The Empire troops in Toronto knew that the loss of nearby Oshawa would be followed by the Americans launching an even greater force against them. The garrison had done all that they could to fortify the city, now they just had to wait.
The American army was large, twenty-five military units had been ordered to participate in this coming battle, which would involve a coordinated attack on four sides. Their forces were divided into the Detroit Division, Siege Howitzer Park, Light Division, Grand Division, and the Lake Ontario flotilla.
The Empire Garrison comprised thirteen military units divided into the Western Division, Shore Battery & Gunboat, Northern Division, Mileham's Howitzer, and Eastern Division. They were outnumbered almost two to one, and three of the battalions were embodied militia. However, they were able to match the Americans in siege guns.
THE ASSAULT ON THE CITY BEGINS
As dawn began to light up the sky, Empire observers noted that the American flotilla was no longer in view. Quite where it was, no one knew, but it was assumed it would return. At 7am a tremendous explosion occurred in the north of the city, no casualties or fire but an empty civilian house was largely levelled. This must have involved a very powerful howitzer! Empire observers now reported large movements of enemy troops on three sides of the city.
THE ADVANCE ON THE WESTERN SUBURBS
The Empire and United States lookouts attempted to judge each others positions as the Sun rose.