In December 2009 Kearns Mancini Architects and Patkau Architects won the national competition to design and construct a new visitor centre at the Fort York National Historic Site in downtown Toronto. Considered the ‘birthplace of Toronto’ the Fort is home to the oldest collection of war buildings in Canada, dating back to the war of 1812.The complex site chosen for the Visitor Centre sits directly beyond the Gardiner Expressway which runs along the southern end of the site. The short-listed architectural teams were required to negotiate and engage with this monolithic structure while still acknowledging the sensitive nature of the Fort and it’s Common beyond. The Centre is part of a plan to revitalise the entire 17 acre site and is scheduled for completion in 2012 for the Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812.The Fort York Visitor Centre will inform and educate the public on the history of this great site. Public displays of exhibits and artifacts will be shown in the Treasury portion of the building. Interactive, audio visual media techniques will be incorporated into the design to tell the story of site through the ‘time tunnel’ experience; an immersive digital media space that will bring the rich history of Fort York to life.The Visitor Centre will create a unique identity for the Fort and further establish it as a significant landmark and tourist attraction in the City. The complex program and site had many restrictions which the design team was able to overcome, providing a solution that satisfied the jury and public alike.