Employee Appreciation Day

A black and white photograph of a group of uniformed soldiers in front of a group of civilians, posing under a slanting roof outside a brick building.

In 1942, the old Fleury Foundry was leased to the Dominion Government and became home to the Number 2 Return Stores Depot. During WWII, the Depot was responsible for storing and distributing items to the military, including: clothing, equipment, tools, ammunition, artillery and vehicles. This photograph (997.7.2) captures some of the Depot’s first employees posing […]

Get Out Your Guitar Day

A sepia-toned photograph of a group of young men and women in white clothing and some with lei necklaces, sitting in four rows, most holding acoustic guitars, against a painted backdrop.

This photograph (2005.28.52) captures a 1920s guitar class in Aurora’s Mechanics’ Hall. If you take a closer look you will notice that almost every student is wearing a lei, and the majority of students holding a guitar (as opposed to a violin or ukulele) are resting it on their laps. These students were probably being […]

Remembrance Day

A black and white photograph of the Aurora War Memorial surrounded by a large crowd of people in a field on an overcast day, with a bicycle laying on the grass in the centre of the middle ground and the front and back ends of two cars on the sides of the foreground

Since 1919, Canadians have taken time to pause and remember those who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of conflict and peace. In Aurora, these ceremonies have been centred around the Aurora War Memorial in Peace Park since 1925. Pictured (82.42.177) is one such event. 

World Doll Day

A photograph of a group of cloth dolls in historical clothing standing around a business card, taken against a grey background.

Canadian character dolls created by Kashi Carter, c. 1960 (987.49.3). From left to right: Lord Sydenham, William Osgoode, Alexander McKenzie, Laura Secord, John Graves Simcoe and John Cabot.

The Royal Hotel

A black and white photograph of a two-horse sleigh in front of a white wooden hotel, bearing three men in winter clothes, a dog is lying on the snowy ground near the horses, and other men look on from the distance.

For over forty years, the southeast corner of Yonge and Mosley Streets was home to the Royal Hotel. This image (2002.19.87) was captured sometime after 1888 when the building was extensively enlarged by a three-storey addition at the rear.

The Arrival of Autumn

A colourful oil painting of an autumn landscape that shows a cloudy sky at the top of the image with grey rocks, green and yellow grass, and a dirt side of a hill on the left side of the image, a winding grey road that begins on the left side of the foreground and extends to the right mid-ground, and yellow, red, orange, and green trees and green fields in the mid-ground and blurred background

This beautiful oil painting (999.39.6) was created by Murray Oliver (1930-2020) who was born and raised in Aurora and later went on to be an interior designer based in Toronto.  The autumn scene is said to have been painted in King Township, looking northward on Dufferin from 19th Sideroad (Mulock Drive).

Sock Day

A set of two wooden sock stretchers that each have five holes spread evenly across them with a smaller hole at the top that is strung with string that holds the pair together, photographed flat on a plain white background

As the temperature drops, our need for warm feet is ever increasing.  Nowadays, washing our synthetic thermal socks in a modern cold-water machine is the norm for keeping our feet warm.  But a century ago, our forebears contended with the hand washing of their warm woolen winter socks, which could shrink dramatically while drying.  These […]

Packaging Design Day

A blank 1-Litre milk carton, slightly damaged, lying on its side, photographed against a black backdrop.

Some objects are just so commonplace that it becomes easy to forget how complex their design and production truly is.  The humble milk carton is one such item: something most of us have used successfully for years without much thought, but which excels at its intended task. This empty, unprinted example (2002.7.1) was manufactured at […]

Back to School

A black and white photograph of children playing in a small schoolyard with houses behind.

Pictured here (81.27.2) are students from Aurora Public School playing in the old schoolyard, which was located on the north side of the Church Street School. This picture was taken on the north side of the building, facing northeast, from approximately where the elevator used to stand.

The Canadian National Exhibition

A yellowed ticket to the 1912 Canadian National Exhibition, with black printing in a variety of fonts, and the signatures of two officials, as well as lines filled in with the details of the ticket holder. Along the bottom a grid of dates from August and September have been punched irregularly with small holes.

For over 140 years, the end of summer vacation has been signaled by the arrival of Toronto’s CNE. Originally called the Industrial Exhibition of Toronto, the fair was re-named in 1912 to the Canadian National Exhibition – the same year this ticket (76.12.12aa) was issued. This exhibitor’s ticket belonged to Herbert J. Charles, an Aurora […]