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“The beginning of the greatest city!”

Fort York National Historic Site
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7-Minute Helicopter Tour Over Toronto
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Ranked #72 of 530 things to do in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Explore Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings and take part in year-round special events on this 43-acre site.. Built in 1793, Fort York National Historic Site is the birthplace of urban Toronto. It is best known as the location where the Battle of York came to its violent climax in 1813 during the War of 1812. The Fort served as the city's primary harbour defence between the 1790s and the 1880s, and was the home of a military garrison until the 1930s. Today, its defensive walls enclose Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Every year, thousands of people visit the site to explore its fascinating history and enjoy its public programs. Fort York is one of 10 historic sites operated by the City of Toronto. Toronto's Historic Sites engage visitors, inspire passion, challenge ideas and connect the past to the present.
Reviewed 30 June 2012

Fort York is an amazing experience, though I will say that a bit of work must be done to make it's importance better felt. Free parking greets you, though it could be clearer that it's free for Fort York patrons. Reasonably priced admission at $9.00 am adult, kids under five are free, it is a stop in history worth exploring. York was founded by John Simcoe in 1793 and his work to set up a fort and parliament buildings over the twenty years was ruined in the war of 1812 by the imperial Americans when they burned down much of York, including our parliament buildings. The Americans left after six days, only to have us Canadians (and British too) return the favour by setting the White House ablaze in 1813! Ahh, interesting times!! The Fort was rebuilt in its current locale with a couple of its buildings still surviving today. Toronto's oldest buildings and kitchen are on the Fort York grounds. The location of the Fort is contrasted by the modern cosmopolitan city that Toronto is today! Surrounded by skyscrapers, the Gardiner Expressway and train tracks, the Fort's ability to survive is a very Canadian story! Despite elements that are out of it's control, Fort York continued to plug along and is still around. Survival despite the pressures from the outside to change, Fort York has kept it's character. It's not flashy, it's could use some upgrades and better planning to make the Fort and it's importance more obvious. Fort York is a microcosm of Canada in it's place vis a vie the United States. To see and to feel the beginning of Toronto, admittedly and proudly I am pro-Toronto, really gives a sense of civic pride. I think it's such a "Toronto" thing where it's history began can also be a place where today can also take place. Fort York is smartly utilized for the Beer Festival and concerts. The contrast is brilliant, much like Toronto!

1  Thank tdsuperstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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154 - 158 of 198 reviews

Reviewed 26 June 2012

We visited Fort York as part of the Doors Open festival that grants free access to many city buildings over a weekend every summer. Fort York features some buildings that have been maintained since the 1700s (or perhaps even earlier). The tour illustrates how Fort York was the start point for modern Toronto, nicely explained by people dressed in great outfits.

Thank ucanonico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

Watched the program on the History Channel last night entitled,"1812 Explsion". It has reminded me of the times I have been to Fort York over the years. It is in urban Toronto but have managed to survive all of the building that has been built around it over the years. It is small compared to other forts I have toured in North Amercia but it manages to give displays plus maps on the role in has played in Upper Canada during the war of 1812.

Thank b0b55russell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2012

Who can believe there's any public attraction with free parking anymore? Nice, low key attraction for a morning or afternoon, quick history lesson.

4  Thank KatieBToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2012

I have to say while all the info was certainly interesting (especially after having lived in Toronto for a while), some of the exhibits didn't have descriptions and some of the maps were hard to follow (no legends, etc.). Also, I was expecting to see at least one attendant/staff member in period costume, but no such luck.

1  Thank izfo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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