The outside of the fort at night
Small fontsMedium fontsLarge fonts

Old Fort Erie

Canada's Bloodiest Battlefield.

The year is 1812. You're far from home in the unknown wilds of Upper Canada. The place is Fort Erie, and war is in the air. All around you are the exciting sights and sounds of men preparing for battle. Step back into a time of red coats, black powder and gray fortress walls. Over 200 years of living history resides within, at Old Fort Erie.

Experience the sights and sounds of the fort under siege at this War of 1812 National Historic Site. See the War of 1812 from multiple perspectives as you tour the grounds and authentic buildings, and be sure to check out the musket demonstrations.

Admission

Adult (13+ yrs)

$12.25 + tax

Child(6-12 yrs)

$7.95 + tax

Children 5 and under are FREE at all Niagara Parks attractions.

Free parking is available for visitors. For group tours, please contact our group sales department at 1-877-642-7275 ext.2

What are Forts?

Fortifications have been around for as long as there have been wars. Gun powder and cannons had the greatest effect on their design. Forts (from the Latin for strong) were designed to replace castles, could use cannons and at the same time protect the defenders from cannon balls. The entire design was set up to create a crossfire that attacking soldiers could not avoid. Attacking soldiers would have two cannons pointed at them from the fort's corners or bastions.

Facts & Figures

Did you know that Old Fort Erie was:

  • the site of ancient flint quarries;
  • the first fort built in Ontario by the British - in 1764 during Pontiac’s Rebellion;
  • a base for British troops, Loyalist Rangers and Iroquois Warriors during the American Revolution (1775 – 1783);
  • Canada’s bloodiest field of battle with over 3,000 troops killed and wounded during the Siege of Fort Erie August 3 to September 21, 1814;
  • the major crossing point into Canada of the Underground Railroad 1793 - 1865;
  • occupied by the Fenians (Irish Republican Army) during their largest raid, 1866;
  • visited by Pontiac, General Brock, General Winfield Scott, Lord and Lady Simcoe, Prince Edward (future King Edward VII), Mark Twain;
  • saw the opening of a new visitor centre on July 1, 2011; and
  • commemorated the 200th Anniversary of the Siege of Fort Erie in August, 2014.

Soldiers' Field Day - August 20, 2016

Throughout the summer, our Historical Interpreters are required to learn War of 1812 drill, cooking techniques, as well as in-depth knowledge about the war; today, they will be put to the test. The Historical Interpreters have been put into teams and throughout the day there will be five events that will be marked by officers. The winning team will be announced at 4:30 p.m., so please stick around to cheer for your favourite team.

Events

  • Manual of Arms Drill – The soldiers from each team will be marked on their performance of the manual of arms drill. Historically it was the ‘Basic Training’ of the time period and much like today total synchronization is proof of a well trained army.
  • Trivia – A part of being a Historical Interpreter is knowing the most basic information about the War of 1812, as well as in-depth knowledge about the Siege of Fort Erie. The trivia event will test each individual’s knowledge about both of these topics, as well as some fun questions thrown into the mix. You, the visitor, can be a lifeline (‘Ask a Visitor’) if an interpreter is stumped on a question.
  • Perfect Volley – The soldiers will be marked on how well their volleys are in-sync with each other. Historically if the sound of a hundred muskets going off sounded like one, it was a sign you were facing a well trained and discipline corps of troops. Come listen to the sound of a perfect volley.
  • Speed Load – Each soldier will be tested on how fast they can load and fire their musket. The timings begin at 18 seconds and work backwards until one soldier remains. The soldiers all must be finished their movements before time runs out. Historically some soldiers bragged that they could fire six shots in a minute, which is an impressive one shot every 10 seconds. Don’t forget to cheer for your favourite soldier.
  • Women’s Seneca Run – Our brave soldier’s wives will be competing against each other in an obstacle course. Come cheer on your favourite.

Friday Night Flicks

Throughout 2016, Niagara Parks Heritage will be presenting specially selected films at our historic Old Fort Erie. Featuring award-winning classics and culturally important recent releases, all presented in our grand and stories venue. You won't just be watching history, you'll be living it.

Films are shown the last two Fridays of every month (one date in October) with daily screenings during March Break.View Showtimes

350 Lakeshore Road, Fort Erie, (905) 871-0540

Upcoming Heritage Events

  • September 10
    A murder has taken place at the fort and the inspector needs help to catch the culprit. Search for clues around the old stone fort and interview the suspects to help solve the crime. Prizes to be won! Starts at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. No reservations required.
  • October 22 - October 29
    (Tours held on 22,28 & 29) Listen to ghost stories and the traditions of Halloween during this popular event. The evening concludes with the Burning of Guy Fawkes, a visitor favourite! Tour times available are 7:30, 7:45 and 8:00 p.m. with Guy Fawkes burning at 8:30 p.m. Reservations recommended. Call 905-871-0540 or register online for reservation.
  • November 4 7:00 PM
    In partnership with First Friday, relive the 1980s in Old Fort Erie’s Welcome Centre. Food and cash bar provided by The Smokin’ Buddha with music, games, karaoke and prizes throughout the evening. Starts at 7 p.m.; tickets $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Come dressed in 80s clothing for a chance to win a prize! Purchase tickets: http://firstfridaysniagara.wix.com/firstfridaysniagara
Table set with plates and glassware Interior of McFarland House with period furnishings Table set with candles and red table cloth runner Old bookshelf with old books