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.

Please note: Garrison Road is currently closed therefore parking on the historic Fort York grounds is currently not available due to the on-going revitalization of the Garrison Common.

There is Green P Parking  ($1/half hour) at Strachan Avenue and Fleet Street.
Limited accessible parking is located on the west side of the Visitor Centre.

Click here to get the most up-to-date information on how to get to Fort York by car, foot or transit and where to park if coming by car.

Don't miss these great events at Fort York. Contact us at 416-392-7500 or fortyork@toronto.ca.

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.

The Great War Canadian Infantryman Up Close - A Talk - April 23

An Illustrated Talk
Thursday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Join Kevin Hebib, one of the co-curators of Fort York's Great War exhibits, as he presents a closer look into the Canadian First World War soldier's  experience on a more personal level. Who was he? What did he wear? What did eat? How did he protect himself? What myths endure about him today? 

Admission is pay-what-you-wish.

 

Curating Kearns: Understanding The Art of Command - April 25 & May 27

April 25 & 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.

 

Commemoration of the Battle of York - April 26

Sunday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have a family adventure today and visit Fort York National for the commemoration the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of York, fought on April 27, 1813. Watch 1812-era drill and musket firing demonstrations. Take Battle of York-themed, fortification and 1812 barracks tours. Enjoy demonstrations of Georgian-era cooking techniques in one of the oldest kitchens in Toronto. Step into the Soldiers' Barracks brought to life by period animators. Children can "fall-in" and learn the same marching and musket drill practiced by the Upper Canada Militia in 1812.

There will be a special walking tour focusing on the Battle of York at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. This tour will begin at the canteen/museum store at Fort York, using the Fort, Garrison Common and areas of the original shoreline to highlight the dramatic battle that took place here 202 years ago.

Regular admission applies:  Adults: $7.96, Seniors /Youth: $4.87, Children (6-12yrs): $3.76 (plus tax). Children 5 and under are Free

 

Fort York Open House - April 30

Thursday, April 30
6 to 8 p.m.
Fort York Visitor Centre
250 Fort York Boulevard
Take this opportunity to see the new Visitor Centre at Fort York, learn about the revitalization of this significant public space and upcoming events, and share your thoughts about recent improvements and future plans. Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina) will be in attendance and is interested in your feedback. 

To learn more please contact Fort York's David O'Hara at 416-392-7870 or dohara@toronto.ca, or Councillor Layton at 416-392-4009 or councillor_layton@toronto.ca.

 

 

Ontario Model Soldiers’ Society Show and Sale - May 2

Held this year in the Fort York Visitor Centre
Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Children of all ages will enjoy Fort York as it hosts the Ontario Model Soldier Society’s annual show and competition. Take in demonstrations of casting and painting; displays of connoisseur figures, dioramas, and tableaux of more than a thousand pieces. Many vendors will be offering toy soldiers for sale. Included in regular admission to the Fort York Visitor Centre.

Unambiguously and ambivalently: A Talk by Artist, Gertrude Kearns - May 9

About The Art of Command
Saturday, May 9, 2 p.m.

In this talk, artist Gertrude Kearns will reflect on her current exhibition at the Fort York Visitor Centre.

The following is an excerpt from her talk:

These works are ‘about’ war, Canadian Forces engagement in Afghanistan 2002-2014. The subjects are generals and colonels who commanded at various levels and periods throughout the mission.

The portraits and texted war prints in The ART of COMMAND are not propaganda as they are not selling a war, and they are not anti-war as they are not questioning defense postures. However with a sense of urgency, they are intended to look but not to be read as propaganda.

Like most complex contemporary art today, they need to be interpreted and gradated through some understanding of the concerns in question. When those concerns are specifically defence it can be strange territory for civilians. I have not modified the presentation of content in order to make interpretations easier.

The work is heavily military in content, but with enough ‘twists’ along the way that might allow accessibility and breadth of interpretation regardless of audience.

Too edgy as military art because the military is big on tradition? Too military as contemporary art because ‘liberal arts institutions’ more often than not embrace ‘the anti-institutional’? For what is acknowledged to be more institutional than the military and defence world.

Included in regular admission.

World Fiddle Day in Toronto - May 16

Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fiddles at the Fort!
Fort York welcomes World Fiddle Day for a day-long celebration of bows on strings. Join us as players of bowed string instruments from several traditions teach and perform leading up to our community "Around-the-World Jam" where violin, viola, cello and bass players of all levels play their way through 40 tunes from 25 countries. See visit their website for music, practice sessions at Long & McQuade, and more info. Admission is FREE.

Victoria Day @ Fort York - May 18

Monday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What better way to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday than to visit the birthplace of Toronto? Enjoy kids’ activities such as soldier's drill, demonstrations of Georgian-era cooking techniques in one of the oldest kitchens in Toronto, English country dancing and tours.

Adults: $7.96, Seniors /Youth: $4.87, Children (6-12yrs): $3.76 (plus tax). Children 5 and under are free

Sound of Dragon Music Festival - May 20

Wednesday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Sound of Dragon Music Festival showcases the very diverse styles of Chinese music from ancient folk and classical repertoire to contemporary compositions and creative improvisation. The festival promotes creativity and innovation through a unique blend of traditional music with imaginative new ensembles, utilizing unusual cross-cultural instrumentations. Sound of Dragon is an international collaborative project with musicians from Vancouver, Toronto and Taiwan. Vancouver musicians are members of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra. Admission is FREE.

Plain Sight - An Illustrated Talk about Modern Camouflage - May 21

This talk complements the modern camouflage inspiration used by Gertrude Kearns in current exhibit at Fort York Visitor Centre, The Art of Command.

Thursday, May 21, 7 p.m.
"The Art of Command" by Gertrude Kearns features senior Canadian officers in modern camouflage clothing. In fact, there is a long history of soldiers "hiding in plain sight." Join Kevin Hebib as he discusses the development and use of disruptive pattern material, like the type exhibited in The Art of Command. 

Admission is pay-what-you-wish.

Two Centuries of Firepower: Artillery Day - May 23

Saturday, May 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In conjunction with the Doors Open Toronto activities being held today.

Join us for Artillery Day at Fort York and see displays of historic and modern guns from the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (Petawawa, Ontario), the 7th Toronto Regiment (Royal Canadian Artillery) along with Fort York's own on-site collection of original garrison guns from the War of 1812 and Victorian eras. See demonstrations, presentations and firing through the day. The Fort is also participating in Doors Open Toronto, the City's annual celebration of history and architecture. In addition to the Artillery Day programming, enjoy special tours of some of Toronto's oldest and original War of 1812 buildings. Admission is FREE.

Doors Open Toronto - May 23 & 24

Saturday and Sunday, May 23 & 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort York opens its doors for this annual celebration of history and architecture. Enjoy special tours of some of Toronto's oldest architecture and original War of 1812 buildings or stroll the grounds of this National Historic Site. Admission is FREE.