by David O’Hara, Site Manager

Although the new Visitor Centre officially opened to the public back in September, finishing touches on various interior and exterior components of the building are still ongoing. Bringing the new facility on line as part of overall museum operations is also a major change for both staff and visitors alike. As reported in the December issue of Fife and Drum, a significant amount of landscaping work will be undertaken in 2015. The work that can't be completed prior to our summer season will likely wait until the fall.

While much of the landscaping will take place in the fall, demolition of the Garrison Road Bridge is scheduled to be completed this April/May. This work will require that staff and visitors begin to use the parking lot at Strachan Avenue and Fleet Street until our full lot in front of the Visitor Centre is ready.

The Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge will continue to move through the next steps of design in 2015. Build Toronto, who is leading the project, has short listed three teams to continue in the preparation of design submissions. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2015. For more information visit

Fort York kicked off the 2015 season with what is usually our first event of the year, Queen Charlotte's Ball, on January 17. This was followed by our 6th annual "Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citron!.” Done in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Canada again this year, it was sold out. A huge thank you to the organizing committee, presenters, sponsors, judges, and all the volunteers who made Mad for Marmalade such a success.

On March 5th after only two months of planning, we opened an exhibition titled The Art of Command by Gertrude Kearns. Kearns has worked officially and unofficially as a Canadian war/military artist for over two decades in large format drawings, paintings, and texted fine art prints, and has participated in various Canadian Forces exercises through the Canadian Forces Artists Program from 2003-2005. She was the official war artist with Task Force Afghanistan in Kandahar in 2006.

Described by the Toronto Star’s Peter Goddard as “unquest-ionably the country’s leading active contemporary war artist,” Kearns has constantly pushed the boundaries of Canadian war art for the past quarter century. Many thanks go out to Gertrude Kearns, Chief Curator Wayne Reeves, Robert Kerr, and our entire Program Design & Development team for pulling together the exhibit in such a short period of time.

Please come and visit The Art of Command on show in the Fort York Visitor Centre until June 14. Visit for more information.

Our 2015 season promises to be a very busy one. Check the Upcoming Events section and our website for more information on the Indigenous Arts Festival and other activities.