Fort York was commissioned by the British Army and built immediately south of Upper Canada’s capital, York (since renamed Toronto) in 1793, to defend the settlement from potential raids from the United States, independent since 1776. The provincial capital had just been moved by Lieutenant Governor Simcoe from Niagara which was seen as too prone to invasions due to its locations. The fort was the site of the first Government House from 1800 to 1812. Throughout its history, the structure was abandoned in times of peace and further fortified when tensions mounted with the USA or at home such as during the rebellions of the 1840’s. Most of the fort was destroyed during the War of 1812 when the British blew up a gunpowder magazine as they retreated to safer grounds, killing hundreds of Americans. The garrison was subsequently rebuilt in its current form and proved strong enough to resist further American attacks. The Canadian Forces vacated the site in the 1930’s although much of the defences had been obsolete since the 1880’s.
Nowadays Fort York is owned by the City Toronto and serves as a military museum with guns, uniforms, cannons and the likes on display and also plays host to a variety of events (concerts…).
Don't want to miss our next content update? Join fellow Toronto readers and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). Meanwhile, have fun wandering the city or as we like to say: be a tourist at home!
Something to say? Leave a comment on Fort York.