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Human remains found

MIRANDA MINASSIAN
Police wait for private security to arrive at the West Shore Beach Club development after the discovery of human remains Wednesday morning. According to the project supervisors, an anthropologist has determined the remains are to be part of a First Nations burial site and as a result, construction has halted. The investigation is now being handled by the Ministry of Consumer Service Cemeteries Regulation Unit

Police wait for private security to arrive at the West Shore Beach Club development after the discovery of human remains Wednesday morning. According to the project supervisors, an anthropologist has determined the remains are to be part of a First Nations burial site and as a result, construction has halted. The investigation is now being handled by the Ministry of Consumer Service Cemeteries Regulation Unit

The discovery of a First Nations burial ground has halted the development of 78-home gated community in Cumberland Beach.

Remains were discovered Wednesday morning during the development of the West Shore Beach Club at the corner of Turnbull Drive and Third Avenue, on the former Bramshott Farm in Severn Township.

"We were digging and we caught the top of an ossuary," said Bob Leo, project supervisor. "When you see skulls come up, you know it's something."

After making the discovery in the southeast portion of the lot, the construction crew notified the authorities immediately, with police arriving on scene early Wednesday, said Leo.

"The crime (unit) and coroner were here yesterday. The coroner wasn't sure because (the bones) were so old," he said. "The anthropologist was here this morning. She confirmed that they were Indian remains."

As a result of the discovery, the job has been shut down, he added.

"There is not just a bone, there's several," he said. "For us, this means we stop work."

Workers covered the remains with a tarp to protect them from the elements until archeologists arrive on Friday.

Police would not comment on the matter, saying that the investigation was being completed by the Ministry of Consumer Service Cemeteries Regulation Unit.

"Since we have just been alerted to this situation this afternoon, we are just beginning investigating and will have to refrain from commenting at this time," Sue Carroll, spokesperson for the ministry of consumer services, wrote in an email.

Being hailed as Ontario's only gated beach-front community, the Summerhill Homes boathouse-style detached two-storey and bungalow developments are listed at prices ranging from $300,000 to more than $400,000.

Summerhill Homes representatives could not be reached before deadline.

mminassian@orilliapacket.com



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