Archeological inventory work on the site of the future Maison de Radio-Canada

June 7, 2017 – In fall 2016, an archeological inventory was undertaken in Maison de Radio-Canada’s Papineau Ave. parking lot, the parcel of land earmarked to house the new broadcast centre due to be completed by late 2019.

The inventory work, contracted to Ethnoscop Inc., complies with federal guidelines requiring government agencies and Crown corporations (such as CBC/Radio-Canada) to conduct archeological inventories before starting construction work. It is also a requirement under the Quebec Cultural Heritage Act, as the property will transfer to provincial jurisdiction after the sale to Broccolini.

A total of 11 trenches have been dug. To date, excavation work has uncovered a number of artefacts, as well as the remnants of residential and industrial buildings located on the site since the 1800s, including the walls of a former Dominion Metal Works furnace.

Martin Royer and Mathieu Sévigny, the two archeologists in charge of inventorying the MRC site, updated CBC/Radio-Canada employees on their work and findings at a noon-hour seminar on June 5. Their presentation was also webcast.

Once this initial phase is complete, the archeologists will remain on site during construction to monitor for potential archeological finds, conducting on-the-spot inventories as needed.

Radio-Canada is currently in discussions with Broccolini about how best to showcase the artefacts and other archeological features found on the new MRC site. One approach involved 3D-scanning the remains of the Dominion Metal Works furnace, since there was no way to remove the bricks and rebuild the structure off site.

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