Levis Fort No. 1

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Levis Fort No. 1 (1865-1905) - A British colonial fort established in 1865 in present day Levis, Quebec, Canada. Abandoned in 1905.
Levis Fort No. 1 7-inch BL Armstrong Gun
Levis Fort No. 1 Caponier and Ditch
Levis Fort No. 1 Interior Casemates

Levis Fort No. 1 History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Quebec.

Flank Howitzer in Caponier

Levis Fort No. 1 was built in response to a perceived threat to Quebec City from the American Government. Three interlocking forts were built on the opposite side of the Saint Lawrence River from Quebec City to protect it from land invasion from the United States. The three forts were begun in 1865. Fort No. 1 was to be built by the Royal Engineers while Forts No. 2 and No. 3 were to be built by civilian contractors under the supervision of the Royal Engineers. Fort No. 4 was cancelled before any work was contemplated. Forts 2 and 3 were completed in 1868 while Fort No. 1 was not completed until 1872. A barracks area was also constructed to house the Royal Engineers during construction.

Levis Fort No. 1 was constructed as an irregular pentagon with a surrounding ditch 16' deep. Protecting the ditch were four caponiers, three at the front protecting four sides and one protecting the rear. The caponiers housed flank howitzers and had loopholes for riflemen who could rake the ditch with rifle and artillery fire. A long terreplein across the front of the fort provided support and cover for what were to be some 20 cannons. Underneath the terreplein were 12 casemates that provided troop housing and access to the caponiers

By the time all three forts were completed the threat from the United States had evaporated and all British troops had left Quebec as a result of Canadian Confederation in 1871.

The fort was never actually garrisoned and the only gun actually mounted on the terreplein was a 7-inch Armstrong breech loader (BL) mounted in 1878 which remains there today.

During World War I Levis Fort No. 1 served as a munitions depot and barracks for troops departing for the war in Europe. Between the wars the fort seems to have been used as a warehouse and during World War II it was again a munitions depot. The Canadian Department of Defense turned over the three fort sites to the Department of Mines and Resources on 15 Nov 1947. Fort No. 2 was overbuilt by a financial building and Fort No. 3 became a cement factory. Only Fort No. 1 became a historic site.

Parks Canada began a restoration and stabilization process on Levis Fort No. 1 in 1972. The park was opened to the public 1982.

Current Status

Part of Levis Forts National Historic Site - Fort No. 1, Levis City, Quebec, Canada.

Location: Levis, Quebec, Canada.

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.81455 Long: -71.15775


  • Desloges, Yvon, The Forts at Point Levy, Canada Park Service, 1991, Ottawa, ISBN 0-660-13802-6, 72 pages


Visited: 16 Jul 2013

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