George St School

I am excited to announce that Council has unanimously agreed to acquire the approximately 4 acre property at 115 George Street from the York Region District School Board. This $10,722,000 acquisition will be funded through our Parkland Reserve, signifying a significant step forward in our efforts to expand parkland in Aurora in a financially responsible way.

I envision this property not only as a new 2.7 acre park for Ward 2 residents but also as an opportunity for compatible development along George Street on the remaining 1 acre. This approach will enable the municipality to recoup funds, maximizing the value of taxpayers’ dollars while enriching our community. Our next steps involve initiating the removal of the existing school building by Fall 2024, accompanied by a comprehensive public engagement initiative. This will include public planning meetings for zoning changes, ensuring that residents’ needs and preferences are incorporated into the design. Your participation will be crucial as we collaboratively work to enhance our neighbourhood. Stay tuned as I will continue to ensure all residents are informed of next steps.

This acquisition is part of the strategic approach our town is taking to address parkland deficit in Aurora. As we all recognize, green spaces and parkland are vital components in fostering a vibrant and healthy community. Our commitment to expanding parkland is essential for our community’s well-being and aligns with our goal of reaching 40 percent total canopy cover by 2034.

Parks are more than just patches of greenery; they are the heart of our community, providing spaces for recreation, relaxation, and social interaction, which our residents deeply care about. The 2022 Citizen Satisfaction Survey highlighted residents’ concerns regarding development and the loss of greenspace as the most significant ongoing issue facing our town. As Aurora continues to grow, it’s imperative to ensure we have adequate park space and recreational amenities to sustain the long-term health and vitality of our residents. #LeadershipThatGetsThingsDone

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8 Responses

  1. Thank you for the update on George Street School property.
    Hopefully some well needed parkland and play ground for children in the neighbourhood will be the priority. There is currently no playground in the area ,that doesn’t require crossing Yonge street or Wellington street . Which is dangerous for children . Perhaps a basketball court as well?

  2. Hello Tom,

    Thank you for sharing this great news, not only for Ward 2 residents living nearby, such as myself and my family, but for Aurora overall. With enough thoughtful and careful planning and community input, the new parkland at the combined George Street Public School / Lion’s Park site will be something that we can all be proud of for many years to come.

    Following our detailed discussions with you, Councillor Gilliland and Town Staff over the past few years and the finalization of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2023 recommendations regarding the much needed expansion of off leash dog/owner exercise and play areas in Town (pp. 88 – 90), I wanted to again offer the input and services of myself and others from our Ward 2 group in the upcoming planning process for the utilization of the George Street Public School parkland.

    Very sincerely,

    Arthur Lee

  3. This is very good news. We live in the area and we are happy to hear about this new acquisition. We’d like to meet the mayor in person and we are available to do so during the day. Please let us know when it can be arranged.
    Thank you,
    Graham Wride and Erika Allen

  4. $10.7MM for 4 acres is $2.67MM per acre. This is crazy – prices in Markham for developable land is appx $1.5MM. In addition to purchasing the land, the Town is going to spend another at least $1MM (if they don’t go over budget…which invariably they will) to remove the school and design the parkland, etc..

    I have a piece of (swamp) land if the town is interested. Discount…only $1MM per acre.

  5. Wonderful news and happy to hear the Town is prioritizing greenspace and canopy expansion! Looking forward to seeing this project come to life!

  6. Good morning Mayor Mrakas,
    We also live in the area and were concerned when the property was completely fenced in this week. As it is on the route of the Oak Ridges Trail system, the area is very popular for family walks and dog walks.
    We are now hopeful for the preservation of some of the historic trees on the property, the addition of a new playground and other recreational activities, while maintaining the parkland ambiance.
    We look forward to contributing ideas to this incentive.
    Barbara and David Anschuetz

  7. Good afternoon,
    Our family of 6 is grateful for the update and very hopeful that we see a place for children of the neighbourhood to play in the plans!! A sport court of some kind would be incredible! There are many young families in the neighbourhood and no playground in this south west section of Yonge and Wellington. We look forward to hearing more.
    Theresa

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