Bone fragments found in section of buried tunnel under Baker Street

Discovery made during water shut off for parking booth removal

Guelph, Ont., October, 17, 2016—The City unearthed bone fragments from underneath Baker Street while turning off water to the Baker Street parking lot booths today. The water shut off for the booths is located beneath the road in a section of old tunnel that has been closed off on either side of the road. The fragments were found when staff went into the tunnel to turn the water off.

“We have no other information about the bone fragments at this time, including their origin,” noted Allister McIlveen, manager of Transportation Services for the City. “We have called the coroner and an archaeologist and are awaiting their arrival on site. We will provide an update when we hear back from the coroner’s test and archeological investigations.”

The City has twice found human remains in this area which served as an all-faith, public burying ground for Guelph from 1827 to 1853 when the Town of Guelph passed a new bylaw banning human burials within town limits. Records indicate that known graves were moved from the public burying ground to Woodlawn Memorial Park in later years.

In 2005, the City unearthed the remains of one male, one female, nine infants, and 36 incomplete remains. These were removed shortly following their discovery with the permission of the Registrar of the Cemeteries Regulation Unit of the Ministry of Government Services (now the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services). The remains were reinterred at Woodlawn Memorial Park in 2008 in a special section devoted to these and future such finds.

In 2010, a sink hole on Baker Street revealed the remains of an infant. These remains were also reinterred at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

To help ensure any and all human remains not be subjected to public display, and that they be treated with respect and dignity, the City will not be taking or sharing photographs of the found remains. The City requests that media and the public cooperate in this matter as well.

For more information

Allister McIlveen, Manager of Transportation Services
Engineering and Transportation Services
519-822-1260 extension 2275
[email protected]