Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Aurora Downtown Revitalization, How to Attract People to the Downtown Core?

As tracts of land that are available to be built into new subdivisions shrink, many in the Town of Aurora wonder what is going to happen here. Where will new developments come from? The future, much like you can see happening in Toronto, is to bring people back to the downtown and to build up and not out (i.e. build more condos and townhouses instead of large detached lots).

I recently read the article by John Abel “Town of Aurora Council Items – Aurora Downtown Revitalization” about revitalizing the downtown core and thought I would offer my own perspective on it as well.

The problem with a town like Aurora building up and not out is that they miss a large part of what makes it possible in Toronto. Aurora is not a big city and does not have the same type of possibilities for things to do. You can see from events in the past like the Aurora Jazz+ Festival, RibFest, and the Aurora Farmers Market that residents of Aurora will come out and support local events. However, that is all it is right now, they come out to specific events. There needs to be something that draws them in on those random weekends with nothing going on. Town of Aurora first needs to change and develop the downtown area to make more people want to come there as a destination. A good example is Unionville Main Street, there you can easily go out for a great night on the town visiting a lot of different establishments while still having a more small town feel. Just park in the area and walk, the area is a destination and a specific event is not needed to draw in the crowds.


To make people want to live in condos in downtown Aurora then start giving them reasons to come. Tear down some of the eye sores and use that prime land to build something better. Have restaurants with patios, ice cream parlours, all kinds of shops, and a larger sidewalk to handle the flow of people. As it stands now if you are going out in the Town of Aurora for a night you are choosing one specific spot, driving there, and then leaving once you are done. There needs to be an area where you can come and park your car, walk around and have a multitude of options. Even in a town where people drive everywhere, having an area where every one of all ages can congregate is important. Town of Aurora has a lot of great restaurants and shops but there is so much improvement that can be done to help their business and encourage new ones as well.

The potential is there and it will not happen quickly. Many old buildings will not be easily torn down, but not all need to be. Take the Wells Street Schoolhouse Lofts project for example. They are taking an old building and revitalizing it into a more modern usage. Some older buildings do not have that same potential, sometimes the past needs to be let go of and new, more modern buildings need to be brought in. Modern buildings can even be built to fit in with the older structures and to keep the charm that many buildings in the area have but with a modern take. As the world changes, so too will Town of Aurora, and hopefully it will in such a way that pulls people to the downtown core.

The future of Real Estate in the Town of Aurora is revitalizing what is already there and developing a destination for people. Develop attractions that pull people into an area and you will soon see a much higher demand from people to settle permanently in the area. As an added bonus, if you live near a destination spot, the value of your house will only increase as it becomes a more in demand location.

Andrew Fogliato
Aurora ON


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