Sketch of the ground in advance of and including York Upper Canada. by Geo. Williams R.M.S.D. Novr 1813
Image courtesy Library and Archives Canada: NMC22819
Winearls, MUC No. 2035
On November 22, 1813, at exactly the same time as Williams was making his map, Lt. John Kitson, R.E., reported on the rebuilding of the fort and western battery:
“The Blockhouses on account of the badness of weather and the want of materials have been delayed however they are raised to the second floor and should the weather prove favorable I have reason to beleive [sic] that one of 60 feet by 40 feet and one of 40 feet square will be roofed and shingled by the 30th instant.”
“At the N.W. angle of this battery is built a musket proof loopholed guard house for 40 men to give flanking fire on the ditch and palisading for 40 men. This battery is more at present intended against vessels entering the Harbour but it is necessary here to observe the wood should be cleared for 500 yards, as now an enemy may advance to within 50 yards perfectly under cover therefore I beg leave to propose that a party of militia should be employed constantly during the winter in clearing this wood. As felling axes are not to be had each Militia should if possible provide himself with an axe.”
Click the map to view a full-size version:
Plan of the Town and Harbour of York George Williams Royl Military Surveyor &c 27 July 1814
Image courtesy Library and Archives Canada: NMC 21771
Winearls MUC No. 2037
By July 1814 when George Williams drew this second map 288 men were housed within Fort York. But the majority of soldiers were billeted elsewhere in town: at the Western Battery (21 men); in blockhouses on Gibraltar Point (30) and up the Garrison Creek ravine (28); in two hospitals (110); in buildings repurposed as barracks on King West (208), John (52), King East (138) and Market Streets (44); and within the re-roofed brick walls of the first Parliament Buildings (220) in the King's Park at the east end of town. Nine officers were accommodated in a large house on the lakeshore at the foot of Bay Street.
The military population of about 1200 men compared with the town’s civilian population of 730 men, women and children in 1814.
Next map: 1815 Van Cortland: Government Buildings at York
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