fort york toronto

Toronto drops funding for something that's been a summer tradition since 1955

The Friends of Fort York and Garrison Common, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting, preserving and enhancing the Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto, has just announced they will not be operating the Fort York Guard this summer. 

In a recent post on Facebook, the organization stated that they "have not been able to obtain support from the City to operate the Fort York Guard" and that this will be the "first time since 1955 that the Guard has not appeared in Fort York in the summer." 

The Friends of Fort York came together in 1994 as a small group that protested proposals to lay out the former rail yards south of Fort York into city blocks and streets, and have since grown into a charitable organization with its own board, officers and charitable status that has been incorporated into the Canada Corporations Act. 

Their chief priority is to defend the integrity of Fort York and rebuild an active military presence at the fort.

They recruit, train and pay 20 to 25 young men and women each year to become part of the squad, which includes the Guard - consisting of the Squad (musketmen) and the Drums (musicians). 

Each day in the summer, the Guard performs a variety of demonstrations for visitors including artillery firing, musical demonstrations, drills and battle tactics performances. The demonstrations serve as both education and entertainment.. 

Unfortunately, this year the fort will be empty. 

The Friends are appreciative of the loyalty and support it has received from its students, and hope to see a return to the Fort York Guard in 2023. 

Lead photo by

Friends of Fort York

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