Fort York National Historic Site

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School Programs at Fort York

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.

Fort York offers a variety of school programs for grades 3, 6, 7 and 10.

Program Descriptions

ExpandGrade 3 - A Day and Night in the Life of the Garrison

Grade 3 - A Day and Night in the Life of the Garrison
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies

Topic: Early Settlements in Upper Canada

Soldiers and their families were the pioneers of early Toronto. This program is a hands-on exploration of the activities of the people who lived in this British fort 200 years ago, including dinner, an overnight stay in an 1813 blockhouse and breakfast

Workshops to choose from include:

  • Archaeology, Officers’ Kitchen, Music,
  • Lifestyles, Signals, Musket Drill, and more

5 hours
Min. 25 students; Max. 37 students
$42.48 plus tax

ExpandGrade 3 - Pioneers at York 1790s to 1830s

Grade 3 - Pioneers at York 1790s to 1830s
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies

Topics: Early Settlements in Upper Canada, Geographic Inquiry

Explore daily life at this 200 year old British fort and discover how the soldiers, officers and their families contributed to the birthplace of urban Toronto.

  • See original buildings where officers, soldiers and their families lived and worked
  • Explore the role of music in the everyday life of the garrison
  • Discover early cooking methods in a working 1826 kitchen

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students

$4.87 plus tax

ExpandGrade 5 - Toronto and the Fur Trade (1.5 hrs)

Grade 5 - Toronto and the Fur Trade (1.5 hrs)
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies

Topic: First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada; The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship

Explore the changing relationships between First Nation peoples and Europeans during Toronto’s fur trade era.

  • Using maps, models and archaeological artifacts, investigate the patterns and practices of the fur trade
  • Hands-on examination of trade goods and archaeological artifacts
  • Also meets Grade 7 New France and Interactions within Ecosystems study objectives
  • May be combined with other programs for a full day experience

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students
$4.87 plus tax

ExpandGrade 5 - Toronto and the Fur Trade (Full day)

Grade 5 - Toronto and the Fur Trade (4 hrs)
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies

Topic: First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada; The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship

A hands-on exploration of Fur Trade practices and the garrison community at York (now Toronto).

  • Introduction to Fort York, First Nations Warfare, officers’ Kitchen, Alliance and Conflict.
  • Overnight program available as well.

4 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 60 students
$10.62 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - Fort York and the War of 1812 (1.5 hrs)

Grade 7 - Fort York and the War of 1812 (1.5 hrs)
Ontario curriculum subject: History

Topics: British North America, Conflict and Change

Discover the reasons behind the attack on York, and the roles of the fort and its inhabitants in the War of 1812.

  • Discuss the causes of the War of 1812 and why York became a target
  • Examine the fort’s defences and discuss fortifications technology
  • Learn British Musket Drill. Participate in a hands-on interactive board game

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students
$4.87 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - Fort York and the War of 1812 (Full day)

Grade 7 - Fort York and the War of 1812 (4 hrs)
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies

Topics: British North America, Early Settlements in Upper Canada

Explore the role of the fort and it’s inhabitants during the War of 1812. Discover the military context for the founding of York, the causes of the War of 1812 and the relationship between the Fort and the early town. This full day program is new for the bicentennial of the war in 2012.

  • Learn about the inhabitants of both the Town of York and the Garrison
  • Discover the causes of the war and the overall theatre of events
  • Activities include soldier’s drill, walking the fortifications and examining uniforms of the era

4 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students
$10.62 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - Radicals and Redcoats

Grade 7 - Radicals and Redcoats
Ontario curriculum subject: History

Topic: Conflict and Change

Explore the reaction to the 1837 Rebellion from the government perspective, including its effects on the officers, soldiers, and Toronto civilians

  • Militia muster and musket drill - how the government prepared to defend its communities
  • Hands-on examination of 1830’s weapons technology
  • Exploration of the 1837 Officers’ Barracks and our subterranean Rebellion money vaults
  • May be combined with Fort York and the War of 1812 for a full day program

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students
$4.87 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - A Day in the Life of the Garrison

Grade 7 - A Day in the Life of the Garrison
Ontario curriculum subject: History

Topic: British North America

Our most comprehensive living history experience!

  • Hands-on exploration of the activities of the men, women and children who lived and worked in this 200 year old British fort.
  • Workshops can include Officers’ Kitchen, Lifestyles, Archaeology, Music, Signals, Musket Drill, and more.

4 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 60 students
$10.62 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - A Day and Night in the Life of the Garrison

Grade 7 - A Day and Night in the Life of the Garrison
Ontario curriculum subject: History

Topic: British North America

Our most comprehensive living history experience! Hands-on exploration of the activities of the men, women and children who lived and worked in this 200 year old British fort.

  • Workshops include Officers’ Kitchen, Archaeology, Music, and more.

Full-day plus overnight
5 hours
Min. 25 students; Max. 37 students
$42.48 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - Fort York: A Harbour Defence

Grade 7 - Fort York: A Harbour Defence
Ontario curriculum subject: History

Topics: British North America, Conflict and Change

Discover the origins of the Fort and its role in the establishment of modern, urban Toronto in this active, participatory program.

  • Learn about the Fort’s founding on the original waterfront, how it functioned as a harbour defence, and the dramatic Battle of York in 1813
  • Explore the science of warfare by examining models, walking the ramparts, and ascertaining the Fort’s natural geography

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students
$4.87 plus tax

ExpandGrade 7 - John Graves Simcoe and the Birthplace of Toronto

Grade 7 - John Graves Simcoe and the Birthplace of Toronto
Ontario curriculum subject: History
Topic: British North America

Explore the reasons behind the establishment of the Garrison at York and the subsequent growth into modern, urban Toronto.

  • See the living quarters of the soldiers, officers and their families, and discover life in the garrison community.
  • May be expanded or combined with Radicals and Redcoats for a full day program.

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 150 students
$4.87 plus tax

ExpandGrade 10 - First World War and the Canadian Soldier

Grade 10 - First World War and the Canadian Soldier
Ontario curriculum subject: History

Topic: Canadian History Since World War I

Through the use of artefacts and an authentic reproduction of a soldier’s uniform and kit, students explore Canada’s contribution to WW1 and the role of the common soldier in that conflict

1.5 hours
Min. 15 students; Max. 90 students
$4.87 plus tax

Looking for something specific?

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