Do I require an archaeological assessment?

Municipalities play a major role in land use planning in Ontario. Municipalities make use of many tools to determine how they will develop including official plans, zoning by-laws and infrastructure planning, while keeping in mind environmental, public and economic concerns. Municipalities often determine if a property has archaeological potential or not. If it is determined there is potential for archaeological resources an archaeological assessment will be required by a professionally licensed archaeologist. The approval authority for the project will advise you that an archaeological survey is required.

It is required by-law for anyone wanting to alter or develop land to address public concerns regarding how the development could affect environmental and cultural heritage resources including archaeological sites.

Rules for land use planning in Ontario are set out in the Planning Act and complementary policy document the Provincial Policy Statement.

The following legislation also require archaeological surveys prior to ground alterations; the Environmental Assessment Act, Aggregate Resources Act and the Renewable Energy Approval Regulation (O.Reg. 359/09).

Are Archaeologist licensed?

Yes. The Ministry of Tourism Culture and Spot license and regulates licensees according to the Ontario Heritage Act.

What happens once the field work is complete?

Once the archaeological field work is completed a technical report is written and submitted to the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport for review. Upon review a letter will be issued to the licensed archaeologist requiring revisions or noting that is complies with the Ontario Heritage Act and the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists and that the report has been entered into the Ontario Public Registry of Archaeological Reports. This letter verifies that concerns of archaeological resources within the study area have been addressed.

What do I do if I find human remains?

If you find human remains on your property the appropriate authorities (police or coroner) should be notified immediate as required under the Funeral, Burials and Cremation Services Act and all construction or archaeological fieldwork must stop. Once the coroner has conducted a proper investigation and the Registrar of Cemeteries has been consulted permission will be given to continue work.

I have a tight deadline is there any way to speed up the Ministries review process?

Yes. The Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport has an expedited review process to help accommodate our clients deadlines. We ensure that the Ministry is aware of the deadline and that the letter with supporting documentation for the expedited review is submitted together with the final report.

Am I able to continue with my development if an archaeological site has been found?

Yes. It is possible during the archaeological process to get partial clearance (S&G Standard 7.8.5) which would allow your development to continue. A 20 meter protective buffer would be placed around the site where no ground altering activities can occur and then a 50 meter monitoring buffer beyond the 20 meter protective buffer where a licensed archaeologist would be required to monitor any ground altering activities. Often this is included within the Stage 2 Archaeological report when a site is identified and would require Stage 3 Site-specific Excavation. This allows your development to continue with minimal interruption.