.  Why a waiver for a walking tour, you ask? Couldn’t get insurance without it. Stroll pays insurance… you sign the waiver. 

A sense of curiosity, a few questions and a willingness to learn something you didn’t know before.

Of course, dress for the weather; bring a hat, water bottle, umbrella, solid walking shoes (no flip flops!) and anything else you need to be comfortable on the walk. 

We walk rain or shine or snow! 

However, we do heed storm watches and warnings and would never put you in danger. Stroll may cancel and reschedule a walk due to an issued weather advisory. 

We don’t make scheduled bathroom breaks along the walking route. Please attend to personal needs before or after the walking tour. 

Twice a year Stroll hosts a series of public walking tours in the spring and fall. Make sure you are on the Stroll newsletter list so you know when they are available! 

Absolutely! The walking tour guides have chosen routes with the best possible accessibility in order to accommodate as many people as possible. However, construction happens and we do our best to re-route safely.

If you have any questions about the accessibility of a specific walk, please contact us in advance of booking. 

We’ll say it again… Always arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time! If you arrive exactly at departure time, you’re already late! If you arrive really late, your walking tour will likely be shorter than you planned for. 

Public Tours: We start on time so you might miss the introduction. If you’re really late, you might miss the tour if we’ve already moved on. 

We know you’re a curious bunch so we’ve been preparing blog posts with additional resources from many of the walking tours. Happy reading!

Black Presence in Berlin was a wonderful experience. Our tour guide, Peggy Plet, was so incredibly knowledgeable, and she made it possible for us to picture the people, places and events of the past. There’s so much history in our region that has been ignored or forgotten. Tours like this bring it back to life.
Nigel G