Discover the Lost Ontario by Stuart Clarfield, The Mission Media Co. – Kickstarter campaign mentioned by Mike James

I’ve worked with Mike James with leading of Jane’s Walks in southern Etobicoke over the past four years. We’re no longer leading walks, although we remain involved with helping to organize them.

Mike grew up in New Toronto in the 1960s; he now lives in Niagara on the Lake. He ‘s received some information from the Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) Historical Society, which he’s passed along to me, as he thought I might be interested:

This does indeed look interesting, for which reason I’ve devoted this post to it. An excerpt from the Kickstarter campaign reads:

Discover the Lost Ontario by Stuart Clarfield, The Mission Media Co.

About this project

HMS ONTARIO, circa 1780, Fort Niagara. The photo is from the Kickstarter campaign discussed at the page you are now reading.

HMS ONTARIO, circa 1780, Fort Niagara. The photo is from the Kickstarter campaign discussed at the page you are now reading.


During the 18th century, warships were the equivalent of the Space Shuttle – the highest evolution of technology. Travelling across the expanse of Lake Ontario was crossing an inland sea. HMS ONTARIO was launched on May 10th, 1780. It was a world at war on a continent that was a vast, infinite unexplored wilderness to the British, French and American colonists who were here. The ship was built to defend Canada from attack from the American army and disappeared on her last voyage, on Halloween 1780. When the 120 souls on board were last seen alive, George Washington was the leader of the United States.

[End of excerpt]

Click on the photos to enlarge them; click again to enlarge them further

During May 6, 2012 Jane’s Walk in Long Branch (Toronto), Mike James speaks at Parkview School at site of Colonel Samuel Smith’s cabin, built in 1797

The above-noted link also describes the Project, its Impact, and the Support that your contribution toward the project will go for.

The campaign goes for 20 days. I plan to contribute toward this effort, and I hope you might consider doing the same.

Mike James at the mike. Jaan Pill photo

May 2, 2015 Jane’s Walk in New Toronto: Mike James at the mike. Jaan Pill photo

1700s and 1800s North America history

The story of HMS Ontario brings to mind the history of those times, as discussed by way of example at the following posts:

Long Branch Rifle Ranges, Long Branch Aerodrome, Long Branch Racetrack: What do they have in common? (Draft 2, with photos)

John Boyd committed his infantry before his artillery could properly support them: Battle of Crysler’s Farm, Nov. 11, 1813

Battle of Chateauguay (1813): one of two great battles that saved Canada

Linda Colley (2002) speaks of the life of the common British soldier in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Class and status drove the British empire, David Cannadine (2001) argues 

Karolyn Smardz Frost (2007) documents the story of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn who “stole themselves” from slavery 

We can add that the story of technological advancement in warfare goes back a long way; in the 1200s, the knight on horseback was the equivalent of the twentieth-century tank:

Technological advancement is a key storyline in the world history of warfare

Jane Jacobs

Jane’s Walk is a legacy of the non-academic urbanist Jane Jacobs; her legacy brings to mind an April 8, 2016 Next City article entitled: “Jane Jacobs Was Put to the Test in 6 Italian Cities.”


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