Preserving the past by planning and building for the future
Professional planners, municipalities, and other public land managers benefit from streamlined methods for determining heritage or archaeological assessment requirements. Matrix Heritage can develop detailed Archaeological Master Plans and potential models that provide a clear and concise visual resource for planners and land managers.
Matrix Heritage is perfectly suited to undertake archaeological investigations on federal lands. With 13 years of experience leading archaeological projects for Parks Canada, Ben Mortimer has an in-depth knowledge of the federal process surrounding archaeology.
Federal Jurisdiction Archaeological Investigations
Matrix Heritage prides itself on our breadth of material culture knowledge, with a great deal of experience gained from Parks Canada’s former material culture researchers and assisting in developing the Parks Canada Archaeological Resource Database. Matrix Heritage has an extensive library of reference material and a resource collection for comparative analysis.
Land development applications (plans of subdivision, site plans, zoning amendments) often trigger the archaeological assessment process. From initial Stage 1 background assessments to Stage 4 mitigation of development impact excavations or preservation, Matrix Heritage will work with you to ensure your development proceeds in a cost effective and timely manner.
Stage 1-4 Archaeological Assessments
Large scale infrastructure projects often pass through multiple jurisdictions (federal, provincial, or municipal) with variable archaeological and heritage requirements. Matrix Heritage provides a clear and concise syntheses of past assessments and recommendations. Matrix develops project specific standard operating procedures and protocols for construction crews to safeguard heritage resources and ensure compliance with regulations.
Archaeological Risk Management Plans
Matrix Heritage provides underwater archaeological surveys, heritage recording, and testing to ensure the protection and preservation of submerged cultural resources. Using a combination of highly experienced divers and technology including ROV and side-scan sonar, Matrix ensures your in or on-water developments, such as docks, bridges, or shoreline modifications, proceed smoothly.
Burial Site Investigations are triggered when non-forensic human remains are found. Matrix Heritage has completed detailed and complex investigations liaising with multiple stakeholders to ensure all parties are satisfied and the deceased are afforded the utmost respect.
Forensic and Burial Site Investigations
A Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report (CHER) documents information about why built heritage or cultural landscapes may be of cultural heritage value. The study is based on research, visual inspections, comparative analyses, and scholarly judgment. In Ontario, prescribed criteria are included in the Ontario Heritage Act. For properties determined to be of heritage value, a summary statement (known as a Statement of Significance or Statement of Cultural Heritage Value) is written to accurately describe what is of value and why it matters. All types of properties can be the subject of cultural heritage studies – buildings, bridges, gardens, streetscapes, etc. In some cases, scientific sites, such as fossil beds, can be assessed for their cultural heritage value to advance planning, conservation, and interpretation.
Cultural Heritage Evaluation Reports (CHER)
Conservation plans allow property managers to balance the needs of heritage conservation with the ongoing use of a property and its landscape and built features. The process of writing the plan and the plan itself ensures that custodians fully understand heritage values before decisions about site alterations are made. Conservation plans are usually developed by a team of conservation professionals, including an historian and an architect, an engineer, and/or landscape architect. If archaeology is involved, an archaeologist is also part of the team.
Planning and creating content for exhibits, publications, and special promotions is an important element of our work. Matrix Heritage will develop story lines, negotiate rights, prepare texts and captions, review texts and drawings for accuracy and map out learning objectives.
Exhibits, publications, and learning products
Projects that have the potential to affect properties of cultural heritage value are often required to document and address potential impacts through a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA). A typical HIA will examine how a project might positively or negatively impact the heritage value of built heritage or cultural landscapes and propose measures to conserve heritage or reduce impacts. Some municipalities, including the City of Ottawa, require an HIA for planning applications in Heritage Conservation District, near the Rideau Canal, or adjacent to designated heritage properties.
Cultural Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs)
Matrix Hertiage's drone technology and certified pilots allow us to complete cost effective aerial surveys of large sites or properties, and inspections in dangerous or difficult to access locations. Imagery, video, and 3D modelling of existing conditions for heritage sites or new developments greatly aid in interpretation and management of resources.
Heritage Recording Via Drone Aerial Imagery
Matrix Heritage assists government organizations to develop, evaluate and fine-tune programs or policies in both cultural resource management and information management. We understand the importance of properly aligning programs within legislative and policy frameworks to meet specific objectives.
Program Evaluation and Policy Development
A Statement of Significance (SOS) is an integral element to listing a designated heritage resource on provincial, territorial, and federal registers. It is a concise statement of the heritage value that includes a brief description, an identification of the key heritage values, and a list of its principal character-defining elements.
Statements of Significance
Matrix Heritage uses photogrammetry and other technological approaches to complete detailed scaled recording and 3D models of heritage features or buildings. This creates a record of the condition, nature, and context prior to heritage asset conservation, renovation, or excavation.
History is at the core of all of our heritage work, but Matrix Heritage also provides historical services for applied projects, such as exhibits, publications, and media productions. Our team has led major public history projects for litigation and inquiries in the areas of Indigenous history, healthcare, transportation, and urban development.
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