WAR OF 1812

Two centuries ago on the shores of Lake Erie, British troops and First Nations warriors joined forces against the American military in a battle to fight their desire to expand into Upper and Lower Canada.

Before the war, residents in the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada did not feel any affinities with anyone from other British provinces. Their joint resistance to a common threat bound these settlers, British troops, and First Nations warriors into a new group who began thinking of themselves as Canadians. As a result, the rebellions of Upper Canada acted as a catalyst that sparked the feeling of Canadian identity amongst a people who, at that time, did not yet identify with present-day Canada as a nation.

As you travel through the region, you’ll explore the people, politics, and biggest battles that helped define an unforgettable war that threatened the existence of Canada and divided the US so deeply that the nation almost broke apart. See forts that were surrendered, monuments and memorials later erected, and sites where American and British soldiers experienced great victory and defeat.

Explore the trenches and barracks at Amherstburg’s Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada and other authentic sites and stories from 1812. Stroll the streets of Olde Sandwich Towne, one of the oldest continuously inhabited European settlements west of Montreal, and follow General Brock’s path through the area where he mustered First Nations warriors and militia to help attack Detroit in August 1812, and view the historic Duff-Baby Mansion, temporary headquarters of US General Harrison during the War of 1812. Canoe down River Canard where the first shot was fired and the first two casualties of the War of 1812 occurred. Engulf yourself in history at annual encampments where re-enactors will take you back in time.

These heritage sites commemorate a time when a new nation was forged and tell the stories that will help people understand the very essence of Canada. As Canada and Ontario celebrate their 150th birthday and Windsor its 125th, you will find plenty of reasons to connect with its people and places which have helped shaped the nation’s identity.

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