Norton Attawandaron Site
150 Chelsea Avenue
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Norton Attawandaron Site is located at 150 Chelsea Avenue, at the northwest end of Chelsea Avenue, north of Malcolm Street, along the south bank of the Thames River and within Kensal Park, in the City of London. This now archaeological site was originally occupied by the Attawandaron Tribe of the Iroquois in circa 1400.
The property was designated, by the City of London, in 1993 for its archaeological value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P.-3181-93).
The Norton Attawandaron Site is a prehistoric Iroquoian Village which evidence suggests housed a group of 500 to 1000 Attawandarons in circa 1400. Excavations on portions of the site took place in the mid 1980s and the well preserved remains of nine longhouses, a palisade, a sweat lodge, several hearths and storage and refuse pits were found.
The layout of the Norton Attawandaron site is the typical arrangement of the Attawandaron villages of the period. The longhouses have a parallel alignment and are oriented from north to south. The village was surrounded by a palisade; a single row of poles marked the eastern and western limits of the village, and an expanding double row bounded the southern limit. The northern approach featured a steep bank sloping down to the floodplain of the Thames River.
This village is one representation of a series of Attawandaron communities found along the Thames River and its tributaries in London. These communities shifted their village locations every few decades and utilized farming hamlets and hunting camps in strategic locations around the villages. Archaeological research indicates that there may have been as many as three Attawandaron villages in the London area at the time of this site's occupation.
Attawandaron villages in the London area were vacated after 1550 as the communities moved east to the Hamilton area. There they formed part of the powerful Neutral confederacy that was dispersed by the Five Nations Iroquois in the mid-17th century.
Source: City of London By-Law L.S.P.-3181-93.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Norton Attawandaron site include its:
- location on the south bank of the Thames River with the steep bank marking the location of the north side of the village's limits
- archaeological evidence, including those of the nine longhouse structures, a palisade, sweat lodge, several hearths and storage/refuse pits
- unexcavated archaeological deposits which could include the remains of longhouses, features, and other cultural materials
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1993/01/01 to 1993/01/01
1400/01/01 to 1400/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of London
Planning and Development Department
300 Dufferin Avenue
Cross-Reference to Collection