Lisa Merritt has been a practicing archaeologist in Ontario since 1996. Currently, as Director of the Environmental Assessment Division, she oversees a team of dedicated staff from both our Toronto and Burlington offices, responsible for archaeological assessments triggered by federal, provincial and municipal infrastructure.
Lisa received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology in 1996 from York University. Armed with a trowel, invaluable job hunting advice from [family friend] Peter Carruthers, and a summer training with Bob Berger at the Seed Barker site, Lisa joined the ranks of archaeological field technician. Over several years, two small consulting firms provided Lisa with great opportunities to direct field work and undertake research projects throughout the Province. In 1999, Lisa briefly traded in her trowel for a laptop, and attended the University of Toronto, where she received her Masters of Science in Anthropology in 2001. During her graduate research, Lisa pursued her interest in the Late Woodland period in southern Ontario. Her thesis presented a complete analysis of the Bidmead Site, an ancestral Huron-Wendat village circa 1620 that had been previously excavated in the 1970s but hadn’t yet been presented in its entirety.
In the winter of 2003, Lisa was granted her professional archaeological consulting license and by spring she had started Merritt Archaeological Consulting, based out of her hometown of Toronto. Lisa spent five years learning how to run a business, the ins and outs of archaeological consulting, and midway through, how to balance motherhood with the demands of archaeological fieldwork.
Lisa found running her own business an extremely rewarding yet often isolating experience. Thus, when she was offered a job at ASI in 2008 to work on the massive Highway 407 East extension project, she seized the opportunity. The company and its leadership have provided Lisa with fantastic mentors and the opportunity to work on a vast range of exciting high-profile projects with a team of talented archaeologists.
In 2010 Lisa was promoted to the level of Senior Archaeologist and Manager of the Class EA department, supporting Rob Pihl’s Environmental Assessment Division. As Class EA Manager and then in 2013 as Manager of Environmental Assessment Projects (East) she manages upwards of a hundred projects annually, including Class EA’s, Transit Project Assessments, and Individual EAs. Notable infrastructure projects include the Highway 407 East extension, the Central Pickering Development Plan (Seaton Lands), Metrolinx System-Wide Electrification and the Barrie Rail Corridor Expansion. She has over 20 years of experience in both Indigenous and Euro-Canadian archaeology and has completed and/or directed dozens of single and multi-phased assessments and mitigative excavations throughout northern and southern Ontario. Lisa is a member of the Canadian Archaeological Association, the Ontario Archaeological Society and the Ontario Association for Impact Assessment.
When she’s not in the office, Lisa can often be found relaxing with her husband and daughter outdoors at the family cottage where she loves to sail when the wind is just right, or training for the annual Camp Ooch 10k and the MS Grand Bend to London 150 km Ride.