Simcoe County is undertaking the preparation and completion of an Archaeological Management Plan (AMP) for the area.

The purpose of the initiative is to conserve and protect this area’s rich cultural heritage and archaeological features and sites and to address Planning Act requirements. The process includes significant consultation and engagement with stakeholder groups, First Nations and Métis communities.

“Our County is rich with culture and heritage and identifying these features will not only serve a rich historical purpose, but also provide efficiencies for local planning authorities who can use the
information within planning policies and decisions,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “We are already having productive discussions with our Indigenous communities and we plan to engage with
stakeholder groups as much as possible to build an inclusive and detailed plan that will support planning and land use policy for generations to come.”

Once complete, the county AMP will: create a confidential inventory of registered and unregistered archaeological sites, including all existing and closed cemeteries; prepare an overview of the county’s settlement history for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; develop Geographic Information System (GIS) based mapping that identifies areas of Indigenous and colonial period archaeological potential; recommend county Official Plan updates relating to cultural heritage conservation and archaeological features and sites; recommend improved planning processes to ensure a standardized and consistent approach to integrating the archaeological assessment process into the municipal planning and development review process; recommend an engagement and consultation protocol with relevant Indigenous communities; and recommend a contingency plan for the protection of archaeological resources in urgent situations (i.e., deeply buried human remains discovered during construction).

Consultation with First Nation and Métis communities and site/feature identification started in early 2018 and the final AMP is expected to be completed by early 2019.

The county will host two rounds of open house sessions occurring in late spring 2018 to obtain input and late fall 2018 to present findings.

The spring open house dates and locations are as follows: May 31 at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 34 Orillia – Vimy Lounge (215 Mississaga Street East) in Orillia; June 4 at Collingwood Public Library – meeting rooms B and C (55 Ste. Marie Street); June 5 at Cookstown Library and Community Centre – community hall (20 Church Street); and June 6 at Midland Public Library assembly room (320 King Street). All of the spring open houses take place from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

The county has retained Archaeological Services Inc. (ASI) to prepare and consult on the County AMP. ASI is a leader in the development of Archaeological Master and Management Plans throughout the province, having completed many of the existing AMP’s currently in operation in Ontario.

Visit simcoe.ca/amp, the project webpage, where updates and materials will be made available.