Historic Fort York

A remnant of the city's colonial past
located in the heart of this bustling metropolis



fort york guard Historic Fort York is the crown jewel of Toronto’s historic attractions. While now operating only for tourists it is fascinating that this site has survived intact for this long at the center of one of the planets most rapidly developing cities.

You can catch a glimpse into life from a bygone era right in the middle of this bustling metropolis. An amazing relic of the past, visiting the attraction is relatively inexpensive, guided tours are available and if driving, parking is free.

The British commander of the Province of Upper Canada built the first garrison at the site of the present fort in 1793. He subsequently made the community of York that sprang up around the fort the new Capital of the Province.

The Americans captured the original fort in April 1813 during the War of 1812. After they withdrew the British returned and built the fort that stands today. It served as the primary defense of the city between 1790 and the 1880’s and a military garrison was stationed here until the 1930’s.

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fort york The fort became a national historic site of Canada in 1934 and today it houses the largest collection of original war of 1812 buildings in the country. Its bunkhouses are among the oldest buildings that still survive in the city of Toronto and are in excellent condition.

There are no longer any troops stationed here, instead it is manned by the Fork York Guards. Comprised mainly of high school students this volunteer organization dresses in the uniforms and regalia of the time and performs various military exercises and ceremonies throughout the day.

In the summer the Guards put on demonstrations every hour on the half hour. Cannons are fired at NOON and 3:30 PM daily and the raising and lowering of the flag takes place at 10:00AM and 4:30PM respectively.

At present the fort is undergoing a multi million-dollar upgrade as a 22,000 square foot visitor interpretation and information centre is scheduled to be complete in time for the 200-year bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812.


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Location of Historic Fort York



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The fort is located at 250 Fort York Blvd., which is right at the center of Toronto along what was the old waterfront. Getting there is very easy. If driving by car there are signs posted throughout the city and on both major highway entrances.

Insider Tip: Parking is free in the main lot at the West Gate entrance via Fort York Blvd.

If taking public transit take the subway until Bathurst Station, then the 511 streetcar until reaching the fort foot bridge. Visit the official TTC website at www.ttc.ca for more information.

For opening times and admission prices visit: www.fortyork.ca.


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Historic Fort York makes for a great family visit and it is close to numerous other Toronto attractions such as the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre. One of two more of these attractions can easily be combined into one day. History buffs will especially enjoy a trip to the fort. Visitors should plan on spending 1 – 3 hours here. If you are in Toronto more than a couple of days the fort is definitely a good candidate to put on your itinerary.


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