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.
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.
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
June 3 - June 35.00Learn the gory, gruesome details on Old Fort Erie’s popular ghost tours. Visitors will tour the hollowed grounds of the fort and hear eerie tales at Canada’s bloodiest battlefield. Tour starts at 9 p.m.
June 11 - June 120.00Come and witness the 150th anniversary of the Fenian attempt to take Canada, one of the defining moments on Canada’s road to confederation. Many of the Fenian troops were experienced soldiers, having served in the Federal or Confederate armies in the recent American Civil War. Armed with surplus U.S. Army weapons, these men proved to be fierce fighters, giving the Canadian provinces a terrible shock. On June 2, 1866, Fenian troops defeated Canadian forces at the Battle of Ridgeway. Fear generated by the Fenian raids helped lead to the Confederation of Canada in 1867. Battle re-enactments take place on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. with a ceremony preceding the Saturday battle. All battles are free to watch. Military demonstrations, living history displays and more throughout the weekend. Site open 10-5, regular admission applies. For more information, please call Old Fort Erie at 905-871-0540.
July 5 - July 50.00At the Chippawa Battlefield, come out to commemorate the 202st anniversary of this famous battle with a service commemorating the fallen. This event is free to attend; starts at 6 p.m.