The First Black Doctor in Canada: Anderson Ruffin Abbott Anderson Ruffin Abbott was the first black Canadian doctor. Abbott and his family had a long history of contributing to the social life and economy of Toronto. Dr. Abbott’s father, Wilson Ruffin Abbott, was born in Richmond, Virginia, to a Scottish-Irish man and a free black woman in 1801. He left home at the age of 15 to work on a Mississippi steamer, and settled in Mobile, Alabama, where he opened a general grocery store. In 1834, the city of Mobile passed a writ requiring all free blacks to provide a bond signed by two white men as a pledge of good behaviour.