City Recognizes the Samuel David Robinson Complex


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     For Immediate Release

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Zoë Mulholland
Public Relations Manager (Interim)


                                                                                                                  City Recognizes the Samuel David Robinson Complex

Hamilton – April 21st, 2023

Earlier today, the City of Hamilton held a special dedication unveiling in honour of Samuel David Robinson (1848-1920), an influential businessman and property owner and developer in Hamilton who was also the first black person to be elected to the Corporation of Hamilton as a Common Councilor in 1906.

The City recognized the Samuel David Robinson Complex on Front Street, an area comprised of Pier Six Upper and Lower, the No.5 Car Park and the No.5 parkette area between them.

Mayor Charles Gosling declared the area as an appropriate location for such a dedication as Mr. Robinson sat on the Wharf Committee at the Corporation, among others. Approximately twenty of Mr. Robinson’s descendants were present at the event. Councillor John Harvey OBE unveiled the new signage along with Mr. Robinson’s granddaughter, June Hill.

Mayor Gosling noted that the recognition was a long time in the making and said of Mr. Robinson, “Samuel David Robinson was a titan of his time. It humbles me to stand here today before all of you, his family, and it is with great pride and privilege that the City of Hamilton recognizes this immediate area, collectively, as the Samuel David Robinson Complex in honour of the man whose significant contributions to the Hamilton community remain an integral part of Hamilton’s rich cultural history.”

Mr. Robinson was a master baker and ran a very successful bakery. He purchased land from the Corporation of Hamilton in 1875 and built his beloved Wantley on Princess Street. The Robinsons were community figures and hosted many cultural events and social gatherings at Wantley. Mr. Robinson is also credited with building The Arcade building on Burnaby Street, Victoria Terrace on Princess Street as well as residential dwellings Oldholm and Long House in north Hamilton.

It was in Wantley that Mr. Robinson and five other gentlemen gathered in 1879 and formed the Berkeley Educational Society with a vision to open a non-segregated secondary school. Mr. Robinson was committed to the education and empowerment of the black community. The efforts of the Society would ultimately result in The Berkeley Institute, which opened its doors on Court Street in 1897.

The new signage for the Samuel David Robinson Complex includes a QR Code which, when scanned, links to a video highlighting the achievements and contributions to the community made by Mr. Robinson.

                                                                                                                                             ### ENDS ###