What is the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site?

Aerial photo of the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site during excavation, Courtesy of Archaeological Services Inc.

The Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site (previously referred to as the Mantle Site) was home to a remarkable late 16th century ancestral Wendat community. Of all sites in Southern Ontario that have been almost completely excavated (90%), it is considered one of the largest and most complex.

The site was uncovered in a farmer’s field during preparations for construction of a subdivision just southeast of downtown Stouffville. Covering almost 7 acres, the Site was excavated by a team of 10 archaeologists from Archaeological Services Inc. between 2003 – 2005. The project was funded by Lebovic Enterprises.

The Jean-Baptiste Lainé site represents a community that had previously formed from the joining of people from several smaller villages. These events led them to create a single, well-planned and well-integrated community. Research has led to the understanding that the Draper (Pickering, excavated professionally between 1973 and 1978), Spang (Pickering, 1978 and 1979) and the Jean-Baptiste Lainé (Whitchurch-Stouffville) sites are likely successive iterations of the same community.