The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) has selected the City of Toronto’s Heritage Preservation Services team, and the archaeological and cultural heritage services firm ASI, as the 2016 recipients of the AIA’s Conservation and Heritage Management Award for the Toronto Archaeological Management Plan project.
According to the official AIA recipient letter, the award is given in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the field of heritage management.” The Archaeological Management Plan (AMP) for Toronto was designed to establish planning procedures, policies and protocols for conserving the City’s archaeological record.
The City of Toronto employed ASI as its chief consultant on the project to develop, help implement and maintain the plan. They are in good company as recipients of the AIA’s Conservation and Heritage Management Award. Past winners have included the Archaeological Conservancy (an American organization), the Museum of London in the U.K., acclaimed Southwest archaeologist Hester Davis, conservationist Henry Cleery, Pointe-à-Callière Musée d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de Montréal, and Parks Canada.
As Toronto experiences some of the greatest land use development pressures in the country, this pioneering plan was developed to ensure that all planning decisions take into consideration the archaeological record of a city that has been inhabited for nearly 12,000 years. The City of Toronto recognised the importance of an all-encompassing model, tailored to the archaeological and environmental records of its jurisdiction, and have been committed to its rigorous application. Included in the plan are detailed, geo-coded maps which identify known archaeological sites (both pre- and post-colonial); a thematic overview of the city’s settlement history; and identified areas of archaeological potential. These tools are supplemented with implementation recommendations and guidelines prepared by City staff and ASI’s professional archaeologists in collaboration with representatives of relevant Indigenous communities.
The plan also includes provisions for interpretation and commemoration. The City requires developers to fund and maintain permanent commemorative and interpretive displays related to the heritage and archaeology of their properties.
“We are very proud of the Toronto Archaeological Management Plan,” said Susan Hughes, Project Manager for the City of Toronto’s Heritage Preservation Services. “Together with ASI, the City has implemented an impressive, detailed account of the complex archaeological background of Toronto, ultimately aiding in the conservation and management of sites in the region.”
The City of Toronto has set the standard for best practice in archaeological site management in their willingness to identify and protect the archaeological resources in their jurisdiction and to interpret the stories that these places hold for the general public.