Fort York was created by the British army and the Canadian militia during the 18th and 19th centuries. Its’ creation and keen positioning would assist in defending the settlements and capital of Upper Canada through the War of 1812. In April of 1813, the United States Army and Naval forces took Fort York through the use of Lake Ontario and held it for a series of days, destroying much of the historic site. Upon the recapture, only some of Fort York was rebuilt.
Britain had held the Fort until the 1850’s, wherein it was transferred to Canada. 1903 the transfer of the Fort was given to Toronto who has since owned it. Fort York was used as a military base until 1880 with the exception of utilizing its resources for both World War 1 and World War 2. Today it stands as a museum, protected as a Heritage Conservation Site and can be visited by tourists to view re-enactments and the Fort York Guard.
Fort York, also known commonly as Garrison, is one of Toronto’s newest neighbourhood developments. It is located to the south of the railway corridors that travel through the city. Formally known as the Bathurst/ Strachen area, Fort York is hosted to the south and west of the historical site. Considered one of the most culturally and historically sensitive areas within Canada, Fort York continues to develop into a mixed use community.
To ensure the preservation of the neighbourhood, while still supporting the growth and development of the area, the city of Toronto created the Fort York Public Realm Plan. The first and secondary plans offer the next step in developing the area to its utmost potential. The neighbourhood will host up to an additional 6,000 units available for potential residents in this neighbourhood, with a variety of living space opportunities as well. The development plan offered a series of high, mid and low rise condominiums as well as stacked townhomes, many of which will offer breathtaking views of the city, waterfront and parks. Already in progress, this plan has proven to create an ideal neighbourhood.
To support this growth and development, the city have created space for Toronto District School Board and the Toronto District Catholic School Board to incorporate new locations or the expansion of schools in the area, making this an ideal location for many young families, as well as young professionals, as the neighbourhood resides close to the fashion and entertainment districts. Also supporting the growth and demand will be the expansion of TTC, with the incorporation of a possible underground public transportation station “Fort York Station”. Until this is completed however, TTC offers a variety of streetcars that maneuver throughout the neighbourhood.
Also within this development plan is the creation and expansion of park areas. Fort York will house Garrison Park and Garrison Nursery to the west of Fort York, and to the south west, the neighbourhood will offer Gore Park. Finally, there will be a linking park created directly through the middle of the neighbourhood that will give easy access to the natural shoreline. Pedestrian and bike routes can be seen throughout the entire neighbourhood, supporting alternative energy