When you think of Niagara Falls, especially the tourist areas like Cliffton Hill and Lundy’s Lane one of the last things you think is a historic battleground. Today there’s an arch over Lundy’s Lane announcing what it is, but for the most part, it’s places like Fort George, Fort Erie, and Queenston Heights that get all the glory. But in 1814 a bloody battle at the cemetery on Lundy’s Lane changed the course of the American 1814 summer offensive. It was the turning point of the whole matter, and it didn’t go too well for the Americans after that. A memorial arch across Lundy’s LaneRead More →

Queenston Heights, one of the famous locations connected to the Anglo-American War of 1812, the southern terminus of the Niagara Escarpment and surprisingly overlooked for its importance in all the stages of the war except for the famous battle that took place at the site in 1812. Queenston Heights takes it name from the village of Queenston located east of the heights. The village had its beginnings in 1780 founded by Robert Hamilton and marked one of the terminuses of the Niagara Portage that allowed traders to bypass Niagara Falls. A memorial carin in the village erroniously marks the spot of Brock’s death. In realtyRead More →

A watershed event for the Canadians during the Anglo-American War of 1812. The tiny town of York, today’s Toronto, Ontario, was the colonial capital of Upper Canada, established in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe for the sole purpose of being further away from the American frontier. Despite the town’s status as the capital it was poorly regarded called Muddy York, a far cry from the seat of British power in North America, Quebec City. And while the town itself was far from a tactical target, it wasn’t a tactical target that US Army commander, Henry Dearborn, wanted following a series of American defeats in 1812.Read More →

Fort York, Toronto’s taste of the 19th-Century. Against all the odds this little haven of Toronto’s colonial history has survived multiple attempts to sweep it away with the Gardner Expressway and even a Streetcar line. And while it seems a little odd to find a fort this far back from the lakeshore, you have to remember that over 200 years ago the lakeshore and the area we know as Toronto was a far different place. When Sir John Graves Simcoe received his appointment as the colonial governor of Upper Canada one of his early actions saw the colonial capital, the capital at the time, Newark,Read More →

When the United States of America declared war on the British Empire, they knew they could not go toe to toe with the might of the British Navy. Instead, they invaded the closest British held territory, Upper, and Lower Canada. Not all the citizens in the British-controlled colony were on the side of the Empire, many in fact supported the American invasion and wanted to see the British influences in North America removed. Some left Upper Canada for the USA, and some others chose to help the Americans on the Canadian side of the border. Most citizens of Upper Canada supported the British Forces, manyRead More →

The term Burlington Heights is a misnomer, as the Heights are technically located in Hamilton. But during the Anglo-American War of 1812, Burlington Heights became home to an often forgotten fort. Burlington Heights started life as a simple farm owned by Richard Besley. When the Americans invaded and captured the Niagara Region in May 1813 and forced the full retreat of the British Army of the Center, they would establish an armed camp at Burlington Heights, today located at the border of Hamilton, Ontario and Burlington, Ontario. It would start as a simple structure with field fortifications to provide a rallying point for the BritishRead More →