Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

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War of 1812 Shipwrecks

War of 1812 Shipwrecks

Photo by contributor Colin Old - Posted September 2018

War of 1812 Shipwrecks

Photo by contributor Colin Old - Posted September 2018

War of 1812 Shipwrecks

A painting of HMS St Lawrence
Photo Source - Wikipedia

Plaque Location

The County of Frontenac
The City of Kingston
At the Royal Military College
just off General Crerar Crescent

Coordinates: N 44 13.704 W 76 27.992


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

Near here, in Kingston Harbour, lie the wrecks of HMS Prince Regent, HMS Princess Charlotte, and HMS St Lawrence, the most powerful British warships built in Canada during the War of 1812. St Lawrence was the largest and most heavily armed warship of its time on fresh water, gaining ascendancy on Lake Ontario without having to fire a shot in anger. These vessels speak to the rapid mobilization of supplies, skills, and labour under the Royal Navy's substantial shipbuilding program. The wrecks are a tangible reminder of the magnitude of the arms race for control of the lake during the War of 1812.

Related Ontario plaque
War of 1812



Kingston Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted September 6, 2018
This marker is on the grounds of the national military college, but the National Historic Site (the wrecks, themselves), are located elsewhere, nearby. The Prince Regent and Princess Charlotte are about 1.7 km east of this site, in Deadman Bay. It's curious that the marker was not installed at Arrowhead Beach Park, a city park along the bay.
The St. Lawrence is in a cove near Morton Way, more than 3 km west of the marker. The plaque might have been placed at one of two spots overlooking the wreck: the Tett Centre (a city-owned property), or the city's King Street Water Treatment Plant.
Wrecks are visible using Google's aerial view:
Prince Regent / Princess Charlotte
44.233801, -76.449257
and 44.235347, -76.446787
Saint Lawrence
44.220592, -76.505138

> Posted September 8, 2018
A large sculpted medallion by Emanuel Hahn honours the St. Lawrence near Toronto's St. Lawrence Market.
The medallion reads "Commodore Sir James Yeo's flagship 1814" and "St. Lawrence", with the dates of the war. The flip side of the medallion honours the Griffin, a French ship.
A marker from the Toronto Historical Board on the concrete support reads: "During the war of 1812, the British and American squadrons vied for superiority on Lake Ontario. The British, under the Commander Sir James Yeo, won this contest in September 1814 when they launched HMS St. Lawrence at Kingston. The 'St. Lawrence' pierced for 112 guns, swung the balance of naval power overwhelmingly to the British for the remainder of the war.
Toronto Historical Board, 1986"
Another THB marker at the same place says..."These bas-relief medallions were created by Canadian Sculptor Emanuel Hahn (1881-1875), and were carved by Louis Temporale. Originally they were installed in the Memorial Arch (Clifton Gate) at Niagara Falls, Ontario, when it was erected in 1938 and dedicated to the early pioneers (including William Lyon MacKenzie, the first Mayor of Toronto). The Arch was demolished in 1967. The medallions were acquired recently from the Niagara Parks Commission and later following restoration they were installed here on the original waterfront of the Town of York.
Toronto Historical Board, 1986"
There is further text about the Griffin.
Location: northeast corner of Jarvis St. and Front St. E., Toronto
43.649632, -79.371333

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