The Daguerreotype was not invented until the 1830s, but if chemical photography had been in use during the War of 1812 perhaps the results would have looked like Tod Ainslie’s images. Using pinhole cameras that he builds himself, the Burlington, Ont., photographer shot about 2,000 images of war sites across eastern North America between 2001 and 2009. The Royal Ontario Museum has purchased a small selection and is displaying them until Feb. 24, 2013.
Dundurn on Burlington Heights, Hamilton
During the War of 1812, the British established an outpost on the high land overlooking the west end of Burlington Bay, and assembled troops there for the attack that retook Fort George and captured Fort Niagara in 1813. Dundurn Castle, the mansion house built by Sir Allan MacNab in the 1830s, incorporated some of the military structure.
East Entrance of Fort York, Toronto
Modern condo towers are discreetly visible behind Fort York, the site to which the city’s defenders retreated when American troops stormed York and burned it in April, 1813.
Fort Mississauga, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Built at the mouth of the Niagara River as a counterpoint to Fort Niagara on the U.S. side, Fort Mississauga was started in 1814 but not completed until after the War of 1812. Sitting on today’s Niagara-on-the-Lake golf course, it is the only remaining example in Canada of a military installation featuring a square tower and star-shaped earthworks.
Horseshoe Bend, on the Tallapoosa River, Ala.
In 1814, the Horseshoe Bend was the site of a battle between the traditionalist faction of the Creek Indians, known as the Red Sticks, and U.S. forces. The Red Sticks, who were defeated, were opposed to American expansion, and were backed by the British.
Pathway between Gate of the Five Nations and South Redoubt, Fort Niagara, Youngstown, N.Y.
Originally built by the French on the east bank of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario, Fort Niagara was taken in 1759 by the British, who then ceded it to the Americans after the Revolution. The fort was recaptured by the British in 1813, and then ceded a second time in 1815.