City of Windsor Archaeological Master Plan Study
In April 2000, as part of a general transfer of the Ontario municipal plan review process from the province to the municipalities, the City of Windsor took its first steps toward assuming responsibility for determining archaeological potential and assigning archaeological conditions to development plans within the municipality. The City of Windsor commissioned Cultural Resource Management Group and a team of other consulting firms to prepare an archaeological master plan for the entire municipality. The primary goal of the master plan was to create a GIS-based, user-friendly planning tool which would enable municipal planners to undertake initial screening of development proposals and identify areas for which an archaeological assessment would be required.
Key to preparation of the master plan was the development of an archaeological potential model which recognized the specific cultural, environmental and topographical factors which influenced human land use and settlement patterns over the past 10,000 years in the Windsor area. By integrating such factors as glacial geomorphology, quaternary geology, soils, drainage, topography and proximity to water, with historic settlement patterns, historic transportation routes and known site locations, broader patterns of land use and settlement emerge. Through the use of computer-based GIS, these patterns could then be applied to the landscape, identifying areas of greater and lesser archaeological potential.
Successful implementation of the Windsor Archaeological Master Plan lay in the development of comprehensive guidelines and procedures enabling its efficient and practical integration into the framework of the City’s existing and future planning policy.