Interested in Canada’s military history? See it come to life at Kingston, Ontario’s Fort Henry, less than 2-hours from The McIntosh Country Inn
Fort Henry National Historic Site, originally built during the War of 1812, is one of Canada’s top historic attractions. Travel back in time to 1867 and learn about military life and see exciting demonstrations including drills, music, and artillery!
Enjoy one of the many guided tours offered throughout the day, scenic views, and musical performances from the Fort Henry Guard’s military band. Experience life in a Victorian schoolhouse and don’t forget to stick around to watch the lowering of the flag at the Closing Ceremony.
The Fort also plays host to numerous special ceremonies and events throughout the tourist season, so don’t be surprised if you get a little unforeseen bonus during your visit. Especially since the Fort is said to be a tad… haunted!
Things to Do and See at Fort Henry
Meet your guide at the Well in the Dry Ditch and learn what life was like in a military fort in 1867. Fort Henry, as one of Ontario’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, offers a wealth of fascinating tours that really bring the past to life.
Available tours, especially targeted to youth, include the 1-hour Bonnycastle Tour, the 90-minute hands on Victorian Education Tour, and longer tours that include the Drill, Garrison Life program, and a Barracks Inspection. Throughout the day you can catch cannon firing, parades, marches, rifle firing, and of course, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Fort Fright, known as Ontario’s best haunted experience, transforms Fort Henry into a chilling Halloween event. Test your courage in the haunted Fort, equipped with scare actors, terrifying props, and ruthless engagement of all 5 of your senses…it’s a truly exhilarating experience!
If a haunted tour isn’t enough for you, try an overnight stay at Fort Fright. Sleep in the 19th century military Barracks Room…if you can sleep. And don’t forget to check out Eastern Ontario’s other Halloween event, Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village [insert hotlink to Upper Canada Village page] in Morrisburg. Take advantage of Pumpkinferno and Fort Fright’s combo pricing!
Cover your ears and watch the Fort Henry Guard fire the booming cannons at the Lower Fort. You can catch this demonstration several times a day, starting at noon.
Fort Henry’s Garrison Parade is known as the big event of the day. Watch the Fort Henry Guard perform polished artillery and infantry sequences, guided by the Officer of the Day. The Garrison Parade is an exciting 30-minute event.
Fort Henry Annual Tattoo
If you time your visit just right, you might be lucky to catch the exciting summer Fort Henry Annual Tattoo that happens just once a year. Watch big bands composed of fife, brass, pipe, drums, and other instruments fill the Parade Square. There are also exciting showcases of intricate drills. Stick around to the end because the grand finale presents a sensational Massed Bands and fireworks display!
Victorian School Lesson
If your father was in the British Army in 1867, you could get a free education from the ages of 4 to 14. School ran 6 days a week and religious instruction was offered on Sundays. Schoolmistresses taught the younger children and schoolmasters taught more advanced subjects to children ages 10 to 14.
When you hear the school bell, head over to the school room to experience what education was like in 1867 for yourself! This 20 to 30-minute event is offered periodically throughout the day.
If you visit Fort Henry, you get a chance to join the British redcoats! Listen carefully to the drill instructor who’ll whip young and eager recruits into shape. Learn the marching drill in this exciting 20-minute event.
It’s your chance to ready, aim, and fire an authentic Snider Enfield Rifle under the supervision of the Fort Henry Guard. This 20-minute event takes place multiple times a day at the Flagpole. Head to the Ticket Booth to sign up for this exciting opportunity.
Opening & Closing Ceremonies
Watch the Fort Henry Guard raise and lower the flag of the British Empire at the Lower Fort. As the Opening Ceremony, this marks the first event of the day. And of course, the lowering of the flag at Closing Ceremony marks the last event of day. Come early or stay late to catch the Opening and Closing Ceremonies during your visit to Fort Henry.
For more information about Fort Henry, visit https://www.forthenry.com/
While you’re in the area, check out some of the other exciting sites offered in the City of Kingston!