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Fort George Historic Site of Canada, Ontarioa


Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

26 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON  L0S 1J0
Phone: (905) 468-6614

Fort George invites visitors to step back in time to 1812 when Canada was at war with the United States. Restored buildings, knowledgeable staff in period costume. Open daily Apr. 1-Oct. 31.

Email:  ont.niagara@pc.gc.ca
Website:  www.parkscanada.gc.ca\fortgeorge


In 1796, the British complied with the terms of the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had granted Fort Niagara , on the mouth of the Niagara River where it flows into Lake Ontario to the United States. The British, in order to protect their interests in Upper Canada hastily built a fort across the river on the western bank of the Niagara River which they named Fort George. It was imperative for the fledgling country to be able to supply forts in the western part of the territories and Fort George was a strategic position. By 1802 Fort George had become the headquarters for the British army, local militia and the Indian Department. From 1812 to 1814 Fort George played a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the bitter battle that had erupted between the United States and what was then Upper Canada. During the War of 1812 Fort George served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army. These forces consisted of British militia, Indian warriors, and a group of freed slaves referred to as Runchey’s corps. The British army was headed by Major General Sir Isaac Brock, who was killed not far from the fort in Queenston, Ontario, during the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1813.

The fort was eventually destroyed by American artillery fire in 1813, and captured during the Battle of Fort George in May 1813. The American forces attempted for a time to use the fort as a base from which to invade Upper Canada, however they were thwarted in their attempts at the Battle of Stoney Creek and Beaver Dams. After several months occupation the fort was retaken by the British and remained in British hands throughout the rest of the war. By the 1820’s the fort was abandoned by the British in favour of Fort Mississauga and Butler’s Barracks. During the 1930’s the site was reconstructed and given the title of National Historic Site. Fort George is located in Niagara on the Lake along the Niagara Parkway. In July and August, the period guard demonstrates the drill and tactics of 1812 with muskat and canon fire while the Fife and Drum Corps perform the music that was played on those battlefields of long ago.

Major General Sir Isaac Brock, the saviour of Upper Canada served here until his death at the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1813. Brock and his aide-de-camp John Macdonell were initially buried within the fort. Fort George was destroyed by American artillery fire and captured during the Battle of Fort George in May 1813. The U.S. forces used the fort as a base to invade the rest of Upper Canada, however, they were repulsed at the Battles of Stoney Creek and Beaver Dams. After a seven month occupation by, the fort was retaken in December and remained in British hands for the remainder of the war. After the war, the fort was partially rebuilt, and by the 1820's it was falling into ruins. It was finally abandoned in favour of a more strategic installation at Fort Mississauga and a more protected one at Butler's Barracks.

The site was used over the years for agriculture, as part of a golf course and by the Canadian Military as a hospital for Camp Niagara. During the 1930's, the original plans of the Royal Engineers guided the reconstruction of Fort George as a National Historic Site. Fort George in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake , served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army, during the War of 1812. During this bitter conflict, from 1812 – 1814 Niagara played a pivotal role in determining the history of Canada.

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