Following a series of defeats that saw the surrender of three American Armies and the British in control of the entire Michigan Territory from Ohio to Mackinac Island, General Henry Dearborn needed a new plan, one that would not only boost the morale of his troops, but give Washington DC a swift victory that they had been expecting. It was again decided that a three-pronged assault would be enough to force the British retreat and surrender from Upper Canada. But it didn’t go exactly to plan. Dearborn believed the false report that 8,000 British Regulars garrisoned Kingston, home to the Royal Navy Squadron on LakeRead More →

The Battle of Stoney Creek is recognized by many as one of the engagements that saved Upper Canada. And they would be right, by the end of May 1813 the British Army having been defeated at the Battle of Fort George retreated from the Niagara frontier and established a new defensive post at Burlington Heights, fortifying a small farm that commanded a view of Burlington Bay. A network of Blockhouses and earthworks to hopefully hold any further American aggression before they could reach further into Upper Canada. In the later part of the 19th-Century, Dundurn Castle would be built over the ruins of the BritishRead More →

If you’ve ever crossed from Canada into the United States through one of the four land crossings in the Niagara Region, or have been shopping in Buffalo, there is an excellent chance that one of those crossings took place at Fort Erie on the Peace Bridge. If you’ve ever wondered how the small town got that name, take a drive just past the Mather Arch along Lakeshore Road, and you’ll find a small squat stone fort standing on a hill above Lake Erie. This is Olde Fort Erie and the source of the town’s eventual name of Fort Erie. The Old Fort is also oneRead More →

What do chocolate and the war of 1812 have in common; just one thing, a name, Laura Secord. Many people today hear the name Laura Secord and think of the Canadian confectionary company, but there was a hero behind that name. But unlike other heroes from the war whose names were praised right after their great victories, Laura lived in relative obscurity for decades after the war had ended. Born Laura Ingersoll on the 13th of September 1775 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, she was the eldest of four born to Thomas Ingersoll and Elizabeth Dewey. When she was eight her mother passed away, her fatherRead More →

Fort Wellington is one of the many forts that helped defend Upper Canada during the War of 1812, but unlike many other forts of the era, Fort Wellington never saw a direct attack. By 1810 the small village of Prescott had been founded along the shores of the St. Lawrence River and the King’s Highway which ran between Montreal, Kingston, and York (Toronto). Prescott soon found importance in travel along the St. Lawrence as bateaux from Montreal, used to navigate the rapids, would be offloaded onto the larger lake freighters to continue onto Kingston, York, and the Niagara region. Fort Wellington is one of aRead More →

It was a long time coming. But the wonderful day finally arrived for two dear friends of mine. Rosemary and Jon got engaged back in 2009 and immidatly turned to me (and my trusty sidekick Wu) for their wedding photos, so I did a quick engagement photo session for the couple and then waited. The weather on the 12th was perfect, and the bride was completly aglow as she stepped into the church. It was one of the best weddings I have ever photographed (Despite the extremely short asile…and the bridesmaid (and man of honour) moved far too quickly), plus the layout of the church,Read More →

When you use Leica, Nikon, Carl Zeiss optics the idea of plastic lenses and “toy” cameras will often scare a photographer, you really don’t know what you’re going to be getting out of your image. It certainly won’t be the sharpest image on the block, vignetting is going to be there, soft focus, light leaks, all very possible. Add Expired film into the mix and things just start getting dicy. Something that many photographers won’t even touch, and I used to be like that…until I picked up, on a whim, a Holga from The Film Photography Project. And instantly was dragged into the wonderful worldRead More →

Fort George, once the primary defensive structure for Upper Canada at the mouth of the Niagara River located on the edge of the quaint tourist town of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. Built apparently to provide the British Army in the center a headquarters following the surrender of Fort Niagara to the Americans at the close of the 18th Century, today sits as it would have during the height of it’s use in 1813 as a National Historic Site. Three blockhouses provided shelter and defense for the troops garrisoned at the fort. Today they’re setup to show how soldiers lived. Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4Read More →

When it comes to iconic locations in the city of Hamilton within the exploration community, there is none more wildly known as the Lister Block. A steadfast icon of the decline and decay within downtown Hamilton. From my first trip in 2006 to my last trip in 2010 and into 2012 and beyond as a restored building, this post will explore three different scenes from the first trips (2006 and 2007) a chance to see the stripped-down interior in 2010 and the re-opening in 2012 at a Doors Open event we are checking out Lister Block between the Darkness and the Light. When Joseph ListerRead More →

This entry I’m writing specifically for my dear friend Erin, who like me, has a love for the War of 1812. In one of her recent blog posts, she mentioned her new job at an independent children’s book publisher, Pajama Press. The book, Acts of Courage, covers the story of Laura Secord. My entry today is not on Mrs. Secord, but rather the British officer she interacted with, James FitzGibbon. FitzGibbon, not one of the first heroes of the war that one would think about, his contributions overshadowed by Laura Secord and Issac Brock. Fitzgibbon’s story blends with them both. An Irishman raised from theRead More →