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.

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2nd Annual New Generation Steelband Festival

Sunday, July 19, 2 to 8 p.m. - FREE

Allstar Bands – Caribbean Food – Fun!

A celebration of Caribbean steel pan music featuring GTA youth steelbands and award winning ensembles. Enjoy authentic Caribbean food, all ages steel pan workshops and special soccer demonstrations - plus plenty of opportunities for audience participation! Presented by Fort York and the Pan Arts Network. See more details below.

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

Please note: The historic buildings of Fort York are CLOSED for a special event and will reopen on July 9. Admission to the new Visitor Centre is free during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

2nd Annual New Generation Steelband Festival - July 19

Sunday, July 19, 2 to 8 p.m.
FREE Admission

Allstar Bands – Caribbean Food – Fun!

A celebration of Caribbean steel pan music featuring GTA youth steelbands and award winning ensembles performing outdoors on the grounds of Fort York. Enjoy authentic Caribbean food, all ages steel pan workshops and special soccer demonstrations. Plenty of opportunities for audience participation – dance, dance, dance! Come celebrate Toronto's vibrant Caribbean community and support youth engagement with this proud tradition. Presented by Fort York and the Pan Arts Network.

This year's stellar lineup includes:

  • Afropan Steelband
  • Pan Fantasy Steelband
  • Silhouettes Steel Orchestra
  • Oshawa Steel Orchestra
  • Toronto Allstars Steelband
  • St. Jamestown Youth Centre Steel Orchestra
  • Fusion Steelband Orchestra (Of Trinidad and Tobago), under the leadership of Mr. Darren Sheppard
  • Gemini Pan Groove
  • Mark Mosca & Company, Chris Lewis
  • Farmers Rhythm Section
  • Dance Caribe Performing Company
  • DJ C-Lex de Soca Flex

Hosted by MC Itah Sadu & Earl Lapierre Jr.

Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Cultural Village - Pan Am Games - July 10 - 26

The Cultural Village will be “home base” for the games. Constructed at Fort York, the village will have the feel, sights and sounds of a traditional Mississauga nation village. Visitors will journey back through time to experience a working round house. Dressed in traditional clothing, workers will show how life was lived with authentic artifacts. Artisans will teach basket weaving, braiding and other crafts. It will be a highlight of everyone’s visit to the Pan Am and Parapan American Games.

The Three Sacred Fires Ceremony takes place July 10. The Three Sacred Fires are symbolic of the Mississaugas’ traditions and political alliances with the Ojibwa, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations. The Three Fires ceremony symbolizes the renewal of this historic alliance. The first fire will be lit on the Toronto Islands. Two other fires will be lit, including one at Fort York. Fire Keepers will tend the fires 24/7 for the duration of the games. FREE ADMISSION.

Aboriginal Pavilion - Pan Am Games (Garrison Common) - July 13 - 26

The Aboriginal Pavilion is a 19 day Indigenous arts, culture, and sports festival being held at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Fort York National Historic Site's Garrison Common and Harbourfront Centre, concurrent to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. Events at Fort York's Garrison Common run July 13 – 26.

The Pavilion will bring together Indigenous peoples from across the Americas to celebrate, share and learn through our exciting programming. From Main Stage musical performances to dance, theatre, and family programming on our Small Stage; from visual arts and traditional crafts workshops to artist talks, film screenings, a curated exhibition, there will be much to see and much to do! At the very heart of the Aboriginal Pavilion is the Cultural Village which will consist of six traditional houses. Each one representative of a specific Indigenous community or a collective of individuals from an Indigenous group or region. The traditional houses are a visual and symbolic representation of Indigenous peoples coming together for the purpose of providing a rich experience that's culturally appropriate, educational, and enriching. Energetic athletes will animate our Sports Zone, and talented artisans and chefs will offer up handcrafted works and culinary treats for visitors in our Artisan and Food Marketplace. A cultural feast awaits you! FREE ADMISSION.

For a full daily schedule please visit

Planet IndigenUS: InterNations/InterSections Exhibition (Visitor Centre) - July 13 - August 9

Co-presented by Harbourfront Centre and the Woodland Cultural Centre - Planet IndigenUS is the largest world indigneous, multidisciplinary arts festival in the world. 350 artists. 10 days. A global exploration of contemporary Indigenous civilizations. Since 2004, Planet IndigenUS has been raising public awareness, breaking stereotypes and fostering a cross-cultural dialogue between Canadians. Enjoy music, art, food and ideas from First Nations communities across Canada and Indigenous peoples around the world.

Fort York will feature the world premiere of “InterNations/InterSections” an exhibit of four Panamania commissioned visual art installations on display outdoors in front of the Visitor Centre at Fort York. FREE ADMISSION.

Gazing Back, Looking Forward - Exhibit on display until Sept. 7

Various Artists, Group Exhibit
Curator: Rhéanne Chartrand, Artistic Associate Aboriginal Pavilion
June 18 – September 7, 2015
Fort York Visitor Centre
10 AM – 5 PM daily, Included with regular admission

Gazing Back, Looking Forward presents contemporary works by Indigenous North American artists who explore, (re-)imagine, and (re-)present Indigenous identity. By challenging conventional notions of who is and what it means to be Indigenous, these artists question the validity of tropes and codifiers of Indianness pervasive in the public stereotype of the singular, monolithic and one-dimensional image of the “Hollywood Indian.”

Through their work, these artists (re-)present a complex, multi-faceted, mixed, and urban image of contemporary peoples. In doing so, they reveal that there is no singular definition or image of an Indigenous person, but a multitude of faces, voices, and stories that capture what it means to be Indigenous today. Both individually and collectively, these artists express a profound honesty in how they (re-)present themselves, and contribute to a sense of continuity of presence and diversity.

Featuring works by Jordan Bennett, Rene Meshake, Brandan Wilson, Terrance Houle, Jeff Thomas, Keesic Douglas, Anthony “Thosh” Collins, Jason Jenkins, Nadya Kwandibens, Will Wilson, Jason Lujan, Meryl McMaster, Lindsay Delaronde and others.

Niinwin-Dabaadjmowin - We Are Talking - Exhibit on display until Sept. 7

Philip Cote, Rebecca Baird, Tecumseh Collective
June 18 – September 7, 2015
Fort York Visitor Centre
10 AM – 5 PM daily, Included with regular admission

Fort York National Historic Site is pleased to present Niinwin-Dabaadjmowin - We Are Talking, an 80-foot-long mural in 20 panels created under the leadership of Philip Cote and Rebecca Baird with young people from the Na-Me-Res Tumivut Youth Shelter.

A collaboration between Fort York, the Tecumseh Collective and Na-Me-Res, Niinwin-Dabaadjmowin - We Are Talking was the culmination of an 18-month project that began in 2004. Funded through an Ontario Works Incentive Funds grant, the endeavour sought to engage young people from the Tumivut Youth Shelter in the artistic process.

The youth took part in a number of workshops with Baird and Cote. The mural process began with the youth gaining basic drawing and painting skills. Besides working on the mural, the youth learned soapstone carving and traditional beadwork. They also partook in cultural activities, which included talking circles and pipe and sweatlodge ceremonies.

Of their experience working with the young people of Tumivut, Baird and Cote said, "It has been an incredible opportunity for us to continue our work in the Aboriginal community of Toronto. Our goal with our programs is to offer First Nations youth hope and vision for a future. We provide opportunities to acquire skills, knowledge of their culture, and develop talents and ideas that will serve to expand their horizons in the future. By continuing to implement an integrated approach, we are also providing an opportunity for First Nations youth to partake in traditional cultural activities, while gaining exposure and access to the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community."

DIBAAJIMOWIN Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and Men - Exhibit on display until Sept. 7

By John C., David G., Jason F., Garry S., Na-Me-Res staff and Red Pepper Spectacle Arts
June 18 – September 7, 2015
Fort York Visitor Centre
10 AM – 5 PM daily, Included with regular admission

Created by native men at Na-Me-Res with the assistance of Na-Me-Res staff and Red Pepper Spectacle Arts the exhibit portrays the infamous 1797 murders of Chief Wabakinine of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, his wife and sister.  

For viewing will be a corn husk display depicting this tragic event alongside a series of large fabric panels that tell of the first written account of these murders.  The imagery and lettering are designed, cut and stencil-printed.