Tower of Freedom Monument

From the early 19th century until the American Civil War, settlements along the Detroit and Niagara rivers were important terminals of the Underground Railroad. White and black abolitionists formed a heroic network dedicated to helping free and enslaved African Americans find freedom from oppression. By 1861, some 30,000 freedom seekers resided in what is now Ontario, after secretly travelling north from slave states like Kentucky and Virginia. Some returned south after the outbreak of the Civil War, but many remained, helping to forge the modern Canadian identity.
The Tower of Freedom, created by sculptor Ed Dwight, honours the flight of the freedom seekers along the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad is bi-nationally commemorated by two monuments, representing its final stops.
The Detroit monument, located in Hart Plaza, depicts the Gateway to Freedom and features a bronze sculpture of six formerly enslaved persons about to leave for Canada. The monument acknowledges many people in Detroit and their participation in the Underground Railroad movement. The Windsor counterpart depicts their arrival into Canada and their overwhelming emotion upon encountering freedom.