The famous rebel march began on a frosty December 4th from Lloydtown. The ragged little band armed with muskets, sharpened staves and pitchforks marched resolutely towards Yonge Street with the expectation of being joined by other Reformers at Montgomery's Tavern (Eglinton and Yonge Streets). The weaponry which they had been promised had not arrived, nor had some of their leaders. However, they were convinced that a show of force was all that was necessary, as had been the case leading to the enactment of the Reform Bill of 1832 in Britain.
Eventually 800 men arrived, enough to have won the day, given the fact that the military had been dispatched to Lower Canada. However, there was considerable confusion and one of the two experienced commanders, Captain Anthony Anderson, of Lloydtown was immediately killed, leaving battle tactics to an increasingly unstable MacKenzie. After brief skirmishes at the site of which is now Maple Leaf Gardens and at Gallows Hill (St. Clair and Yonge), the Reformers were put to rout by the Loyalist leader, Colonel James Fitzgibbon, a hero of the War of 1812.