52:500c – Week 04 – A Fort for A City

Deeply intertwined with the history of Toronto, Ontario is Fort York. Like Fort Erie, Fort York was established in the early days of Upper Canada after it’s establishment following the American Rebellion. Loyalists to the British Crown followed General John Graves Simcoe to the wilderness of the newly created colony of Upper Canada. While the original capital of the new colony was in what is today Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Simcoe felt that it was far too close to the American frontier and established a new colony, York. Today we know the city as Toronto, Ontario the provincial capital.



However Fort York National Historic Site as we see it today is not the garrison established in 1793 by Simcoe, that area is on the other side of Bathurst Street and today is mostly occupied by a Library and a condo tower. The new garrison was built following the American attack in 1813 during the Anglo-American War of 1812. In fact the brick, stone, and two blockhouses date back to that garrison. The other buildings on the site were constructed through the 19th century. And today the fort stands as the largest collection of War of 1812 buildings in Canada.



But what really sets Fort York apart from the other 19th century fortifications is it’s location in Toronto. While Fort Erie, Fort George, Fort Mississauga, Fort Henry and so on enjoy so level of a historic environment, Fort York does not. All around it condo towers now blot out the lake which at one point was right up to the fort’s walls, trains rumble past on rail lands that once were part of the garrison and the sounds of the streets echo even during the musket and cannon demos. But it remains a very peaceful spot especially in the winter.




If you want to see the fort come to life, there’s a big commemoration event at the end of April to remember the men who died during the 1813 American attack, make sure to come and find me, I’ll be one of the reenactors on the site dressed in the green jacket of the 7th battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot.

Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100
Rollei RPX-D (1+15) 6:30 @ 20C
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015)

3 thoughts on “52:500c – Week 04 – A Fort for A City

  1. Pingback: 52:500c – Week 18 – No Place I’d Rather Be | 52 rolls

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