Ruth’s Story

Ruth Barrow illustration


After the American Civil War, many African-Canadians head back to the States. Not Ruth! She stays in Toronto, fighting for black rights.

Her work helps close segregated schools, allows African-Canadians to serve in World War One, and repeals the Order in Council — a ban on black immigration. A community leader, she promotes diversity in Canada.

Ruth Barrow is a fictional character, but was inspired by the stories of real people just like her!

Learn about a real Canadian who made a difference!


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What Will Your Story Be?

The choices the Class of ’67 made helped to create the Canada we know today. What will your generation do? What problems will you solve? What technology will you invent? What barriers will you break?

Write a short article or draw a picture, and share it with us on social media or at We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


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Look back at Ruth’s Story


  • What do you think Ruth’s life was like before she came to Canada?
  • Put yourself in Ruth’s shoes. What would it have been like to run away, all alone, at 14 years old? What would it have felt like to finally have a safe place with the Grand family?
  • Who was Ruth’s role model? Why did she look up to her?
  • What made it difficult for Ruth to achieve her dreams? What did she do to overcome these challenges?
  • What was Ruth’s goal for her life? Do you think she was happy the way her story turned out?


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What Would Your Future Be?


Take the Quiz Now


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