Aurora Town Square “Library Sq”

At General Committee, this week Council had a long discussion regarding the plans to move forward with the design of “Library Square”.   The detailed design for the Square was in front of Council for approval along with the schematic design of the addition to the Church Street School. I first would like to thank the Planning Partnership for all the work that they have done on this project.  They have worked with residents, staff, Council and all key stakeholders to develop a Square that all of Aurora can be proud of and enjoy for generations to come.

The Square will include an outdoor reading area, anamphitheater, along with a refrigerated ice rink ( that would allow for skating to occur for much longer periods than our current natural ice pads)… And, after extensive consultation work with the Library, the plan will also include a vehicle turn a round to allow for drop offs…

Included in the design is the new community facility which will include a theatre; creating a great opportunity to bring more arts and culture programs and other community programming to our downtown core. The recommendation brought forward was to build a 3-story building that creates up to 26, 000 sqft of community and cultural space. Staff along with the Executive Director of the Cultural Centre have identified a fantastic funding opportunity to offset costs of the build.  They are drafting an application for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF). This fund is for projects just like this and funding is available to cover up to 50% of the projects costs.

Because of the tremendous work of so many people, we now have a plan that is truly a collaborative vision for an important part of our Town.  The Square will become the gathering place that we all envision, attracting new visitors to both the Library and the downtown businesses and services. As I have said in the past, this is a great opportunity to kick start the revitalization in our downtown core by creating a unique feature in Aurora that will set our community apart.

I am looking forward to moving forward with this exciting investment in our downtown core. The revitalization of our Downtown Core and Library Square has been almost two decades in the making. It’s been talked about for almost 20 years and this plan builds on that work of past councils and consultations; their work has provided the foundation for the vision that we are now – finally – making reality.  I am proud of the work this Council – and staff, and community members and all key stakeholders – have done over the past three years to make this happen.

The conversation around the table about the detailed design was very positive.  All members of Council – except 1 – support this tremendous initiative, and recognize the fantastic opportunity this represents for improving the lives of current and future residents of Aurora.  The vote to move forward with the design was 8 – 1 with Councillor Abel against.

With the tremendous support shown by the majority of this Council for this unique, collaborative vision for Library Square,  Aurora is truly one step closer to moving from concept to reality.

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