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Ontario’s Past Portal and Other Resources for Archaeologists

Ontario’s Past Portal

Ontario’s Past Portal (PastPort) is the ministry’s archaeology and heritage portal.  PastPort is a secure online system for licensed archaeologists to draft, submit and track Project Information Forms, archaeological reports and special requests.  It is also where new archaeological licence applicants apply for a licence.

PastPort contains highly specialized and technical information and is available only in English under Regulation 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, which excludes the application of the Act under certain conditions. For assistance in French, please contact the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport at Archaeology@Ontario.ca, (416) 212-8886.

PastPort Services

New licence applicants

With PastPort, you can complete and submit an application for a new land-based archaeological licence online.  Read the requirements for archaeological licences:

Before your application can be processed, you must arrange to have the following completed forms submitted to the ministry by your mentor, if you have one, and referee(s):

  • Mentoring agreement form (Avocational licence only)
  • End of year evaluation form (Avocational licence only)
  • Reference form

Contact us for copies of the forms.  See the instructions below for how to enrol in PastPort.

Marine archaeological licence

The marine licensing program is different from the land-based system. For more information or to apply for a marine archaeological licence contact us.

Licenced archaeologists

Licensed archaeologists must draft and submit the following items through PastPort:

  • Licence renewals and upgrades
  • Project Information Form (PIF)
    This form is for any new archaeological fieldwork project or stage of archaeological assessment. The form must be submitted through PastPort before fieldwork begins.
  • Ontario Archaeological Sites Database Requests
  • Project Report Packages
  • Requests for Reports from the Ontario Public Register of Archaeological Reports
    Search the Ontario Public Register of Archaeological Reports
  • Archaeological Report Due Date Extension Request Form
    This form is for requesting an extension to an archaeological report filing deadline.
  • Expedited Review Request Form for Archaeological Assessment Reports
    This form is for requesting a rush review of an archaeological assessment report or revised report. Valid reasons for a request are: the proponent or approval authority for the development project is facing an important deadline, or the archaeological project is associated with a broader government priority.

Enrolling in PastPort

Creating a One-key account is the first step to enroll in PastPort.

Creating a ONe-key account

A ONe-key account gives you secure access to Ontario Government ONe-key enabled programs and services.

If you have an existing Ontario archaeological licence and want to enrol in PastPort please contact  the ministry. The ministry will send you enrollment information. You can then use this Quick Reference Guide to get started.

If you would like to apply for an archaeological licence use this Quick Reference Guide to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does PastPort work with all internet browsers?

You will experience less than optimum performance with some internet browsers. We recommend using Internet Explorer version 7 or higher. You also need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9 or higher.

Can licensees who live outside Ontario register and use PastPort?

Yes, you can create and access both One-key and PastPort accounts from outside of Ontario. There are no restrictions on where a user is connecting from.

What should I do if PastPort is not working?

If you have trouble either logging into or using PastPort, as a first step, log out and log back into the system. This will often resolve the issue.

If the problem persists, contact the PastPort webmaster at 416-314-7143 during business hours. Outside of business hours, send an email to Archaeology@ontario.ca.

The ministry is committed to ensuring that any such service disruptions are resolved quickly and that impacts to you are minimal. You will be emailed in advance of any planned service disruptions.

If the system is down and I am not able to submit a PIF before beginning fieldwork or file a report by the deadline, will my licence be affected?

No. We will ensure that any service disruptions are followed by a grace period so that you can submit the overdue document without your licence being affected.

What should I do if my ONe-key ID or password is lost or stolen?

The ONe-key website, maintained by ServiceOntario, has a feature to help you recover or change your ONe-key ID or password. Follow the link located beneath the “Sign in” button at the ONe-key site.

How do I update my personal contact information?

You may update your personal contact information at any time by logging into PastPort and following the ‘My Profile’ link in the top menu bar.

It is your responsibility to maintain and update your personal contact information so that the ministry is able to reach you regarding your archaeological licence.

It is important to make sure that your email address in PastPort is accurate as the ministry communicates with licensees primarily by email.

What should I do if I notice something wrong with my licence status or with other records, such as reports?

Let us know of any discrepancies you notice. Send a description of the issue either through the Inquiry module in PastPort or by email to Archaeology@ontario.ca.

Include the following information:

  • type of record affected: licence, PIF or report
  • identification number of the record: licence #, PIF #, report ID #
  • title of the PIF or report (if applicable)
  • description of the issue
The ministry will investigate all reported discrepancies and will fix all issues that prove valid. We thank you for your patience and support as we resolve these issues.

How is the government protecting my private, personal and sensitive information?

The Ontario government is committed to protecting your privacy whether you are browsing for information or conducting business with the government through electronic channels. The handling of all personal information by Government of Ontario organizations is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Collection of personal information

Any personal information that you provide to us through either ONe-key or PastPort will only be used for the specific purpose for which it was collected. A notice of collection in each instance where personal information is collected will let you know what that purpose is. You will not be placed on any mailing lists, nor will your information be released to any third party, except as may be authorized by law. The authority for obtaining this information from you complies with section 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Review the government’s privacy statement online.

ONe-key: secure access to PastPort

ONe-key is the government of Ontario's encrypted log-in system. A ONe-key account gives you secure access to Ontario Government ONe-key enabled programs and services, including PastPort.

The secure ONe-key web portal provides a common password-protected access point to PastPort. Your ONe-key ID and password are unique electronic credentials that, provided you do not share them with anyone else, allow only you to access your PastPort account.

PastPort: secure access to your licensing information and documents

PastPort has been built to protect your private information and archaeological licensing information. Outside of authorized ministry staff, only you have access to:

  • Your licence record;
  • Any of your licence applications on file with the ministry;
  • Any of your PIFs on file with the ministry;
  • All PIF numbers that have been assigned to you;
  • Any of your reports with a status other than “in register”;
  • Any ministry review letters or files associated with your licence reports; and
  • Any ministry notes on file about your licence, PIFs or reports.

In addition, none of your archaeological documents in “draft” status are visible to other users or ministry staff. This means that you can prepare and save draft documents but the ministry will only see them once you have submitted the final version.

Once a report has been entered into the Ontario Public Register of Archaeological Reports, a version of it will be available to the public that has had all personal information and site location information removed. Similarly edited versions of any pre-2005 reports that are in the ministry’s library may be made available to the public upon request and with the licensee’s permission.

Licensed archaeologists have access to complete versions of reports.

Can I request archaeological sites data through PastPort to complete my background research for a new fieldwork project?

Yes, although PastPort does not yet include an archaeological sites module. The ministry has integrated site date requests with the Project Information Form. By checking a box on the PIF, you will automatically request data for a one kilometer area surrounding your project area as shown on the map attached to your PIF. For other types of data requests, email us at Archaeology@ontario.ca.

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