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June 15, 2021

Grey County changes plans for property adjacent to the Old Durham Road Black Pioneer Cemetery

Old Durham Road Black Cemetery location

Grey County representatives have responded to concerns from the community regarding proposed plans for the property adjacent to the Old Durham Road Black Pioneer Cemetery.

Grey County recently became aware of significant concerns regarding the proposal to purchase the property adjacent to the Old Durham Road Black Pioneer Cemetery with the intent of constructing a County Transportation Depot. Two follow up meetings between County representatives and key stakeholders have confirmed the Committee’s beliefs that a Transportation Depot would not be compatible with the historic and sensitive nature of the cemetery. As a result, County staff will recommend to Grey County Council that the Depot not be located at this site.

“I commend the members of the [Old Durham Road Black Pioneer Cemetery] Committee for their passion and commitment to preserving the cemetery and raising awareness of its significance,” said Grey County Warden Selwyn Hicks. “We share a belief in the importance of honouring and interpreting the history of Black settlers to the County.”

For many years, the County’s museum and archives, Grey Roots, has been proud to host annual events and exhibits that celebrate Black history in Grey County. This includes a number of Owen Sound Emancipation Festival events and an annual exhibit during Black History Month.

“We acknowledge and support the County’s resolve to work with us and other organizations to increase the visibility of the county's Black history, raise awareness, nurture, and support community group efforts in this regard, and bring better heritage awareness to all its staff and departments,” said Naomi Norquay, Chair of the Old Durham Road Black Pioneer Cemetery Committee. “We will support their efforts to this end.”

Grey County Council will discuss other options and next steps for the Transportation Depot project at their June 24 meeting.


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