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Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

Queen's Parade Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1921/05/21

Aerial view of the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada emphasizing the siting of the fortress on a steep rise, near the mouth of the river, 2001.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, G. Vandervlugt, 2001.
Aerial view
General view of some of the original buildings of Fort George National Historic Site of Canada demonstrating the spatial inter-relationships between the remains of original facilities inside the palisade, 1995.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1995.
General view
General view of the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada walls and palissades, 1985.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1985.
General view

Other Name(s)

Fort George National Historic Site of Canada
Fort George
Fort George

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1796/01/01 to 1799/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Fort George National Historic Site of Canada is a largely recreated 18th-century military fort located on the west bank of the Niagara River near the river's mouth. It is situated on the remains of the original Fort George, largely destroyed during the War of 1812.

Heritage Value

Fort George was declared a national historic site because:
- it served as the principal fortification on the Niagara Peninsula during the War of 1812 and as Headquarters of the Central Division of the British Army,
- it played a key role in the defence of Upper Canada,
- its destruction by artillery contributed to the American victory in the Battle of Fort George and the subsequent seven-month occupation by American forces.

The heritage value of Fort George lies in the remnants of a late 18th-century British fortification embedded in its cultural landscape, and the residues of the history to which they bear witness, particularly those associated with the War of 1812, the Battle of Fort George, British and American occupancy of the fortress, and its destruction in May 1813. Fort George was the site of a historic reconstruction during the 1930s, an activity which reconfigured most of its earthworks and resulted in the construction of several buildings inside the footprint of the original fort.

Sources: HSMBC Minutes, October 1963; Commemorative Integrity Statement.

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:

- archaeological remnants of the Battle of Fort George, British and American occupancy, the original fortification with its palisade and the sloping glacis, buildings, structures, and landscape features,
- the massing, form, materials and craftsmanship of the powder magazine, particularly its stone construction and buttressed bomb- and fire-proof walls,
- the location of the powder magazine, away from other buildings,
- the spatial inter-relationships between the remains of original facilities inside the palisade,
- the core of "original Fort George dirt" in the rebuilt earthworks and any indications of the outline of the earthworks of the original fortification,
- the remaining natural topographical features of the site, particularly as they are integrated with military requirements (such as the natural ravine in which the powder magazine is located),
- the extensive cleared area extending to the Niagara River and across the Commons,
- archaeological remains of life at the fortress witnessing both British and American occupancy (including American trench lines both above and below grade, remnants of wharves, buildings, supply yards of Navy Hall),
- archaeological remains of the Battle of Fort George and destruction of the fort,
- the siting of the fortress on a steep rise, near the mouth of the river,
- evidence of 1930s commemorative activities on the site which re-configured its earthworks and added new buildings,
- viewplanes from the fort to the river, Butler's Barracks, the town, and across the river to the former site of the American Fort Niagara.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1921/05/21

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1796/01/01 to 1815/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation
Leisure
Historic or Interpretive Site

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

432

Status

Published

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Rear façade

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