Friday, August 10, 2012

Simcoe Day at Fort York

This past Monday was the Simcoe Day holiday here in Ontario - although to be honest that was news to me as I have always just called it the August Civic Holiday. As it turns out Simcoe Day was named in honour of the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe.  Lord Simcoe was a busy and important fellow around these parts.  He founded York (later named Toronto), established many of its institutions, abolished slavery (long before it was abolished in the British Empire as a whole), and in 1793 authorized the building of Fort York to defend the new settlement of York.  

You can certainly see why Simcoe Day is rather a big deal at Fort York. There were special events planned so, of course, we had go visit the fort and join in the fun.  

Guards from two other Ontario forts -  Fort Erie and Fort George - were visiting for the day. 

I loved watching the fife and drum corps,

and seeing the guards standing at attention.  Don't they look smart in their uniforms.

The present Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, David Onley, gave a speech and inspected the troops.  

They may have looked like toy soldiers, 

but they certainly produced a powerful bang when they fired their muskets

and the cannon.

The guards had to run through the smoke to form the next firing line.

and then they finally disappeared altogether in a cloud of smoke.

It was all very impressive!

Naturally, I was interested in one of the guards in particular - Kate our daughter.  Not only did she do a terrific job with the marching and formations and firing her musket, but she was the one who helped take the flag down at the end of the day. She did a fine job and the flag was lowered with due pomp and ceremony.

I also enjoyed touring the Officer's Barracks and Mess and seeing the historic cooking and I bought a plate, a small glass decanter, and porcelain box at Fort York which I'll show you soon.

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  1. I think they look great. It looks like a really fun day out. I bet you were very proud of your daughter.

  2. Beautiful photographs. How special to have a daughter performing. Looking forward to seeing your treasures.