Monday, May 22, 2017

Toronto Archaeological Finds at St. Lawrence Market North - 92 Front St E, Toronto

 The remains of previous structures built at the St. Lawrence Market North site had been discovered in advance of construction to replace the aging building. With remnants of former markets dating back to 1831, the find is a significant step forward in understanding the cultural and built history not only of this historic Toronto neighborhood, but the city as a whole.
 The current building lies directly across Front Street from the larger 1850 structure which National Geographic named the world's best food market. Markets, in several shapes and forms, have occupied the site since at least 1803, when Lt. Governor Peter Hunter declared the location a place to sell "cattle, sheep, poultry, and other provisions, goods and merchandise." It wasn't until 1831 that a permanent two-story building with an open courtyard was erected on the site, with the north end housing City Hall from 1834 onward.
 A massive fire in 1849 destroyed the market, which was replaced by a new building two years later. In an effort to rejuvenate the area, a new building was constructed in 1904, until again making way for the current one-storey building which opened in 1968.
 Preparing the site for construction, Golder Associates Ltd. conducted a stage 2/3 archaeological assessment on August 31. Three trenches, measuring 15 by 1 metres, were dug out beneath the concrete floor of the existing building, subsequently peeling back layers of Toronto history. Evidence from each previous market was uncovered, a discovery which had been anticipated and factored into the new building's construction timeline.
Remnants of the old foundation piers from the 1831 market are largely intact, a good sign of things to come, as the building's cellars are likely in a similar preserved state. Those cellars as expected to provide precious artifacts that shed light on the first permanent market's activities until its unfortunate demise in 1849. The 1904 market's concrete foundation, running north and south, is also visible.

So these old foundations are before the formation of Canada. Is it possible that we remove traces of history while removing these historical artifacts?
 History of Canada

All the former colonies and territories that became involved in the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, were initially part of New France, and were once ruled by France.

Following the Rebellions of 1837, Lord Durham in his Durham Report, recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be joined as the Province of Canada and that the new province should have a responsible government. As a result of Durham's report, the British Parliament passed the Act of Union 1840, and the Province of Canada was formed in 1841.

The new province was divided into two parts: Canada West (the former Upper Canada) and Canada East (the former Lower Canada). Governor General Lord Elgin granted ministerial responsibility in 1848, first to Nova Scotia and then to Canada. In the following years, the British would extend responsible government to Prince Edward Island (1851), New Brunswick (1854), and Newfoundland (1855).

The area which constitutes modern-day British Columbia is the remnants of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia District and New Caledonia District following the Oregon Treaty. Prior to joining Canada in 1871, British Columbia consisted of the separate Colony of British Columbia (formed in 1858, in an area where the Crown had previously granted a monopoly to the Hudson's Bay Company), and the Colony of Vancouver Island (formed in 1849) constituting a separate crown colony until it was united with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866.
 Robber trenches, aligning with the foundations for what were the walls of the 1851 market, were also found. A large flagstone sewer and two capped stone feeder sewers have been discovered and are assumed to have been constructed as part of the 1851 structure.

The northernmost trench shows several cast iron drainage pipes and a brick-lined box drain representative of the 1904 structure. An arched stone sewer from 1851 lies beneath. Each of these trenches is capped by the relatively simple concrete flooring of the existing building, demonstrating that construction of the 1968 market did not remove all traces of history associated with the site.
( this is the building in the back of the construction site is city property hopefully would not be demolished )
Stage 4 mitigation is the next step, which requires the complete demolition of the current building. Four levels of underground parking are included in the redevelopment of the site and it is not yet known which and how many of these artifacts will be preserved. City officials hope to eventually put many of the findings on public display.

No comments:

Post a Comment