More than 200 forts were built during the French period. Some played a military role; others served as trading and fishing posts, missions or true settlements. All were meeting places and transit points. The forts had to withstand bad weather and enemy attacks from the Aboriginal inhabitants and the English. Most were made of wood, but some, particularly in the east, were made of stone. Their shapes varied widely. The first structures to be built were the storage rooms for dry goods and provisions, then the fort commander's lodgings and various buildings for military use: a smithy, a powder magazine, the men's quarters, the stables and, according to the size of the fort, a chapel or church. The climate inflicted severe damage to these structures, particularly when a fort was abandoned. Fought over by the French and the English, burned and demolished, few forts have survived to the present.

The Forts
Fort de Frontenac ou Kataracouy [Fort Frontenac or Kataracouy], 1685