Fort Henry, a UNESCO world heritage site and major tourist draw for Kingston, opened its doors to visitors today.
“We’ve opened the doors to the citadel of Upper Canada and we are ready to go, so as always it’s exciting,” says Fort Henry program supervisor Mark Bennett.
With its commanding view of the city and the St. Lawrence River, Fort Henry is now operating ahead of the summer tourism season.
While public health safety measures mean performances by the Fort Henry Guard won’t take place on the same scale, Bennett says demonstrations are happening.
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He continues that staff will explain “how the rifles work and we shoot them, how the cannons work, we fire them off, we talk about why back in the day the British Army had music so we can play some tunes and we also have a demonstration about the women of the garrison.”
As for tours, they will be self-guided for now.
“You’ll receive a booklet when you come in at the fort and it helps guide you around and, as I say, we have guards set up at various station points to go over what you’re about to see, what you have seen or any question in general.”
For visitors like Dave Warner, who’s been to Fort Henry on numerous occasions, it’s still worth the price of admission.
“They still have some demonstrations going on, some of the rooms are closed off but you can poke your head in and take a look, and yeah, I think despite the Covid precautions they’re doing a great job,” Warner says.
Not only is Fort Henry a historic site, it’s also a museum.
As the province moves through the three stages of its re-opening plan, Bennett hopes to open the museum portion of the site later in the season.
“Whenever the health unit and the government determine it is safe for us and of course the public, we’re here to respond,” says Bennett.
Fort Henry is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.
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