Over the past few years, I’ve been systematically visiting Toronto’s tourist highlights, however there was still one very significant attraction that was outstanding on my list.
The site of Fort York.
Fort York is a National Historic Site built by the British in the late 1700s as a military site to defend against invasion – primarily from the south. In case you’ve forgotten your Canadian geography, I’m referring to our neighbour, the United States.
In fact the US did invade Canada during the War of 1812 – although to be fair, we weren’t Canada yet. I mean, come on! Why would anyone want to pick a fight with Canada? … although admittedly we’ve managed to really tick off a few countries lately. Like Saudi Arabia, China … but I digress …
The original fort was destroyed during battle with the Americans and was subsequently rebuilt after the war. Apparently our trust in our southern neighbour wasn’t very high.
Anyway, to set the scene on the day of my visit, it was early Sunday morning on the weekend after New Year’s Day.
I was the only person there … on a 43 acre site. It was both amazing and a little creepy.
The first door that drew my attention was the entrance into the site.
I had been told that beyond this door, there was going to be a ‘reenactment’ – using lights and sound effects – of the American attack on the fort in the early hours of April 27th, 1813.
But as I walked through the corridor, nothing happened. All was quiet and quite frankly, I was a little disappointed.
I was almost at the end of the darkish tunnel leading to the grounds when I had a vague sense of movement in my peripheral vision and then ‘gunfire’ suddenly erupted right behind me.
I NEARLY HAD A CORONARY!
I eventually got my hammering heart rate out of the heart attack zone and for the rest of my visit I periodically looked around suspiciously to confirm I really was alone.
Who said learning about history had to be boring?
This post has been brought to you by Thursday Doors, the year 1813, and the risk of sudden heart attacks.
For Part 1 of When Neighbours Fight, click here which tells the story of why Canada burned the White House.
More to come …