Decency in Demonstration

Painted sculpture head and shoulders of a man.

It is the morning of Tuesday, September 5th 1893 and the platform of the Aurora train station is overflowing with onlookers. The station yard is at capacity and a procession of empty carriages are waiting for their passengers to arrive. At 9:30 a.m. the train pulls in and off steps the Honourable Wilfred Laurier M.P, […]

Canada’s Birthday Town

A cartoon drawing of a man sitting cross-legged, holding a cake in one hand and eating a piece with the other, against a red backdrop with fireworks.

You may have heard that Aurora is Canada’s Birthday Town, but do you know how that came to be? Let’s travel back to 1967… Momentum from Canada’s Centennial celebrations was building across the country and the very successful Montreal Expo ignited a patriotic fever that was sweeping the nation.   In Aurora, Canada’s centennial celebrations […]

The Best Assortment of Fancy Goods

A damaged and hazy black and white photograph of people standing in front of a three-storey stone building, taken from across the street.

Today you can find paint and oils at your local hardware store and medical supplies at the pharmacy. In the 1870’s, you could find all of those items at the drugstore, which was known as a Medical Hall. Aurora’s first Medical Hall opened in 1873, on the west side of Yonge Street, just south of […]

“The worst place inside the corporation”

A postcard with a hand-coloured photograph of a small wooden train station with people waiting outside, a train is approaching along the tracks with smoke or steam coming from the engine.

Head of rail! May 16, 1853 must have been an exciting day in town when Ontario’s first “revenue” railway train, carrying fare-paying passengers and freight, arrived in Aurora from Toronto. You can read about it on the plaque in the tiny parkette at the station. Then have a seat on a bench and look over […]

A Pageant of Famous Women

A graphical logo for the Temple of Fame theatrical production, with the letter O as part of a female symbol, surmounted by a crown with with rays over the first M.

As many of you may already know, the Museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Temple of Fame theatrical production this coming weekend and what better place to start our bi-weekly journey than 100 years ago …   The year is 1918; the First World War and woman’s suffrage are both reaching a fever […]

Aurora’s First Cultural Centre

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.

2020 ushers in both a new decade and an exciting project that is currently known as Library Square. This impressive expansion to the historic Church Street School will be a place where the community can come together to explore history, art, theatre, music, special events and innovative programming. This new hub for culture piqued my […]

Councillor Thelma Fielding: “Aurora’s Lady Lawmaker”

A black and white photograph of a street lined with shops, with a clock tower on the right and several cars parked along both sides, with cars driving toward and away from the camera.

I gently landed the Time Machine, in invisible mode, near our main intersection.  It was December 11, 1951, the morning after the election for the next year’s Town Council.  One incumbent Councillor had made local history the year prior, and I hoped to find out all I could about her before the results were read, […]

Behind the White Fence

A black and white photograph of a brick industrial building with a water tower and smokestack on the left, on the bank of a body of water.

One day in February 1919 the news spread around town that the working day at Collis Leather – Aurora’s second largest employer, located on Tyler Street – had been reduced from ten hours to nine, with no reduction in pay. The time traveller was a bit cynical about this apparent generosity on the part of […]

Aurora at Home

A yellowed black and white photograph of people and pets relaxing on a veranda, with one woman in a hammock, a man and woman sitting on the stairs, the man in a brimmed hat and holding a paintbrush and bucket of paint.

Itching to go for a walk and wander through a different time I set the dial for the early 1900s. As I was strolling through the neighbourhood of Maple and Spruce Streets, I noticed that one family was gathering on their front porch and a camera was being set up on the lawn. I thought […]

A Great Time to be a Kid!

A photogaph of people gathering on a street with children seated on miniaturized parade floats and vehicles, a man in a beard is standing in the middle.

It was July 1st, a widely anticipated day by children and adults alike in our little town of Aurora; We were Canada’s birthday town and it was parade day! My best friend Kelly and I were (not so patiently) waiting with our Aurora Girl Guides group, along with about 30 other children brimming with excitement […]