The Past Four Years

Tom Mrakas

Over the past four years, we’ve seen an impressive amount of new business and redevelopment in Aurora. As we are nearing the end of this current term of council, I would like to use this week’s update to highlight some of this recent business growth and our redevelopment activity.


Aurora is currently home to several powerhouse corporations such as Desjardins Insurance, Magna International, Bulk Barn, PreGel, Kirchhoff Automotive, Genpak LP and others. We also have over 2,000 grassroots entrepreneurs in healthcare, technology, food and beverage manufacturing, marketing, media, education and more.


To add to this vibrant group, several businesses have opened, will be opening soon, or have renewed their commitment to continue their operations in Aurora:


  • Within a short period of time, Aurora saw the opening of two brand new hotels and will soon see the transformation of an old hotel on Yonge Street.


  • St. Andrew’s College announced the opening of its all-girls school, St. Anne’s. Aurora is the only municipality outside of Toronto with an all-boys and an all-girls school.


  • We have issued development approvals for 32 acres for the Smart Centres on Wellington St. and Highway 404. This proposal alone will create over 1,400 new jobs once complete.


  • A new Fire Hall, a Central York Fire Services headquarters, is being built right here in Aurora, and scheduled to open this year.


  • After many years, the United Church is being redeveloped and we can’t wait to welcome the Church and its congregation back to the downtown core.


  • Magna extended its lease to keep its headquarters right here in Aurora.


  • Piramal Pharma Solutions invested $25 million to expand its Aurora facility with a state-of-the-art API manufacturing wing.


  • The Armoury has opened and continues to be a central resource and community gathering place in Aurora.


  • 15 properties were recently designated in our downtown core under part four of the Heritage Act, ensuring future generations will continue to enjoy the heritage of our Yonge St. buildings.  And, in just the last five months, 15 new businesses have opened in downtown Aurora, with all four corners now having business tenants.


  • And, to ensure the continued activity and revitalization in the downtown core, residents have been able to enjoy live music and events in Machell’s Alley, and most importantly, the completion of Town Square is in the latter stages and will present a gathering place for our community and an anchor for growth and activity in our downtown core for generations to come.


In addition to the business growth, sports and recreation has also been a focus of our redevelopment plans over the past 4 years, which includes:


  • The Stewart Burnett Park playground and splashpad which opened last year and Edward Coltham Park playground and splashpad just a couple of years ago.


  • The addition of the Willow Farm Trail connection and boardwalk to our extensive trail system.


  • The David Tomlinson Nature Reserve is an exceptional, national example of how you create a nature reserve in an urban area.


  • The Town partnered with the Aurora Youth Soccer Club to operate the newly acquired Sports Dome. This partnership speaks directly to the Town’s intent when it purchased the Dome – to create a true community facility.


  • Two new senior softball diamonds are currently being constructed on the old Hallmark site, scheduled to open this summer.


  • Council approved the construction of an artificial turf multi-sport field in partnership with the York Region District School Board at the site of the new high school on Bayview Avenue, adding to the three artificial sports fields we currently have Aurora.


It is exciting to look at this long list of activities and consider the impact each of them will have on the future of our community… and It is especially rewarding to see, as is evident from this list, that through our work together to get things done, there is no limit to what we can accomplish for our town.


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