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Thunderbird Mound

LAST UPDATE: November 22 2021

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Thunderbird Mound from the east in September 2021.

Thunderbird Mound from the east in September 2021.

AT RISK INFORMATION
At risk status:
This building is at risk

Info:

Thunderbird Mound is at risk of erosion and damage due to pedestrians climbing and traversing it.

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
Thunderbird Mound
2 Varsity Road
Lambton Baby Point, York

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Notes:

Located in the northeastern corner of Magwood Park across from 2 Varsity Road, Thunderbird Mound is possibly a human-made geographical structure and burial site dating to between c. 1500 BCE and 500 CE. It was registered on the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries' Archaeological Sites Database in 2008 (see entry sources for a copy of the report). Nonetheless, there is dispute about Thunderbird Mound's authenticity as a human-made formation and grave site due to a lack of in-depth archaeological evaluation. 

It is possible that the mound was constructed in intermittent layers by generations of several different local Indigenous peoples in the Early or Middle Woodland periods, including the Adena, the Hopewell, or other ancestors of the Wendat. Thunderbird Mound is home to many ancient deciduous trees, including large red oaks, white oaks, beeches, black ashes, and one large yellow birch, whose broad root systems help hold the slope in place.

Thunderbird Mound currently lacks public signage, documentation, or any on-site recognition of its significance. This is possibly due to the relative lack of publicly available information about the site and to the absence of a comprehensive archaeological evaluation detailing its precise attributes as a burial mound. At present, pedestrians often climb and tread on the mound causing erosion.

Year Completed:
c. 1500 BCE - 500 CE

Map:
Loading Map

Companies:
No data at this time

BUILDING DATA
Type:
Burial mound

Current use:
Grave site

Sources:

Sources

  1. Baby Point: The Place Where We Live
    Author - Pamela M. Slaughter, Dr. Robert D. Galway
    Date - 2013
    Page - 23-24
    Document - Excerpt of Baby Point: The Place Where We Live (2013)_Pamela M. Slaughter and Dr. Robert D. Galway
    More information

  2. THUNDERBIRD MOUND - Ancient and Sacred Site in the Heart of Toronto, Canada
    Author - Christopher Russak, Dr. Robert D. Galway, Cassondra Burnaby, Eliza Knockwood (YouTube)
    Date - June 6, 2015
    More information

  3. Bear & Thunderbird Mounds
    Author - Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society
    Date - January 4, 2008
    Document - Bear & Thunderbird Mounds_Prepared by Rastia’ta’non:ha

  4. Iroquois origins of modern Toronto and Aboriginal Burial Mounds
    Author - Baby Point Heritage Foundation
    Document - Iroquois origins of modern Toronto and Aboriginal Burial Mounds_Baby Point Heritage Foundation

  5. Ancient Iroquoian Burial Mounds
    Author - Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society
    Document - Ancient Iroquoian Burial Mounds_Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society

  6. ‘Why Do You Need to Know That?’ Slipstream Movements and Mapping ‘Otherwise’ in Tkaronto
    Author - Karyn Recollet and Jon Johnson, University of Toronto
    Date - 2019
    Page - Page 8 (184 in journal issue)
    Notes - An excerpt from an issue of the Journal of Public Pedagogies (Number 4, 2009) in which the authors mention the existence of the Thunderbird Mound, east of the Humber River and just north of Bloor Street.
    Document - ‘Why Do You Need to Know That?’ Slipstream Movements and Mapping ‘Otherwise’ in Tkaronto_Karyn Recollet and Jon Johnson, University of Toronto_Journal of Public Pedagogies (2019)

  7. Thunderbird Mound Ontario Archaeological Site Registration
    Author - Archaeological Sites Database_Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (courtesy of AMICK Archaeological Consultants Limited)
    Date - 2008
    Document - Thunderbird Mound Archaeological Site Registration_Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Archaeological Sites Database_ 2008

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