Think of all the times you’ve hailed a cab. The ticker tape running through your mind probably consisted of two things: Getting to your destination on time, and seriously, how could they let that creepy Bachelor Brad back for another season?

 

You probably weren’t thinking about the fact that the precursor for public transportation in Toronto came from two enterprising former slaves from Kentucky. But it did. By 1834, Thornton and Lucie Blackburn separately escaped to Canada and, noticing a lack of proper public transport, they set up their own taxicab company called The City. Thornton designed, built and operated the horse-drawn cab, eventually paving the way for your 2 a.m. weekend ride home.