There has been a press release concerning a new interpretive centre commemorating the site of Ontario's first parliament buildings and the War of 1812.
"This commemorative centre will provide a unique opportunity for citizens and visitors to learn about and mark significant events from our collective past - a fitting and timely initiative as we prepare for next year's celebration of both the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, events that will highlight and reinforce the Crown's important role in our parliamentary democracy," said the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
The commemorative centre will open in February 2012 at 265 Front Street East in Toronto, on a property acquired by the province and transferred to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 2005. It and three adjoining properties comprise the site of Ontario's first purpose-built parliament buildings. Opened in 1797, the buildings were burned by invading American forces during the War of 1812. They were later rebuilt, but were destroyed by fire again in 1824.
"This new commemorative centre will not only shed light on the history of this site, it will also put that history in a provincial and national context," said the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation and MPP Toronto Centre.
"Next year's bicentennial is an ideal time to draw attention to the importance of Ontario's first parliament buildings, which were destroyed in battle during the War of 1812," said Dr. Symons. "We are delighted that the new commemorative centre will showcase this history, exploring the evolution of our democracy and the significance of the war, both of which have played major roles in shaping the province and the country we know today."
"Many citizens of Old Town Toronto and local organizations have been eager to see this site commemorated and interpreted, particularly as the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 approaches," said Rollo Myers, who has been actively involved for many years with the protection of the site of Ontario's first parliament buildings. "I'm delighted that the Trust's centre will celebrate the bicentennial and showcase the critical early years of Upper Canada, as many of Ontario's most important institutions - social, political and religious - trace their beginnings to this site."