Fort York National Historic Site

Fort York National Historic Site

Fort York National Historic Site
4
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Explore Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings and take part in year-round special events on this 43-acre site.. Built in 1793, Fort York National Historic Site is the birthplace of urban Toronto. It is best known as the location where the Battle of York came to its violent climax in 1813 during the War of 1812. The Fort served as the city's primary harbour defence between the 1790s and the 1880s, and was the home of a military garrison until the 1930s. Today, its defensive walls enclose Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Every year, thousands of people visit the site to explore its fascinating history and enjoy its public programs. Fort York is one of 10 historic sites operated by the City of Toronto. Toronto's Historic Sites engage visitors, inspire passion, challenge ideas and connect the past to the present.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
See what travellers are saying
  • minimize940314
    Los Angeles, California3,548 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Could have been better
    Could have been better. It was great to see this historic place in the middle of a busy city, but the site had not been well managed. Therefore, some structures were rebuilt, so it lost the originality a bit. However, it was still unique, and a great place to learn history of the region.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 20 August 2023
  • coalharborvan
    Vancouver, Canada281 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent War of 1812 Museum
    Free to enter and with free guided tours, this is a must do for any history buff visiting Toronto. The story of Fort York is the story of the beginnings of Toronto and the museum does an excellent job preserving and displaying the most important historic site in the city. From its construction to the devastating American attack and its renewed existence after, it takes you into a world long gone that shaped Canada today.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 6 April 2024
  • TravelerUK1
    49 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting historic site
    This is a good place to visit if you are into military history or just history in general. I got there right before one of the free tours started. They last about 45 minutes and you learn more about the fort and the daily life of the solders that lived there. I spent the rest of the time walking around the buildings, some you could enter, others you couldn't. I was there around 2 hours. There are washrooms in the visitor center and within the fort near the shop. It was a little confusing finding the entrance to the visitor center. It was the 4th door down along Fort York Blvd.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 8 June 2024
  • aatbender
    Dandridge, Tennessee474 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent tour with knowledgeable staff
    My wife and I plus a friend visited from out of town and we were very impressed. Knowledgeable staff provide an excellent tour through the fort complex. So much of the original fort remains intact and well maintained. And it’s a free visit! Take advantage of it.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles256 reviews
Excellent
91
Very good
107
Average
43
Poor
8
Terrible
7

TravelerUK1
PA49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
This is a good place to visit if you are into military history or just history in general. I got there right before one of the free tours started. They last about 45 minutes and you learn more about the fort and the daily life of the solders that lived there. I spent the rest of the time walking around the buildings, some you could enter, others you couldn't. I was there around 2 hours. There are washrooms in the visitor center and within the fort near the shop. It was a little confusing finding the entrance to the visitor center. It was the 4th door down along Fort York Blvd.
Written 9 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nobigdeal
Chicago, IL56 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
Took the kids (9 and 13) for a low cost morning during our recent trip to Toronto. We didn't join a tour, just walked around on our own. The 13 year old proclaimed it "boring" but the 9 year old and both adults enjoyed the walk. We thought there was just enough reading to keep you informed but not so much that it got tedious. The best part was that it was free! We were happy to introduce our American kids to another perspective on history (especially the indigenous perspective), and we appreciated how well maintained and welcoming this exhibit was. Thanks Toronto!
Written 12 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ben
Vancouver, Canada1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021 • Couples
Excellent info on history and war culture from onsite experts. Well laid out site with lots of hands-on access to war memorabilia. Highly recommend it for families for learning more of Canada’s history right in our own backyard!
Written 27 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

minimize940314
Los Angeles, CA3,548 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
Could have been better. It was great to see this historic place in the middle of a busy city, but the site had not been well managed. Therefore, some structures were rebuilt, so it lost the originality a bit. However, it was still unique, and a great place to learn history of the region.
Written 21 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aatbender
Dandridge, TN474 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
My wife and I plus a friend visited from out of town and we were very impressed. Knowledgeable staff provide an excellent tour through the fort complex. So much of the original fort remains intact and well maintained. And it’s a free visit! Take advantage of it.
Written 20 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John L
Greenwich, CT82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Friends
In New York, there's nothing at all left of the old Dutch "wall" along Wall Street and precious little else from colonial days or New Amsterdam/New York. Obviously London has almost nothing of its Roman days as Londinium Augusta, or Paris as Lutetia Parisiorum. But when you visit another great metropolis, you can visit an installation dating from its very early days as York, Upper Canada (now Toronto, Ontario). The first Fort York was built in 1783 by John Graves Simcoe, a flimsy wood place to cover the natural harbour he liked. In 1813, that was burned and destroyed by the U S Army (BAD swap! In retaliation, the British burned Washington, DC!). It was immediately beefed up into roughly what exists today, and successfully chased the Americans away when they tried again in 1814.

A bonus: the Fort is operated as essentially a museum by the City of Toronto, and the people who work in the entrance shop are more docents than T-shirt peddlers. Indeed, you will be amazed at the little shop: quality history books (military and social) plus some decent toys, games, and reproduction stuff, instead of the usual tourist junk made in some far-away sweatshop.

It is not just of interest to military types. Although the Fort is beautifully maintained and has a number of good exhibits on 19th century weaponry and militaria, it is a lovely spot all on its own. While it is no longer on the waterfront (Lake Ontario is now some distance south), there is a considerable drama in standing among these old ramparts - - which served as a miltary base through two world wars) and look up at the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto close by, or look up at the Gardner Expressway passing on an overpass to the south. One would need to be soul-less indeed not to meditate on what those brave men who defended their New World homeland from the invaders two centuries ago would think if they came back and saw their familiar old Fort, but surrounded by a huge, rich, safe, clean, world-class metropolis. Pondering this just a few days ago, on my third visit over the years, I concluded that those old soldiers would say "YES! Now that's what we were fighting for, eh?"
Written 21 May 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RallyGuy
Toronto3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Great displays, excellent preservation (most buildings) or recreation (one or two) of 19th century fortifications.

Displays, housed in the various buildings on the site, are excellent. Well presented, engaging, interesting and available in many languges. Especially interesting to me was the diarama of the town of York in 1790's. Facinating to see what my home town looked like in it's early few years.

The displays are very good at highlighing the fort's important role in the city's history.

Highly recommended for those who wish to know more about the city's history, the War of 1812 or 19th century north american fortifications and soldiers' lives.

The officers garrison and mess hall, complete with functioning kitchen are of particular interest.

Don't let the intial sparse impression of the open grounds fool you - there's lots to see and do.

RK
Toronto
Written 29 October 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zebecToronto
Toronto669 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Solo
I am a History major. I'm also a recently retired schoolteacher with a special interest in things historical. Please trust me when I tell you that this Fort is so dry, so barren, so lacking that only the most obssesed Fort fanatic could possibly ever find value in visiting. On second thought, I would bet that such a fanatic would soon be looking at their watch and wondering where else to decamp to. Its just too basic. City fathers might have done better had they made the fort part of a larger Pioneer Village-type complex. As it stands, you will be bored to tears and regretting the loss of your admission cost. Fort Henry is a smazillion times better. I am done. The end.
Written 7 April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathy B
Toronto67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Who can believe there's any public attraction with free parking anymore? Nice, low key attraction for a morning or afternoon, quick history lesson.
Written 17 June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard-Roadman
Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands398 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Friends
This is the place to learn about Toronto history. Perfect restorated and preserved buildings and artifacts on the actual site of the historica fort itself. In the visitorcenter there is a short movie which get you started in the history, and from the center it is a short walk to the site itself. There are hourly tours around the fort included, but the site is also pretty selfguided with the informationpanels provided. When interested in historyand specially Toronto’s (why you see everywhere the name York for instance?) this place is a must. Easily reachable with the streetcar and can spend a few hours here.
Written 13 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 230
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto - Tripadvisor

All Toronto HotelsToronto Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Toronto
All things to do in Toronto
Day Trips in Toronto
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday homesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire