Two historic forts are situated at each end of the Niagara River. Step back in time to the War of 1812 and witness re-enactments of battles past.
The Niagara Falls area is brimming with history. Fort George and Old Fort Eire are just two of the many historical sites that are open to the public in the Niagara area of Ontario. Wind your way upstream along the Niagara Parkway to where the Niagara River connects to Lake Eire, to find Old Fort Erie. Follow the river downstream away from the mighty falls and you will discover Fort George, at the edge of Lake Ontario. The road runs for several miles and follows the river in both directions from Niagara Falls. There are many interesting places to stop on the parkway as the road winds through scenic parkland, picnic areas, bike and walking trials.
Old Fort Erie
Old Fort Erie has a long history dating back to 1764, when the British built the original fort and used it as a supply depot. In 1814, the siege of Old Fort Erie turned the area into Canada’s bloodiest battlefield. A large monument stands on a mass grave of soldiers that was uncovered in the reconstruction of Old Fort Erie. Opened in 1939 and owned, along with the surrounding battle fields, by the Niagara Parks Commission, visitors may tour the fort and grounds at their leisure. Informed guides, dressed in historic uniforms, show the living quarters and take you back to a solders life in 1812. Battle re-enactments take place at the fort and a visitor center is on site with information. Old Fort Erie stands in a spacious park setting, with picnic tables provided. Parking and the grounds are free to visitors, but a fee is charged to tour the fort.
Completed in 1802, Fort George was built to control and guard the Niagara River supply route. The fort became headquarters for the British army, but in the War of 1812 the fort was attacked and mostly destroyed by American forces, who captured and occupied the fort in 1813 at the Battle of Fort George. Falling into ruin, the fort was finally abandoned. Fort George was reconstructed in the 1930s and is now a National Historic Site of Canada. Visitors to the park learn about Canada’s military history. Re-enactments of past battles take place at the fort and Fort George Fife and Drum Corps may be heard playing historic military music. A fee is charged to enter Fort George and tour the furnished buildings, which are recreated to portray life in the War of 1812. Costumed staff bring the fort to life and inform you about the past life of a garrison. A gift store focused on the life of the early 1800s has souvenirs available.