Today I am going to share with you some of the changes that took place in the Town of Aurora ON in year 2019 alone. All photos below were captured throughout the year, so they do not necessarily reflect the current state of the sites. In the future I will showcase the final results. I don’t have photos for all the changes that took place in Aurora but I will do my best to mention some changes where appropriate.
Elmwood Lodge – Yonge Street & Kennedy Street
When fences went up around the Elmwood Lodge many of us thought that perhaps this Victorian farmhouse was going to be demolished. Fortunately, this building went under modification only.
Former Sormeh Beauty Spa, Wellington Street
It seems like the reconstruction of the former David W. Doan House is almost complete. If you saw the house before the demolition, the front entrance and windows do somehow resemble former features. It is now a three-storey, 24-unit apartment complex with covered parking and a commercial office use space.
New Businesses Downtown Aurora
Romy’s Restaurant opened last summer on the West side of Yonge Street, formerly Gabriel’s Cafe. Unexpectedly just before the new year, Adamson BBQ Place opened in the old CIBC building. Last summer Larter Associates Inc. advertising agency moved out of the South East corner of Yonge Street and Wellington Street and a recreational cannabis store submitted an application for that location but failed to gain provincial approval.
We have Aurora Antique store. I have not visited yet. Hoping to see Aurora artifacts.
Starsky Fine Foods Closes Down Aurora Location
Right on the mark, the Starsky Fine Foods store on Bayview Ave. opened in September 2018 and one year later in September 2019 closed its doors. The building was formerly Michaelangelo’s, and like Starsky lasted only about a year.
Woodland Towers Rising, Leslie Street
The Woodland Towers retirement residences on the East end of the Town of Aurora are in their phase two development. I thought that it was the last phase – I guess not. Check the Master Plan here of what it will look like once all the phases are completed – Woodland Towers – Meadows of Aurora. I want to also mention that we have one more retirement residence rising in the Town of Aurora but on Yonge Street, just south of Industrial Parkway across from the Aurora Cemetery.
New Bridge at Sheppard’s Bush, East Holland River
“A joint partnership between the Town of Aurora and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority resulted in the construction of a new bridge that removed a major fish barrier from a tributary along the East Holland River at Sheppard’s Bush.” Source: Aurora’s newest bridge lets humans, fish travel safely
St. John’s Sideroad Final Touches
Looks like York Region has put some final touches on St. John’s Sideroad just west of Leslie Street – planted trees beside the road and between the lanes. It looks like graffiti artists also put some artistic touches under the Weslie Creek Bridge underpass. Currently this underpass leads nowhere. Graffiti, like everywhere else, is an issue in Aurora.
Our Lady of Grace Church Reconstruction
Our Lady of Grace undergoing a major face lift. It is looking great so far.
The Armoury Restored, Town Park
The Armoury restoration is finally completed, with the exterior still needing some finishing.
Demolition of Yellow Barn on St John’s Sideroad
Developments are coming on St. John’s Sideroad West of Yonge Street by Shining Hill Estate Collections Inc. Public Planning June 26th, 2019 meeting: “The Owner has submitted Complete Applications for an Official Plan amendment, a Zoning By-law Amendment and a Draft Plan of Subdivision to permit the development of 92 Single Detached Dwelling Lots, an Open Space Block, a Private Condominium Road and a Storm Water Management Facility at the subject properties noted below. The Owner has applied to amend the Official Plan designations that apply to the subject properties under OPA 37 from the “Suburban Residential (SR)”, “Suburban Residential (SR-1)“, “Core Area Open Space” and “Supporting Area Open Space” designations to “Suburban Residential (SR-1)”, “Suburban Residential (SR-2)”,“Core Area Open Space” and “Supporting Area Open Space” designations under the Town of Aurora’s in force Official Plan (OPA 37). The Owner has also applied to rezone the properties from Oak Ridges Moraine Rural General (RU-ORM) under By-law #6000-17, as amended to Detached Third Density Residential Exception Zone (R3-XX) and Oak Ridges Moraine Environmental Protection (EP-ORM) under By-law #6000-17, as amended.” Source: Council Public Planning Meeting Agenda (file type: PDF).
Farm House Demolished, St. John’s Sideroad
The farm house (1625-1675 St. John’s Sideroad) on the South East corner of St. John’s Sideroad and Leslie Street was abruptly demolished sometime in March 2019. “The demolition of a heritage building in northeast Aurora before it was de-listed has raised the ire of Council and heritage advocates. Council members are calling for harsher penalties for such demolitions without a permit after a building on the southeast corner of St. John’s Sideroad and Leslie Street met the wrecking ball before Council had the opportunity to sign off.” Source: Heritage demolition raises Council questions
Demolition of an Old House at SAC, Yonge Street
Hidden behind the trees, on the north side of the St. Andrew’s College gates, a house from the 1930s (15858 Yonge Street) determined to be of no heritage value, was demolished sometime in December. Apparently the trees also had their time. For those interested in history and what’s coming next on this small parcel of land, attached is a link to the Heritage Advisory Committee agenda, Report No. HAC18-002 on page 19/104. Source (File format: PDF): “The structure was constructed circa 1935 and can described as a 1 ½ storey bungalow. The first owner of the house was Hugh C. Mcrae. The owners (SAC) have submitted a conceptual site plan and elevations for a new single detached dwelling.”
McKenzie Marsh Changing Landscape
The landmark tree at the McKenzie Marsh finally collapsed sometime in the middle of May. Someone told me it was an oak tree.
Also at the McKenzie Marsh on the north side of St. John’s Sideroad, the single home dwelling construction continues.
Anna Lozyk Romeo