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Town of Aurora
—  Town  —
Motto: You're in Good Company
Location of Aurora in York Region.
Coordinates: 43°59′51″N 79°28′12″W / 43.9975°N 79.47°W / 43.9975; -79.47
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Regional municipality York Region
Settled 1854
Incorporated 1888 (town)
Government
 - Mayor Phyllis M. Morris
 - Councilors
Area
 - Total 49.61 km2 (19.2 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 47,629
 Density 960/km2 (2,486.4/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
List of L Postal Codes of Canada L4G
Area code(s) 905 and 289
GNBC CGNDB Key FDJFO[1]
Website www.e-aurora.ca

Aurora (2006 Population 47,629[2], 2008 estimate 52,000) is an affluent[citation needed] Canadian town in York Region, approximately 20 km north of Toronto. It is situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine in a part of the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario.

Many Aurora residents commute to Toronto, and the town is part of the Greater Toronto Area.

In the Canada 2006 Census, the national rank of population of Aurora rose above 100th for the first time, reaching 97th in Canada's list of largest municipalities in terms of population, compared to 113th in the 2001 Census. [3]

Contents

History

A map of Aurora from 1878. Scale is denoted in chains, a measure equivalent to 66 feet or 20.12 metres.

Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe gave the order for Yonge Street to be extended to Holland Landing in 1793, the way was paved for the establishment of a community where Aurora now stands.

In 1804, Richard Machell became the first merchant at the cross roads of Yonge and Wellington and the hamlet soon became known as Machell's Corners.

Charles Doan was another early businessman at Machell's Corners and became the first postmaster and later the first reeve. As postmaster, he was influential in renaming the village Aurora.

With the coming of the railway in 1853, Aurora emerged as an important centre north of Toronto. The Fleury plow works was established soon after and Aurora was on its way to becoming a flourishing industrial town.

The population of Aurora in 1863 was 700, and by 1888 it had grown to become a town of 2,107 residents. With some ups and downs in growth over the years, Aurora is now a flourishing town with a strong commercial and industrial base.

Worthy of note is the fact that Aurora was the childhood home of Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister of Canada from 1963-1968, when his father, Rev. Edwin Pearson, was the Methodist minister.

Aurora is twinned with Leksand, Sweden.

Population

According to the 2006 Census, the town had a population of 47,629. However, as of 2009, the population is at an approximated 52,000. Having grown approximately 18.6% since the 2001 census, it is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada.

Based upon current population figures and total area, the town's population density is just over 1000 per square kilometre.

The population is forecasted to reach approximately 56,000 by the time of the 2011 Census, 63,000 by 2016, and 75,000 in 2026. [4]

Government

The Town of Aurora municipal government is composed of the Mayor and eight Councilors elected on an "at large" basis. The Mayor represents the Town at York Region Council. As of November 2006, the current mayor is Phyllis M. Morris. The town is part of the federal riding of Newmarket—Aurora. The riding was notable with the election of former MP, Belinda Stronach, a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. She had been elected as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, but on May 17, 2005 she crossed the floor, citing discomfort with the social policies of the Conservatives as one of the reasons for the switch. She was re-elected as a Liberal in the election on January 23, 2006. In April, 2007, she announced that she would leave politics and return to her father's business, Magna International.[5] The riding is now represented by MP Lois Brown of the Conservative Party of Canada, who was elected in the 2008 federal election. Aurora is also part of the provincial riding of Newmarket—Aurora. The member of Provincial Parliament is Frank Klees, who was elected in the Ontario general election, 2007. Klees belongs to the Progressive Conservative party of Ontario and resides in Aurora.

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Emergency services

Local police services are provided by the York Regional Police, who serve all of the municipalities of the region. Fire protection services are provided by Central York Fire Services, a shared arrangement with the town of Newmarket.

Public health services are managed by York Region. There is no hospital within Aurora's boundaries; the nearest one is Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket.

2009 Council Controversy

In August 2009 a controversy erupted when the Aurora town council fired its integrity commissioner in a special meeting after receiving his first decision on a contentious issue. Three of eight councillors were absent from the special meeting. The mayor and five councillors who were present at the special meeting had filed a complaint with the integrity commissioner against councillor Evelyn Buck for comments made in her blog. Although the integrity commissioner's report has not been released to the public, it is believed that he dismissed the complaint.[6]

Education

Both publicly-funded School Board Head Offices for York Region are located in Aurora: The York Region District School Board is located on 60 Wellington St. W. just west of the historical downtown area, and The York Catholic District School Board is located at 320 Bloomington Rd. W. along the southern border, next to Cardinal Carter Catholic High School.

Public school education is governed by the York Region District School Board, which has two high schools in Aurora:

as well as several elementary schools.

The York Catholic District School Board also runs several elementary schools as well as Cardinal Carter Catholic High School. A second catholic high school, St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic High School, opened in September 2009 to grades 9 and 10. [1]

Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, which administers French-language Catholic schools runs an elementary school, École St. Jean, and a high school, École secondaire catholique Renaissance (formerly ÉSC Cardinal-Carter).

Also, St. Andrew's College, an independent school for boys, is located in Aurora.

Urban planning

Currently, an undeveloped portion of Aurora is subject to the Ontario Government's Greenbelt legislation which enforces limits on growth in designated Green Belt locations. In Aurora, this affects mostly the south-eastern areas of the town.

Growth is occurring in the north-eastern locations, particularly in the form of low-density residential homes and townhouses along Bayview Ave and north of Wellington St. E. (also known as "Aurora Rd."), and commerce along Wellington St. E. on Aurora's eastern border between Leslie St. and Hwy. 404. The State Farm Insurance Canada headquarters has recently relocated to this location.

Transportation

Roads

Major roads running through Aurora include Bathurst Street at its western border, Yonge Street, Bayview Avenue, Leslie Street, and Highway 404 at its eastern border and Bloomington Road at the southern border. Wellington Road is the town's major east-west road, with the Yonge-Wellington area having the busiest traffic volume in Aurora.

Public Transit

The town of Aurora's public transit is serviced by York Region Transit (YRT) and VIVA. The Aurora GO Station is on the Barrie line and is served by four trains southbound to Toronto each weekday morning and four trains northbound each afternoon, except holidays. The station is also served by several GO buses each day, in addition to YRT buses.

Community associations and services

Aurora is home to:

  • Aurora Public Library
  • Queen's York Rangers Reserve Regiment
  • 2799 Queen's York Rangers Army Cadet Corps
  • 140 Aurora Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron
  • World's Longest Annual Street Sale (from Yonge St. & Wellington St. to Yonge St. & Edward Street / Murray Drive. 1.5 km)
  • Scouts Canada; 5 different sections that range in ages served. Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, and Rovers are offered. Sea Scouts and Sea Venturers are not offered. Size of group varies per year (sizes can range from 6 members to over 340 members).

Girl Guides

  • Northern Lights Advanced Toastmasters Club

Recreation and sports

Media

Local media include The Banner (formerly the Era Banner) and The Auroran newspapers and Aurora programming provided by Rogers Cable (formerly Aurora Cable Internet).

Radio

Radio stations from Toronto are primarily available, the same applies to the nearby towns of Newmarket, south into Richmond Hill, and Bradford.

Notable residents (past and present)

References

External links

Surrounding Towns


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