Monday, August 6, 2012

Simcoe Day

John Graves Simcoe was a British army officer who became the first governor of Canada. And every year Ontario gets a holiday in his name. This Simcoe Day I checked out Fort York, Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings and 1813 battle site.

In 1813, when the shoreline of Lake Ontario came all the way to where the Gardiner Expressway stands today, Fort York was at an strategic point to defend the British colony and the little town of York, which would one day become Toronto.

American forces attacked and vanquished the fort in 1813, occupying York for a few days, looting and burning the Parliament Building. This was a short but turbulent period in Canadian history, and it wasn’t without its dramatic moments, such as when the retreating British troops exploded 300 barrels of gunpowder they had stored under the fort, hurting hundreds of American soldiers and killing some too. The explosion was heard in Niagara.

Today, Fort York is a relic stuck in the middle of downtown, with an incredible view of the city skyline and an archeological site protected from the construction cranes all around it.

There were also demonstrations of cooking and general life in the Fort.

Ending the day going east like the Loyalists, passing by a very colorful St. Jameson Park.

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