Archaeolgical Resources Background Paper 

Cover of the Archaeological  Background Paper

The Archaeological Resources Background Paper covers the following topics:

- What are Archaeological Resources
- Existing Province of Ontario Policies
- Issues and Key Policy Directions

Download the Archaeological Resources Background Paper (370 kb). This document is in Adobe PDF format and will require the Adobe PDF Reader Plugin.


What are Archaeological Resources

The 2005 Provincial Policy Statement defines archaeological resources as including "artifacts, archaeological sites, and marine archaeological sites". Individual archaeological sites can be distributed in a variety of locations or places that are associated with past human activities, endeavours, or events. These sites may occur on or below the modern land surface, or may be submerged under water.

The physical forms that archaeological resources may take include:

  • Surface scatter of artifacts;
  • Subsurface strata which are of human origin or incoporate cultural deposits;
  • The remains of structural features; or 
  • A combination of all of the above

Archeaological sites are both highly fragile and non-renewable; designated sites are protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. 

Issues and Key Policy Direction

The following table summarizes the Archaeological Resources issues related to the current policy framework and any requirements to implement related Provincial legislation. The purpose of the following table is to generate input and discussion on the issues and the proposed key policy directions that are being considered for the new Official Plan policies. 

Identified Issues Key Policy Directions Proposed

In 2011 the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, using its authority under the Ontario Heritage Act, implemented the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists. All archaeological assessments and mitigations carried out under the Ontario Planning and Environmental Assessment acts must meet the requirements laid out by this document in terms of research, field work, analysis, and reporting.

The major changes are the requirement for a First Nation engagement process, where applicable and relevant, and an increased emphasis on the objective of archaeological site protection based on First Nations interests and concerns.

 The City should explore options to include a stronger commitment in the Official Plan to protecting a range of archaeological sites, where possible and appropriate, based on First Nation advice and input.

Issues and Policy Directions: Archaeological Resources

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Related Reports and Documents

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