Canada and the United States today share the longest peaceful border in the world. Almost two hundred years ago, however, control of the Niagara River section of this international border was in constant dispute. Many decisive battles of the War of 1812 occurred along both sides of the river. On October 13, 1812, shortly before dawn, American troops crossed the Niagara River and inched their way up to a concealed path on the Niagara escarpment. Their objective was to cut the slender British supply line leading to the west. This they could do by taking Queenston, the northern portage point around Niagara Falls. Major-General Isaac Brock, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Upper Canada was stationed at Fort George in Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake). He had just returned from a victory over American forces at Detroit. Now he observed the build-up of troops on the American side of the Niagara River from Buffalo to Youngstown.
On the fateful morning of the battle, Brock raced from Fort George to Queenston. In a valiant effort to retake the Heights of Queenston, he was fatally wounded while leading his troops into battle. All seemed lost for the British until General Sheaffe, summoned from Fort George, marched with his men of the 41st Regiment, militia and Native forces and gained the rear of the Heights. With one line charge the Americans were routed. This tactical movement ensured a victory for the British and gave the inhabitants of Upper Canada new hope and commitment to the British cause. Brock’s present monument was rebuilt in 1853 after the original monument was bombed by a terrorist in 1840. For transcriptions of the plaques and markers located at this important historic site, read
Commemorative Plaques and Markers.
Brock’s monument is owned by Parks Canada and is located in Queenston Heights Park, which is maintained year-round by The Niagara Parks Commission. A self-guided tour of the Battle of Queenston Heights starts at the foot of the monument and includes a climb to the top for a magnificent view towards Lake Ontario in the north and Niagara Falls in the south. The monument is open for interpretive programmes 7 days/week, 10-5 daily from May until Labour Day weekend.
Queenston Heights Park, Niagara Parkway
Parks Canada staff at the monument can be contacted at 905 262-4759.