This museum aims to collect, preserve, and exhibit the history of early Toronto and Canadian military history from the Fort’s founding in 1793 to the 1930s. Its public programming emphasizes the Fort’s important role in the War of 1812.
Conservation / Preservation:
The walled Fort is home to eight original military structures dating to 1813-1815, including soldiers’ barracks, blockhouses, and munitions storehouses. In addition, the 17.5 hectare national historic site contains a significant portion of the original 1793 Garrison Common, including Victoria Memorial Square, Strachan Avenue Burying Ground, the mouth of the now-lost Garrison Creek, the still-active Fort York Armoury, and the Fort York Visitor Centre.
The site contains many artefacts documenting early Canadian and British military history, including uniforms, weapons, headgear, artillery, tools, musical instruments, bottles, cookware, and personal items, many of which are on display in the museum’s exhibits.
Approximately eight exhibitions that offer a window into early nineteenth-century life at the Fort, including,
- Restored soldiers’ and officers’ barracks, and 1826 officers’ mess dinner kitchen.
- Archeological exhibits documenting the excavation and preservation of site itself.
- Audio/visual exhibits focusing on the War of 1812 and development of Fort York, and how it relates to the City of Toronto, over the centuries.
Guided tours by costumed staff are regularly conducted (inquire in advance of visit to find out availability).
Progressive curricula for elementary school students focusing on various aspects of the lives of the Forts inhabitants, military history, and British North America in general.
Living History Animation
In the summer, interpreters in period military dress drill, fire musket and artillery, and play music.
Special programming, such as concerts, outdoor food festivals, as well as arts and cultural events take place throughout the year.
This museum accepts volunteers to perform a variety of tasks. In the past it has also accepted interns from the University of Toronto Museum Studies program as well as from other institutions.
Address & Contact Information:
250 Fort York Boul.
Hours of Operation:
Labour Day – Victoria Day
Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Victoria Day – Labour Day
Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday
Key Words: miltary, war