A few days ago, my family and I went to Toronto’s Fort York National Historic Site. It’s a series of 19th century British fortifications that once protected Toronto’s harbour.
It’s been 200 years since there was last a war in Canada, The War of 1812 – which lasted until 1815. It’s hard to imagine but Toronto (called York back then) was actually invaded once – by our neighbours in the United States.
To commemorate the Battle of York on April 27, 1813 – there were numerous events and recreations (e.g. musket firings!). My daughter got to learn how to do drills and use a (wooden) musket.
And they had cool postcards!
Here’s how the fort would have looked circa 1804:
A fort is complete without soldiers. Below is a postcard of 19th century British grenadiers:
Fort York was planned to be demolished during Toronto’s building heydays of the 1950s and 1960s. Citizens managed to have it saved, but the modern city has grown all around it. This postcard demonstrates the Fort admist the city:
The last time we were at Fort York was during their famous beer festival (which has subsequently moved). It really is a great place to about the War of 1812 and Toronto’s early history.