- Aurora (2011 Population 53,203) is an affluent town in York Region, approximately 20 km north of the city of Toronto. It is partially situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine, and is a part of the Greater Toronto Area and Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario.
Many Aurora residents commute to Toronto and surrounding communities.
In the Canada 2011 Census, the municipal population of Aurora was the 95th largest in Canada, compared to 97th for the 2006 Census.
Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe gave the order for Yonge Street to be extended to Holland Landing in 1793, and the way was paved for the establishment of a community where Aurora now stands.
In 1804, Richard Machell became the first merchant at the cross roads of Yonge and Wellington and the hamlet soon became known as Machell's Corners.
Charles Doan was another early businessman at Machell's Corners and became the first postmaster and later the first reeve. As postmaster, he was influential in renaming the village Aurora.
With the coming of the railway in 1853, Aurora emerged as an important centre north of Toronto. The Fleury plow works was established soon after and Aurora was on its way to becoming a flourishing industrial town.
The population of Aurora in 1863 was 700, and by 1888 it had grown to become a town of 2,107 residents. With some ups and downs in growth over the years, Aurora is now a flourishing town with a strong commercial and industrial base.
The town's first school was built by John Merritt, and was named after a famous doctor from the area, G. W. Williams. The school is still open today.
Worthy of note is the fact that Aurora was the childhood home of Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968, when his father, Rev. Edwin Pearson, was the Methodist minister.
Aurora is noted for preserving its historical built form and in 2008 was awarded The Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership. In 2009 the town received the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership in heritage conservation and promotion.
On April 8, 2010, the town re-opened the historic and fully renovated Church Street School as the Aurora Cultural Centre.
Aurora is twinned with Leksand, Sweden.
Aurora has a long history of theatre, with its own community theatre group, Theatre Aurora. Founded in 1958 as the Aurora Drama Workshop, the group joined with the Aurora Musical Society in 1973 to form Theatre Aurora. The next year the group moved into its current home at the Factory Theatre on Henderson Drive. The group has performed a wide variety of shows, and currently produces five shows each year, along with two youth shows.