The Archaeology of Ontario, Canada

Cost:      $2,595 per person ($350 single supplement)

Join us to explore the rich history and archaeology of Ontario, from prehistoric village sites to War of 1812 battlefields. On our journey we will meet with historians, archaeologists and native people at a variety of archaeological sites, museums, and interpretive centers. Some of the sites we will visit include Old Fort Erie, Fort George, the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons Mission site, Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Fort York, and the Royal Ontario Museum. We’ll also spend a night in picturesque Niagara Falls.

Saturday, September 12  
Join us in Toronto, Ontario for a welcome reception and lecture by noted archaeologist, Dr. Ronald Williamson. Dr. Williamson has more than forty years of experience in the field, having directed more than 1,000 archaeological projects, predominantly in Ontario, Canada. He will share some of the sites he has excavated with the group and accompany us throughout our trip.

Sunday, September 13
We begin our journey on the Niagara Peninsula at the edge of the Canadian-United States border. Dr. Williamson will discuss excavations at the Peace Bridge site that were carried out in advance of bridge construction,  and we will see some of the artifacts that were recovered. Then we’ll visit Old Fort Erie, a British 18th and 19th century fortification twice attacked by American forces during the War of 1812. Our last stop of the day will be at Chippawa Battlefield where American forces defeated British soldiers during the War of 1812. Our day ends in Niagara Falls where our hotel is a short 10 minute walk from the breathtaking Horseshoe Falls.

The view at Old Fort Niagara overlooking Lake Ontario. The large stone building was a French fortification known as the French Castle.
These beautiful bird stones are part of the collection owned by the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.
This stunning caribou comb is part of the collection owned by the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.
The group learns about the archaeological uses of a Micro-CT Scanner at the Sustainable Archaeology Facility in London, Ontario.

Monday, September 14
In the morning we’ll visit Lundy’s Lane, where one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812 took place. Then we’ll tour Queenston Heights, the location of the first major battle of the War of 1812. From there, we’ll visit the National Historic site of Fort George, where the fort has been reconstructed and is staffed as a living history museum. Then we’ll travel to the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake where we’ll have lunch and explore the historic town. We’ll spend the night in London at the Delta London Armouries hotel, part of which served as an armory in the early 1900s.

Tuesday, September 15
In the morning we’ll visit the Longwoods Road Conservation Area for a tour of the Ska-Nah-Doht reconstructed longhouses and museum. In the afternoon we will head back to the city of London for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology and its research facility. Then we’ll head north to the shores of Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron, where we’ll stay for the night.

Wednesday, September 16
In the morning we’ll visit a site on the shore of the Georgian Bay that is thought to be Carhagouha, the village where the Recollet priest Joseph Le Caron settled as a missionary to the native Wendat peoples on his arrival in the region in 1615. Then we’ll see the Sainte-Marie among the Hurons mission, the first European community founded in Ontario. We’ll explore the world-class reconstruction where historical interpreters recreate frontier and mission life. Then we’ll head to Peterborough where we’ll spend the night at a hotel along the Otonabee River.

Thursday, September 17
We’ll begin the day with a trip to the Canadian Canoe Museum, a world-renowned museum exploring the history and craft of this iconic Canadian watercraft. Then we’ll drive east to Petroglyphs Provincial Park, the largest known collection of petroglyphs in Canada.  We’ll tour the museum and see over 900 remarkable rock carvings done by the Algonkian people between 900 and 1400 A.D. We will then head south to Whitchurch-Stoufville to see an exhibit on the Jean-Baptise Lainé site, a large prehistoric site that was excavated in the area in 2003-2005. We will spend the night in nearby Newmarket.

Friday, September 18 
We’ll return to the heart of Toronto to visit the Fort York National Historic Site, constructed in the late 1700s to protect Toronto from the newly independent United States. During the War of 1812 the fort was repeatedly raided and attacked by U.S. forces. We’ll then visit the largest museum in Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum. You’ll have time to explore its extensive collections of artifacts and artwork from cultures around the world, as well as its impressive natural history fossils and displays. We’ll then return to our hotel near the airport to conclude the tour.

Saturday, September 19
Guests return home.

Tour Details:

Cost includes first-class hotel accommodations based on double occupancy (single supplement is $350), lunches, happy hours, expert Conservancy and special guides, admittance fees, tips, tours, orientations, background reading, and surface travel via air-conditioned bus with restroom. Not included are meals other than lunches and travel to and from Toronto.

To join us on this tour, or for further information, contact us at or by phone at (505) 266-1540.

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