Two months ago, I was privileged to be able to visit Toronto.
While there, I shared many of my impressions of Canada, mostly French signs and Canadian candy bars, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I uploaded two of my favorite urban shots onto National Geographic Your Shot and reserved this blog post for a brief discussion of my visit to Fort York National Historic Site. I went for The Art of Command exhibit and stayed for a self-guided tour.
What is Fort York?
At the turn of the 19th century, the Canadians feared war with the US and rather casually fortified York (now Toronto), but nothing much happened until the war of 1812, when the fort had to be reinforced against the impending invasion of American troops, which came in April 1813. The desperate Canadians went so far as to blow up their own munitions, killing, among others, Zebulon Pike. The Americans were triumphant, and eventually burned Fort York to the ground. The fort was rebuilt, however, and successfully held off Americans seeking to take the harbor in 1814. The significance of the battle for Canadians is that their countrymen overcame terrible odds to keep Canada in the hands of the queen and out of the clutches of president Madison.
I was really intrigued by the juxtaposition of the historic buildings surrounded by the urban landscape of Toronto, but I sadly took only two good photographs.
In this second shot, you can see CN Tower, which incidentally went dark for Earth Hour on my last night in Canada.
A fellow Hoosier I met in Toronto refers to Canada as his “favorite American National Park.” Canada is at the receiving end of many similar jokes, but thanks to my visit to Fort York, I now know better. As the Canadians always have.
I wanted to acknowledge Canada before I ramp up my blogging game with a Summer Staycation 2015 series. Look for some well-loved places I’ve covered before, and some new and exciting destinations.