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August 20, 2016

This year, Doors Open Aurora will feature sites and activities sure to suit everyone’s taste.

Guaranteed fun for the whole family! Don't miss your chance to explore the hidden treasures of this historical town located on the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

The Town of Aurora is a scenic community located on the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine in the heart of York Region. A mosaic of contemporary living in charming heritage surroundings, Aurora attracts those looking for the ideal combination of small-town friendliness with urban amenities.

Come and join us for Doors Open Aurora 2016!

Contact planning@aurora.ca to become a volunteer for Doors Open Aurora!

Parking
Site has blue and gold provincial plaque

Aurora Armoury

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
89 Mosley Street
Aurora, Ontario
Year built: 1874
Building type: Military
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1874 as a drill shed for the 12th Battalion of Infantry, the Aurora Armoury was part of a network of defence training facilities for citizen soldiers. It is the oldest purpose-built armoury in Ontario, and was used by the Queen’s York Rangers.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Aurora Cultural Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
22 Church Street
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-713-1818
Year built: 1885-86
Architect: Thomas Kennedy
Style: Victorian
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Aurora Cultural Centre, formerly the Church Street School, was built in 1885-86 and remained in use as a school until 1952. The impressive Victorian design was influenced by Indian architecture, which was popular in the 1880s, as Queen Victoria had recently been proclaimed Empress of India.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Aurora Farmers' Market and Artisan Fair

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Town Park (Wells and Mosley streets)
Aurora, Ontario
Landscape type: Landscape
Building type: None, Attraction, Food and drink
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Aurora Farmers’ Market is the Doors Open Aurora headquarters. Drop by and pick up maps and brochures for participating sites. The market is a traditional community market with more than 30 vendors, featuring fresh local produce, seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, jam, arts and crafts, and handmade jewelry.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Aurora Public Library

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15145 Yonge Street
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-727-9493
Year built: 2001
Architect: Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Public library service in Aurora began in 1855 with the formation of the Aurora Association for the Diffusion of Helpful Knowledge, later called the Aurora Mechanics’ Institute and Library Association. From these early organizations emerged the Aurora Public Library, now a busy, architecturally modern community hub in the heart of historical Aurora.
Partial wheelchair access
Guided tours available

Block 11 - Aurora's Haunted Precinct

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at the Doors Open booth at the Town Park (Wells and Mosley streets)
Aurora, Ontario
Saturday: One 80-minute tour departing at 10 a.m. sharp
Join storyteller and community advocate David Heard for a creepy tour into Aurora’s past. Ghosts do inhabit this quadrant for a reason. They have bone-chilling tales to share. History blends with these haunted streets to keep you captivated. Heard will also share a vision for a new beginning for Aurora’s historical downtown. Please wear comfortable footwear.
Parking
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust
Trails

Charles Henry Sheppard House - Sheppard's Bush Conservation Area

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
93 Industrial Parkway South
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-727-0491
Year built: 1922
Architect: Alvin Sherlock Mathers
Landscape type: Conservation area
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Operated by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, the Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area features an extensive maple sugar bush that produced sap for maple syrup until recent times. Both the log cabin and the 1920s arts-and-crafts-style house at the rear of the property will be open to the public.
Partial wheelchair access
Guided tours available

Cultural Precinct Walking Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at the Aurora Cultural Centre (22 Church Street)
Aurora, Ontario
Saturday: one tour only (1 to 2:45 p.m.)
Join Aurora curators Shawna White and Michelle Johnson on the Cultural Precinct Walking Tour. This tour will focus on buildings, culture and nature that comprise the built environment of Aurora, which combine to create and sustain a sense of belonging and pride within the community. A historical plaque unveiling will occur at the former Wells Street School at 2:15 p.m.
Parking
Washrooms
National Historic Site (Canada)
Self-guided tours available
Ontario's medical science and innovation

Hillary House and Koffler Museum of Medicine

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15372 Yonge Street
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-727-8991
Year built: 1862
Architect: Henry Harris
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hillary House – home of the Koffler Museum of Medicine and the Aurora Historical Society – is is treasured piece of Aurora’s history. It is recognized as one of Canada's best examples of Gothic revival architecture. The museum contains a significant collection of medical instruments, books, papers and furnishings. During Doors Open, kids can enjoy a fun Discovery Day.
Parking
Guided tours available

Merlin's Hollow

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
181 Centre Crescent
Aurora, Ontario
Architect: David Tomlinson
Landscape type: Garden
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This site, featuring four unique gardens, including a rock and water garden, has been featured on CBC TV and HGTV, and in programs on local television stations. Over 1,500 species of plants and flowers, and countless insects, live here. Horticulturalists and photographers alike will delight in the garden sculptures, flowers in full bloom and impressive array of vibrant colours.
Parking
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Patrick House, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
58 Temperance Street
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 416-220-2127
Year built: c. 1860
Style: Georgian
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This charming board-and-batten Georgian cottage has had many owners over the years – including John Bowser, who supervised the construction of New York’s Empire State Building. Many of the building's original features have been carefully restored, including coffered ceilings and plank floors. Today, the house features a private art gallery, showcasing the work of local artists.
Parking
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Rising Sun Masonic Lodge

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
57 Mosley Street
Aurora, Ontario
Year built: 1865
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This Gothic revival-style building was the King Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church until the Masons purchased it in 1885. The building features a fantastic interior, which will be prepared for Doors Open visitors as it would for a formal Masons meeting.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Theatre Aurora

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
150 Henderson Drive
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-727-3669
Year built: 1955
Building type: Theatre
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Theatre Aurora offers visitors an opportunity to experience the stage in front of and behind its curtains. You will be surprised to learn that this 154-seat theatre was originally a cement factory, built in 1955 to produce concrete blocks for the booming construction industry of post-war Aurora and area.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Trinity Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
79 Victoria Street
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-727-6106
Year built: 1884
Architect: Marshall B. Aylesworth
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1884 to replace an 1846 church, Trinity is the best example of Gothic revival church architecture in Aurora. Outstanding features include: elaborately detailed dormers, stained-glass windows and a stencilled ceiling and walls. The new sanctuary was completed in 2001.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Vic's Shoe Repair

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
15243 Yonge Street
Aurora, Ontario
Telephone: 905-727-2341
Year built: c. 1885
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vic’s Shoe Repair is a traditional shoe repair store that forms part of Aurora’s history. The store is located in a historic commercial building formerly named Mulock Block, which dates back to the time of the town’s founder, Richard Machell, in 1832. Come meet the owner, Raza Haghiri, who will demonstrate the craft of shoe repair.