OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 27, 2013) - The Canadian Armed Forces together with the City of Toronto marked the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of York today, with events downtown and along the waterfront.
"I want to thank the City of Toronto for their partnership and dedication. Today's events were a great opportunity for Torontonians and Canadians to learn more about a key chapter in the development of this city and our country," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 is an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our traditions, remember our shared history, and commemorate the achievements of those early Canadian sailors and soldiers who fought valiantly."
As part of the day's events, the city hosted one of the largest military parades Toronto has seen since the Second World War. The parade included marching bands, ceremonial uniforms, and Regimental Colours, along with more than 1500 sailors and soldiers of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, who marched through the city to commemorate the Battle of York.
"Commemorating the War of 1812 and milestones such as the Battle of York are important because of the significance these events played in the development of Canada's military forces," said Brigadier-General Omer Lavoie, Commander Joint Task Force Central. "Many current Canadian regiments, including some of those who participated in today's parade, trace their heritage to the War of 1812."
The parade route took participants from Queen's Park to the Fort York National Historic Site, where the Battle of York was fought. Here, Canadian Armed Forces personnel were joined by members of various re-enactment regiments of the Crown Forces who took part in the Battle of York for a commemoration event that was followed by the rededication of plaques.
Earlier in the day, the 3rd Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment received a new Regimental Colour at the Ontario Legislature from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Battle of York, on April 27, 1813, was a traumatic day in Toronto's history, then known as the town of York. The town was occupied by foreign soldiers, hundreds of combatants were killed or wounded, and the town's public buildings, including the Legislature, were burned to the ground. The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are active participants in a number of activities to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, as part of Canada's proud military heritage. Two hundred years of peace makes it easy to forget a war.
The story of the Canadians who fought desperately to defend York (Toronto) in 1813 lives on today as part of the Canadian Army's heritage. Toronto's own Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps) perpetuate the Battalion of Incorporated Militia as well as both the 1st Regiment of York Militia (1812-15), and the 3rd Regiment of York Militia (1812-15). Both regiments of York Militia played supporting roles at the Battle of York.
The Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry fought gallantly at the Battle of York, with 15 members in the height of the fighting. This unit's traditions are proudly carried on by today's Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
Likewise, a contingent of the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles and the 1st Battalion Dundas Militia, today commemorated by the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders from Cornwall Ontario, were present at the Battle.
Notes to editor / news director: For more information, please contact Captain Indira Thackorie, Public Affairs Officer, 416-633-6200 x 5509, cell phone 647-920-9231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs of this event can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lfca_multimedia/
The Battle of York Backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4738
Further information on the War of 1812 history of Canadian units can be found at the following link: www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4398