Although Ontario’s Fort Mississauga is recognized as a National Historic Site, unlike other Canadian fortresses of its era—Fort York in Toronto, Fort Henry in Kingston, and nearby Fort George—it hasn’t been restored. A rarely visited relic, it lies almost forgotten and in a state of disrepair amid the grounds of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, the oldest golf course in North America.
Fort Mississauga was built during the War of 1812, designed to improve British defenses along the Niagara Frontier and secure the western end of Lake Ontario. It was intended to replace Fort George, which had quickly proven itself highly vulnerable to artillery fire from Fort Niagara and American warships.
In 1813 a battery built at Mississauga pointed a few miles to the north of Fort George. By the summer of 1814 the battery had become Fort Mississauga, which was planned as an irregular star-shaped earthwork redoubt armed with four 24-pound guns mounted on traversing carriages. These guns had a range of a mile and could reach the American shore or bombard vessels entering the Niagara River.