Construction workers find ‘ancient’ remains from Indigenous burial site in Toronto


Canadian Press

The City of Toronto says one of its construction crews found ‘ancient’ human remains from an Indigenous burial ground last Friday.

A construction crew working on a project in the heart of Toronto stumbled on a surprise late last week when its members unearthed ‘ancient’ human remains from an Indigenous burial ground, the city has confirmed.

The crew made the discovery on Friday while working on a water service line on Withrow Avenue, a street near Toronto’s famed Greektown, the city said in a statement.

Workers contacted Toronto Police after finding the remains.

Toronto police spokeswoman Laura Brabant said the remains were found shortly after noon on Friday and both police and an anthropologist responded to the find.

“The anthropologist attended the scene and has advised the remains are from an ancient Indigenous burial ground, that is marked in that area,” Brabant said in an emailed statement.

The area has been known to be an archeological site since at least 1886, when it’s reported that crews excavating the initial construction of Withrow Avenue found communal gravesites in the area.

Withrow Public School now occupies the site of former Indigenous encampments where a spear point dating back about 7,000 years was found, according to a city report on the Danforth Avenue area that comprises Greektown.

Brabant said Sunday morning that police remain on scene to preserve the area and the remains, pending further direction from the anthropologist.

The city said construction has been halted while the investigation takes place.

Toronto sits on the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples.


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