Fort York in Toronto
Whether you're a history enthusiast or you're looking for an educational, fun family outing, discover Fort York. You'll learn all about Toronto's rich history while stepping back in time to experience the Battle of York, during the War of 1812. Now designated as a National Historic Site, Fort York is a must for anyone interested in the origins of our city! And while you're there, you can take part in the many special events and entertaining activities Fort York has to offer.
Fort York was founded in 1793 and is the birthplace of Toronto. The base was established by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe to defend "York," as Toronto was then known. The original site was destroyed in an American invasion in 1813, when it fell into the hands of the enemy. That same year, the British returned and rebuilt the Fort that stands today. Fort York was used by the military until 1934 when it was restored and opened as a historic site museum. Today, Fort York is fully restored and has eight remaining structures, seven of which are original, making it one of Canada's largest collections of original War of 1812 buildings.
Fort York is both a museum and a spectacular historic site. It is during the summer however, that Fort becomes animated with many activities and special programs. Once inside the fortification's wooden gates, visitors can enjoy guided tours, scenic views, and see demonstrations by the Fort York Guard including: Artillery Firing, Music, Squad Drill and Battle Tactics performances. The Fort also plays host to numerous special ceremonies throughout the summer (Victoria Day, Canada Day, and Simcoe Day to name a few) ⎯ so don't be surprised if you get a few unexpected surprises during your visit.
During your tour, you can catch all the excitement of life in a military fortress. You can explore the soldiers' and officers' quarters, crawl over the ramparts, and see cooking demonstrations with staff in period costumes. Sample some of the original recipes of what the officers would have eaten at the time! And take the time to visit the buildings to explore the elaborate interpretive exhibits featuring artillery, uniforms, music, cavalry, battles, and more.
So plan a visit! Fort York offers the exploration of history and lots of recreational opportunities. It is best to call ahead to ensure that activities are scheduled to happen. The daily schedule may change from time to time and you want to make sure there are performances by the Guard. For more information on visiting Fort York, see this website, and if you're interested in reading up on the History of Fort York itself, you can check out www.fortyork.ca or www.toronto.ca/museums.
The Fort is located at 100 Garrison Rd. (off Fleet St., east of Strachan Avenue, West of Bathurst St., just north of the new Fort York Blvd.). It's just a few blocks west of the CN Tower and 2 blocks east of Exhibition Place.