Museums & Heritage Services

Canada Day at Fort York

Celebrate Canada Day at Fort York with musket drills, music, face painting, hula-hooping and much more! The Fort will be open from 10 AM to 5 PM and admission is FREE.

Please use the tabs below to view the schedule of events. Some activities will be taking place all day, while others have scheduled start times.

Click on the tabs below for activity descriptions & locations.

All Day:
Musket & Artillery Drills, Fife & Drum Music

Fort York Guard
Location: Fort York Grounds
10 AM -  5PM

On Canada Day the Fort York Guard will begin their summer season of exciting daily demonstrations of period musketry, music and artillery. Since 1955, The Fort York Guard has thrilled residents and visitors to Toronto with the authentic pageantry of The War of 1812. Representing the original Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry, our redcoats bring Fort York to life in a spectacular, entertaining and educational way. 2014 marks the final full year of The War of 1812 Bicentennial in Ontario and the 200th anniversary of the current Fort York - built between the years 1813-15. 

All Day:
Afghanistan Memorial Vigil

Canadian Armed Forces
Location: Blue Barracks
10 AM - 5 PM

The Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) 12-year mission in Afghanistan recently ended. It assisted in making the country more secure, better governed and more stable, but it did not come without sacrifice.

While serving their country with honour, 161 Canadians – 158 CAF personnel, a diplomat, a Department of National Defence contractor and a journalist – lost their lives in Afghanistan. In addition, 43 United States Armed Forces members sacrificed their lives while serving under Canadian command during operations in Afghanistan.

“One of the ways Canada is commemorating the mission in Afghanistan is by honouring the fallen through the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil which will travel across Canada in 2014 and 2015,” said Captain (Capt) Indira Thackorie, Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) Public Affairs Officer.

The Afghanistan Memorial Vigil (AMV) consists of 192 plaques representing the 204 fallen. Originally, the plaques were part of the Kandahar Air Field cenotaph – a memorial structure built for soldiers by soldiers to commemorate their fallen comrades while deployed in Afghanistan.

All Day:
Educational Program

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies - Tour for Humanity
Fort York Grounds
10 AM - 5 PM

The Tour for Humanity is a brand new educational initiative developed by The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion and preservation of human rights. This Trillium-funded, state-of-the-art mobile classroom travels across Ontario to provide students and members of the public services with educational workshops on issue including the Holocaust, universal genocide and human rights. Its goal is twofold: to raise awareness of past and present human rights issues in Canada and abroad, and to empower workshop participants to take action in their daily lives to make the world a better place and help put an end to crime fueled by hate.

The Tour for Humanity is thrilled to be a part of Fort York’s Canada Day celebrations this year where it will celebrate the rights Canadians have access to by exploring various human rights heroes in world history, and the positive impacts they have had to make the world- and Canada- a better place.

For more information on the Tour for Humanity, please visit, or follow us on Twitter at @TourForHumanity.

All Day:
All-ages Participatory Hula-Hooping

Sugar Hoops
Location: Fort York Grounds
10 AM - 5 PM

Hula hooping may be an activity you remember from childhood and never thought to explore, but it’s taking the world by storm once again! At Sugar Hoops, we believe that movement is the key to health and happiness for all ages - especially while inside a hula hoop. We invite all visitors at Fort York to join us as we give instructions on everything from basic waist hooping to hoop dance and games! Fun and interactive drop-in sessions all day. Come and give it a whirl!

All Day:
Face Painting

Happy Faces
Fort York Grounds
10 AM - 5 PM

Kids of all ages love our happy faces! Join us all day at Fort York as our painters take your ideas and turn them into beautiful face art. All our paints are non toxic and our staff professionally trained.


12 & 2 PM:
Rocket Making Workshop

Location: Fort York Grounds
12 - 12:40 PM
2 - 2:40 PM

Build and Launch a Space Rocket with MakerKids! Limit of 40 kids per session.

MakerKids is a makerspace for youth in Toronto to learn about and do things like 3D printing, electronics and woodworking.

For Canada Day MakerKids will lead a rocket launching activity where kids can create and launch space-themed rockets, and then take them home afterwards. Kids will get to use craft materials such as foam, tape, glitter, construction paper, tubing and more to create their rockets, and then on a small flag that will be launched with their rocket, write a message of peace that they want to send to the world. They will then use MakerKids' rocket launcher to launch their rockets in a field where replicas of the different planets and the International Space Station are laid out across the area, to see how far 'into orbit' their rocket can go and what planet they can reach.

Once all the rockets have landed and the kids whose rockets went the farthest have been recognized, each kid will walk to the location where their rocket has landed, remove their flag with their message of peace on it, and then stick their flag into the nearest planet replica to where their rocket landed - as an astronaut would stick their country's flag into the surface of the planet they have landed on. MakerKids will be taking pictures of the activity and the planet replicas with their messages of peace, and will then share these online with the world.

1 - 2 PM:
Traditional English Folk Music

Rebellion Patio
1 - 2 PM

Tethera is the collective name for a group of Cambridge and Kitchener musicians;  Paul Morris (vocals, mandolin, concertina and melodeon), Brad McEwen (citterns and vocals), Brian Sinclair (mandocello, tenor banjo, guitar and various other unique stringed instruments).  Gwen Potter (vocals, viola d’amore, a reproduction of a Baroque bowed instrument). 

The repertoire consists of mainly traditional English dance tunes and songs, but other things have been known to creep in from Ireland, France, Brittany, Belgium and Canadian variants of British ballads. The band has performed at many venues in Ontario such as the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Port Dover Marine Heritage Festival, The Canterbury Folk Festival in Ingersoll, Ontario, Waterloo Regional Museum, The Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack,  The Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music and more.  In 2011, they completed a tour in the United Kingdom, performing at festivals such as Bromyard and Fylde, with concerts in Sheffield, Derby and Stroud.

They have been playing together in pub sessions for many years and bring the relaxed style of the informal session to the concert & festival stage.  Just close your eyes and imagine the ancient timbers of an old pub and a pint of English ale in front of you.

2:30 - 3:30 PM:
Hypnotic Intercultural Music

Rebellion Patio
2:30 - 3:30 PM

Lalun is Liron Man (Israel/Spain) on hand pans & flamenco guitar, Lan Tung (Taiwan/Canada) on erhu & vocals, and Jonathan Bernard (Canada) on percussion. With their unique instrumentation and hypnotic intercultural sound, this international ensemble presents original compositions and traditional music from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, coloured and influenced by its members’ roots in Chinese, Flamenco, Galician, and Jewish music.

Although fresh on the scene, Lalun's members bring over 50 years of professional musical experience to the stage, including performances at National Arts Center (Ottawa), Place des Arts (Montreal), Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (Vancouver), John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ (Amsterdam), National Concert Hall (Taipei), and extensive international tours.

4 - 5 PM:
NYC Contemporary Jazz

Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara
Rebellion Patio
4 - 5 PM

Taylor Ho-Bynum and Tomas Fujiwara have played together in dozens of groups on countless gigs since they first met as teenagers growing up around Boston. Bynum is a composer, cornet player, bandleader and interdisciplinary collaborator. Critics have called him “a singular and thrilling artist” (All About Jazz), “a major force on the outward-bound side of the jazz continuum” (The Boston Globe) and “a provocateur in the guise of a consensus builder” (The New York Times).

Drummer and composer Tomas Fujiwara has been described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Troy Collins, Point of Departure). He is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation including his collaboration with Bynum.

In addition to their work together in Bynum’s Trio and Sextet they have released two highly acclaimed albums as a duo: 2007’s True Events and 2010’s Stepwise. In 2014, they plan to release Through Foundation a deluxe limited edition vinyl-only album celebrating 20-years of making music together.

Presented in partnership with the Guelph Jazz Festival