This monument was created by Canadian author and visual artist Douglas Coupland after being commissioned by Malibu Investments, the company which built the condo behind the sculpture. The toy soldiers characterize the combatants in the War of 1812, in which the United States attacked Canada – then a British colony – to remove it from British rule and expand our country into the U.S.

The gold soldier representing Canada stands, while the silver American soldier lies fallen.

The standing gold soldier is wearing the 1813 Royal Newfoundland Regiment uniform, while the silver soldier, lying down, wears the 16th United States Infantry Regiment uniform.

The plaque at the base of the piece summarizes the relevance of the sculpture:

Two abandoned toy soldiers pay tribute to Toronto’s history in this artwork. Without Fort York there would have been no Canada – the British would have lost Canada to the Americans in the War of 1812, and Canada would have been absorbed into the United States.

Commissioned by Malibu Investments and unveiled by Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, November 2008

The Monument To The War Of 1812 is located at the intersection of Lakeshore Blvd. West and Fleet Street, just south of the Fort York National Historic Site. Fort York is home to Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings.

The artist, Douglas Coupland, talks about the monument in the video below: