This area was the geographic heart of the war. No other region was home to as much fighting or as many divided loyalties. When the war broke out, the border was considered irrelevant by most people who lived near it. The majority of the inhabitants of Upper Canada in 1812 were American settlers. The allegiance of these pioneers was up for grabs. As the war progressed, however, the level of hostility grew. Neighbours would fight neighbours, families would be torn apart, and entire communities would be razed to the ground.