British Army and Canadian militia troops built Fort York during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Their goal was to defend what was then the settlement of York from a potential military attack from their southern neighbors. Despite the military presence, we attacked in 1813 and burned part of York, including the Parliament Building. The British retaliated the following year and burned the White House. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1923, and Toronto designated it a Heritage Conservation District in 1985.
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