Living in Aurora Heights
Aurora Heights is a family oriented neighbourhood with a pleasing streetscape consisting of numerous cul-de-sacs and crescents intertwined with neighbourhood parks and an abundance of greenspace. This neighbourhood is bound by Wellington Street West on the south, Orchard Heights Boulevard on the north, Bathurst Street on the west and Yonge Street on the east. The signature street in this neighbourhood is Aurora Heights Drive which twists and winds its way through the neighbourhood all the way from Yonge Street to Bathurst Street. Neighbourhood landmarks include: the Aurora Community Centre, Machell Park, and St. Andrews Shopping Centre. Aurora Heights is a popular entry level neighbourhood for families. It is very convenient to downtown Aurora Village which offers a plethora of shops and restaurants and professional services as well as numerous recreational amenities.
History of Aurora Heights
The first landowners in this neighbourhood were William McCellan who settled on lot 82, concession 1, west of Yonge Street in 1797 and the Cody family who settled on lot 83, concession 1, in 1802. The Cody’s were a Quaker family that emigrated here from the United States. Daniel McLeod would eventually acquire these lands. McLeod operated a popular tavern that became infamous as a meeting place for the loyalist forces who gathered here in 1837 during the Mackenzie Rebellion.
The creek that trickles through Aurora Heights is affectionately known by St. Andrew’s College students as “The Shads”, likely named after Shadrach Lundy who is shown on the 1860 Tremaine Map as occupying land abutting the creek to the north where St. Andrews College is located today.
Aurora Heights transformation from rural to residential took place in the 1950s. It was the first large scale subdivision in the Town of Aurora. There was lots of hoopla with $25,000 spend on promotion and five model homes for prospective buyers to tour. Construction of two hundred homes began in 1957 with a diverse mix of housing styles including forty detached houses. By 1958 residents began moving into their new homes and Aurora Heights was starting to resemble the neighbourhood it is today.
Homes in Aurora Heights
Aurora Heights has by far the highest number of bungalows in the Town. Most of these are of the smaller variety but still plenty big enough for a family. Aurora Heights also contains a vast selection of semi-detached homes as well as detached 2-storey homes. While the houses in the neighbourhood may be on the smaller side, the lots are a generous size, providing spacious front and backyards. Most of these homes also have private driveways that can fit many cars. Typically they would also include a garage or a carport. The bulk of the homes in this neighbourhood were built from the late 1950s up to 1970. There is also some custom infill new home development going on in the neighbourhood, as one might expect given the age of the homes and the size of the lots.
Lifestyle in Aurora Heights
St Andrews Shopping Centre is a mid-size outdoor shopping mall located at the northwest corner of Orchard Heights Blvd., and Yonge Street. There is a nice mix of independent retailers, brands and restaurants at this shopping destination. There are a myriad of small shopping plazas and stand alone retailers and restaurants along Yonge Street. Further south on Yonge Street, south of Wellington is the charming downtown Aurora heritage district that is brimming with shops and restaurants as well as professional and medial offices.
Recreation in Aurora Heights
Aurora Community Centre is located at the gateway to this neighbourhood off Aurora Heights Drive. This arena has two ice pads and is the home of the Aurora Tigers Jr. A Hockey Club. Adjacent to the arena to the north is Machell Park and to the south is Fleury Park.
Arts in Aurora Heights
Theatre Aurora (founded in 1958) is a member of the Association of Community Theatres – Central Ontario (ACT-CO), and a member of Theatre Ontario. The organization has received many nominations and awards at the annual ACT-CO festival and has been honoured with an invitation to remount a production for the Theatre Ontario Festival. With a strong mandate for education, especially for young members. Theatre Aurora provides the talent resources, through volunteer members and professionals in the field, to enhance this work. Theatre Aurora’s volunteers currently produce five shows each season (September – June).
Transportation in Aurora Heights
The Aurora Go Station located at 121 Wellington Street East operates bus and train service. This commuter hub connects passengers with Union Station in downtown Toronto.