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Save the date for Doors Open Aurora 2018

July 20, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Heritage Planning
Planning & Development Services
Town of Aurora

The Town of Aurora and the Heritage Advisory Committee are once again preparing to celebrate our popular Doors Open Aurora Event. This year, Doors Open Aurora features fifteen sites. Many sites feature historical buildings built in Aurora, or provide unique experiences tied to nature, art or culture.
The 13th Annual Doors Open Aurora Event will take place on Saturday, August 18 with most sites open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore fifteen fascinating sites in your own backyard. Participation is FREE! No tickets or reservations are required. Just come out and join thousands of visitors exploring Aurora’s hidden treasures, some of which are not normally open to the public.
Discover historic buildings, cultural landmarks and natural sites. Doors Open Aurora is part of the Doors Open Ontario initiative, a community-based celebration that showcases Ontario’s built and natural heritage for residents and visitors alike.
The first Doors Open Day Event was held in France in 1984. In 2000, the City of Toronto launched the first Doors Open event in North America. In 2002, Doors Open Ontario, the first province-wide event of its kind in Canada, was launched by the Ontario Heritage Trust. Doors Open Aurora began in 2006. Since then, hundreds of sites of significant historical character have opened their doors and hosted more than 33,000 site visits.
Start your Doors Open day at the Aurora Farmers’ Market and Artisan Fair located on Wells Street in Aurora Town Park. Enjoy some of Aurora’s seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked goods, handmade jewellery and other crafts. Come early and visit the Doors Open Aurora headquarters to pick-up your Map Guide.
New to this year for Doors Open Aurora 2018 include the Pine Orchard Meeting House, Hillary House Barn and The White House. Don’t miss the chance to see the Pine Orchard Meeting house, built in the 1820s in Whitchurch-Stouffville and then moved to Aurora in 1945. The building was used by the Aurora Gospel Tabernacle which is now home to MaMi’s bakery. Hillary House Barn will feature the Barn where Dr. Hillary stored his horses and sleigh. This wood-framed barn, with bargeboard trim and three-over-three sash windows, is one of the best preserved in Aurora. The White House was originally constructed circa 1930 as horse stable under the ownership of George D.Y. Leacock. In the 1950s, the stable was converted into a dwelling. Doors Open visitors can experience original art, photography, books and greeting cards by local artist Deborah Campo as well as poetry readings and ghost stories.
Visitor favourites including the Church Street School, Merlin’s Hollow, Aurora Readiness Centre, The Rising Sun Masonic Lodge and The Hillary House are back! Be sure to visit the Aurora Cultural Centre, constructed circa 1885 in the late Victorian architectural style, which will feature a variety of family friendly events. Join the Scarborough Model Railroaders at the Church Street School and enjoy a model railroad display-Toronto’s only dual-scale model railroad club (formed in 1962). Merlin’s Hollow contains four unique gardens, including a rock and water garden that has been featured on CBC and HGTV. Hillary House, Aurora’s National Historic Site, noted for its long-standing presence in the community and association with medical history, will also be featured.
The Patrick House will be back again, constructed in the Georgian cottage architectural style, and was the former home of famous architect John Bowser. Victoria Hall, originally built in 1883 for the local Disciples of Christ Congregation will feature artists from the 2018 Aurora Artist Studio Tour. During Doors Open, both the Patrick House and Victoria Hall will have artwork displays by local artisans.
Also included are the Aurora Public Library, Trinity Anglican Church, and Theatre Aurora.
This is the first of a series of articles that will be published in The Auroran. For more information about Doors Open Aurora, or to volunteer for the event, please visit
See you there!



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