Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stalking the Guards at Fort York

Kate got a wonderful summer job this year as a guard at Fort York in Toronto.  She has spent the past few weeks learning how to march, mastering all the different drills, and becoming an expert at polishing her musket.  

There have been lots of special events and press coverage at Fort York recently because of the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The press have been out to film the guards and they have been on the evening news.  You can see them marching in this clip (if anyone knows how to import the video onto the blog I would love to know as I tried for over an hour and couldn't do it). Kate is the guard on the left hand side of the front row at the beginning of the video. Don't they look spiffy!

The War of 1812 was a two year long battle between US and Britain (Canada was a British colony at the time).  It established the relationship we now have with the US and put us on the path to becoming an independent country.  

This past weekend we went to Fort York. Of course we looked through the buildings and checked out the tents that were in the parade square, but what we mostly did was stalk the guards.

Do you notice stalker Dad in the background there?

The CN Tower from Fort York

There were 200 tents set up in the parade square one for each year since the war -  for the art festival Luminato.  Inside each tent was a different art installation. We only had time to look in a few of the tents since we had to keep our eyes on the guards and where they were marching off to so we could follow them and get photos. I tell you it was a full-time job. 

The art installations in two of the tents for Luminato at Fort York

I loved these two little boys marching along behind the guards.

What a wonderful contrast between the 19th century guards and the modern skyscapers in the background.

I thought that the red and white uniforms seemed appropriate for Canada Day - as did the fact that we are celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  Let's face it, if the outcome of the War of 1812 had been different there wouldn't be a country called Canada, now would there.  We'd be having our celebration on July 4th and throwing in some blue with the red and white, if you know what I mean.  So it seems fitting for a Canada Day tribute.

I'm off with the family for the weekend doing our traditional Canada Day at the cottage celebration.  Well all except for Kate that is - she's marching around Fort York all weekend.  There are special events happening on Canada Day at Fort York which you can read about here and the fort is even free that day.

I hope you have a great weekend - whether it is Canada Day, July 4th, or just a plain old ordinary weekend for you.

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  1. Happy Canada Day to you and your family.
    What a wonderful summer job Kate has; it certainly looks like it a lot of fun, and very interesting too I would imagine.

  2. What a great job for Kate and lovely photos. I hope she finds a way to keep cool in this hot weather. When we pass by Fort York I am always amazed at the old fort surrounded by the condos and sky scrapers. Your pictures captured that so nicely. I recently read an article in Canadian Geographic that reminded me of how close the battle at Chrysler Farm came to changing the direction of our Canadian history. 900 British regulars, Canadian militia and Mohawk warriors were able to overwhelm 4000 US troops. Wishing you a relaxing weekend and a Happy Canada Day. And to your American readers, I wish them a Happy upcoming 4th of July.

  3. Happy Canada Day to you all.

    Nice job for Kate .... but OMG it must be hot!

  4. Glad to hear and see that you had a great weekend. Toronto was BLAZING's crazy! I like that you pointed out the "stalker dad" in the picture lol

  5. My son would love this place