TORONTO, Canada -- Concord Adex, Canada's largest residential developer, has announced it will attempt to recover the remains of a nineteenth century schooner found on one of its development properties near Toronto's waterfront.
Discovered in May as part of an archaeological assessment on the site of Concord Adex's upcoming Newton and Forward developments, the schooner is believed to be the oldest vessel discovered in Toronto history, possibly dating back to the 1830s. This is the first attempted recovery of such a vessel in Toronto's history.
"Concord Adex is pleased to play a defining role in recovering a forgotten part of Toronto's history," said Michael Hopkins, Director of Construction at Concord Adex. "Vibrant and sustainable communities are grounded in an appreciation of history, and we are honored to be at the intersection of our city's past and future."
Concord Adex is working with Archaeological Services Inc. (ASI), Ellis Don and the City of Toronto's Museum and Heritage Services to ensure smooth transportation of the vessel to its new home at Fort York National Historic Site.
Archaeologists weren't initially confident the vessel could be moved. The vessel was found incomplete, with only the keel, the lowermost portions of the stern and bow and a limited section of the bottom of the hull on the port side intact. On June 4 at 9:30 am, Ellis Don will help archaeologists attempt to exhume the schooner and transport it to awaiting Fort York staff, where the vessel will eventually be on public display.
The initial discovery and subsequent studies were led by ASI's senior archaeological and project manager David Robertson.
"ASI is very pleased that Concord Adex and Fort York have reached an agreement and have provided the resources necessary to save this important piece of Toronto's history," said Robertson. "Of course, we want to preserve everything we find, but sometimes it's just not feasible. So we're very excited and proud of this outcome."
While this is not the first discovery of similar vessels in Toronto, it is the first attempted move. Other discoveries include a circa 1850-1890 vessel at the Rogers Centre, the circa 1904-1021 Commodore Jarvis at the Air Canada Centre, and a late nineteenth-century harbor scow at Block 33. In each of these discoveries, it was determined that it was not feasible to preserve the remains.
Concord Adex, the City, and ASI all agreed that the schooner should be relocated to Fort York so that visitors can better appreciate the fort's historic relationship to Lake Ontario. Fort York was originally situated on the lake's shoreline.
Fort York is one of 10 historic museums operated by Museums and Heritage Services on behalf of the City of Toronto. Through dynamic programming and events, these museums bring the history and heritage of Toronto to life.
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