Ontario has a cultural history that begins approximately 12,000 years ago and continues to the present. The archaeological sites that are the physical remains of this lengthy settlement history represent a fragile and non-renewable cultural legacy. They are distributed throughout the landscape, reflecting a multitude of human activities, endeavours, and events. Archaeological sites may be found on or below the modern land surface, and can even be found submerged under water.
Archaeological sites may take a variety of forms, including surface scatters of artifacts; subsurface strata that are of human origin or that incorporate cultural deposits; the remains of structural features; or a combination of the above. Documenting and protecting these sites has become especially important in southern Ontario, where landscape change has been occurring at an ever increasing rate since the 1950s, resulting in extensive losses to the archaeological record.
ASI regularly conducts archaeological assessments in advance of residential and commercial developments subject to Planning Act approvals, as well as infrastructure projects, such as road widenings, utility corridors, and waste management facilities, that are subject to Environmental Assessment Act approvals. All of our work is conducted in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists, as administered by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.