Fort York was a naval base built in the 18th century to protect early York (Toronto) from invaders. Torontonians have Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada John Graves Simcoe to thank for this 43-acre site that was once home to British soldiers.
The view today is very different than it was 150 years ago as the fort was built on a hill surrounded by water for protection. This outdoor military museum is now a popular attraction in the heart of Toronto.
One of the things that makes Fort York so special are the seven surviving buildings that offer a rare look into the military operations during British occupation. The buildings date back to between 1813 and 1815 and are perfect examples of British military architecture.
During the War of 1812 British, Canadian, Mississauga and Ojibway troops defended Fort York against the invasion of American soldiers. The American troops eventually succeeded and occupied the fort for six whole days.
The city of York remained under British rule at the end of the war. Today Fort York is a commemorative landmark that shaped the identity of both a province and a nation – a memory of the colonial influence over Ontario and Canada.