Fort York National Historic Site

Events at Fort York

Take part in year-round special events on this 43-acre site. From historic cooking classes for 8 people to huge outdoor concerts for thousands, Fort York offers activities that appeal to everyone.

Don't miss these great events at Fort York. Contact us at 416-392-6907 or

Gertrude Kearns: The Art of Command - Until June 14

Portraits and Posters from Canada's Afghan Mission
Fort York Visitor Centre
On until June 14
Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Since 1991, Toronto artist Gertrude Kearns has explored the engagement between Canada's military and conflicts around the world. In 2005-06, she was embedded with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan while on contract with the Department of National Defence.

Following the DND commission, Kearns has continued to address the Afghan Mission while working as an independent artist.  Between 2006 and 2015, Kearns created the 46 portraits and posters on exhibition in The Art of Command. Most of these works appear on public display for the first time. 

Drawing on Kearns' unprecedented access to senior Canadian officers who served in Afghanistan, this exhibition focuses on the complexities and consequences of military command in challenging situations.

The Art of Command contains two parallel but related components. The portrait component comprises 20 large paintings and drawings of individual commanders. The poster component consists of 26 texted art prints. Each poster incorporates an image of a portrait; the accompanying text was developed in consultation with the subject.  

While Kearns has been hailed as Canada's leading active contemporary war artist, her earlier work on Somalia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia prompted debate about the relationship between art and conflict. As some works in The Art of Command contain provocative images and strong language, this exhibition may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Included with regular admission.

Curating Kearns: Understanding The Art of Command - May 27

May 27, 2 p.m.

Join Wayne Reeves, the City of Toronto's Chief Curator, for a one-hour walk-through of the Art of Command exhibition. He will provide insight into why and how the exhibition was created and the significance of Gertrude Kearns' military art, and will share stories about her approach and some of her subjects.

Included with regular admission.


Field Trip - June 6 & 7

June 6 & 7
Toronto’s downtown community music and arts festival will be headlined by internationally celebrated rock acts Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket. Other highlights include UK pop sensation Marina & The Diamonds, indie favourites The War On Drugs and Father John Misty, Hamilton royalty Arkells, the dark synths of Purity Ring, the alluring R&B of Rhye, hip hop hall of famers De La Soul, the feel good soul of Lee Fields & The Expressions, UK psych upstarts Temples, Arts & Crafts mainstays Dan Mangan + Blacksmith and Hayden, and many more.


Indigenous Arts Festival @ Fort York - June 18 to 20

June 18  20
The Indigenous Arts Festival @ Fort York celebrates traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, storytelling, spoken word, visual arts, crafts, and food created by indigenous artists. Energizing the grounds and buildings of Fort York National Historic Site in downtown Toronto with powerful ancient traditions and compelling contemporary creations. Admission is FREE.

Click here for more information.

Na-Me-Res Traditional Outdoor Pow Wow - June 21

Sunday, June 21
Native Men’s Residence Traditional Pow-Wow is held to recognize National Aboriginal Day, June 21st, the Summer Solstice. The event features traditional dancing, drumming, feast, giveaway, kids area, and craft vendors. Seven Aboriginal drum groups will be on hand, including host drum Smoke Trail Singers and co-host drum Eagle Flight Singers. Over 100 traditional dancers are expected to participate including head dancers Stephanie Pangowish and Lee Benson. The day begins with a sunrise ceremony and will end with a gala concert. The Grand Entry takes place at 12 noon, with traditional dancing and drumming until 4:30 pm. Free Admission

Click here for more information.

Bicycle Tour: The Forts of Toronto - June 27

Presented in partnership with Heritage Toronto
Saturday, June 27, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tour begins at Lambton House, 4066 Old Dundas St.
Moderate difficulty
Bicycling is a unique and exciting way to view Toronto's early history. On June 27, Fort York and Heritage York's Lambton House will conduct a Bike Month event. The tour begins at Lambton House, as it is at the edge of the Carrying Place trail. From there, we will ride to Teiagon, the site of the 17th-century Seneca Village and the Magasin Royal of 1720. Following the Humber Bicycle Trails, we will stop and explore the sites of Toronto's second French fort. Continuing along the Martin Goodman Trail we will go to where Fort Rouille, the last French Fort, once stood.

The tour will end at Fort York, a British fort and the place where urban Toronto (then York) was founded. This heralded the end of the French era of Toronto. The bicycle tour is FREE.

Please note: Cyclists may enjoy a free pre-ride visit to Lambton House that will open at 10 a.m. before the tour begins.