Since the Last Ice Age: Original People In and Around Guelph, and the Proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support today for as little as $1 per month!

Dana Poulton is an archaeologist based in London, Ontario. He was commissioned to do an archaeological assessment of the proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park, based on the south end of Guelph. It turns out that humans have been using this particular land for as long as 11,000 years ago, since the land shifted from a colder tundra to a fertile garden of eden, that lasted up until European immigrants clearcut the land to create an agricultural colony, now called Guelph.

Dana and his crew found things like spear tips, arrowheads, and other stone tools for preparing animal hides and cutting animal bones. Other things that would have been there, things made out of wood, sinew, and hide, have long since decayed.

Dana talks about some of the history of the Neutral nation, the original people who lived around the Guelph area, but who mainly settled around the western shore of Lake Ontario, the headwaters of the Niagara river, and to a lesser extent around the Grand river, near present-day settlements of Fergus and Elora.

The Neutrals lived in between the Huron nation and the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations/Iroquios), until they were wiped out and displaced by the Haudenosaunee in 1651.

Also on this particular piece of land is a spectacular old growth forest, situated right in the center of the proposed industrial development. The old growth forest and the surrounding land contains more than 100 old growth trees, including 200-300 year old hemlock, beech, yellow birch, blue beech, shagbark hickory, and sugar maple trees, a 400 year old black cherry tree, and a 500 year old hop hornbeam tree.

The proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park is a sprawling 675-acre corporate and industrial development that the city wants to surround this old growth forest with. Besides the old growth forest, it is also home to deer, coyote, fox, salamanders, turtles, snakes, five different species of hawk, and many, many more special creatures. Also, it is a provincially significant wetland and the recharge zone for the Hanlon creek, which supplies 20% of Guelph's drinking water.

A newly-formed group of Guelph locals has formed to oppose the HCBP as it nears it's date of destruction. You can learn more here:

You can also read the mainstream news article about Dana's findings here:

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.