Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Archive for the ‘Community Corner’ Category

GO Train Now Runs on Weekends

Posted by auroracitizen on July 16, 2012

Spread the word! It hasn’t been well-advertised, but GO Transit has deployed a “pilot program” for Saturday, Sunday and Holiday trains travelling between Aurora and Union Station.

Finally, Aurorans can ride a weekend GO train into the city and back home again (up until September 3, that is). For an adult fare of $7.15 (or $14.30 round-trip), it’s a carefree, relaxing way to travel to see a baseball game, check out the museums or spend an afternoon wandering the streets of Toronto.

Weekend travellers can enjoy six southbound trips from Aurora to Union Station:

  •  11:06 (arriving at Union @ 11:58)
  •  13:29 (arriving at Union @ 14:21)
  •  16:21 (arriving at Union @ 17:13)
  •  17:46 (arriving at Union @ 18:38)
  •  20:09 (arriving at Union @ 21:01)
  •  23:04 (arriving at Union @ 23:56)

And six northbound trips from Union Station to Aurora:

  • 12:10 (arriving at Aurora @ 12:59)
  • 15:01 (arriving at Aurora @ 15:50)
  • 17:25 (arriving at Aurora @ 18:16)
  • 18:50 (arriving at Aurora @ 19:39)
  • 21:41 (arriving at Aurora @ 22:30)
  • 00:10 (arriving at Aurora @ 00:59)

For more information, check out and for the full schedule (showing all stops), check out

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Local Business, Traffic/Parking | Leave a Comment »

You say Poe-tay-toe, I say Poe-taa-toe

Posted by auroracitizen on May 30, 2012

A Reader asks… I have a question that’s been bothering me for some time. I grew up in Aurora and have lived here for 38 years.

When I was a kid (and even all the way into my late 20’s), everyone I knew (including my entire extended family) pronounced Machell Park — MAY-chull. However, now that I have kids and they are in school at Aurora Heights PS, I am hearing a lot of the other parents pronouncing it MAH-chull.

I know Aurora was originally called Machell’s Corners, but would love to know which pronunciation is correct.

Posted in Community Corner, For Fun, Guest Post | 4 Comments »

Farmers in it up to their ears

Posted by auroracitizen on May 13, 2012

This week saw the genesis of a most bewildering and ill-conceived concept, a Code of Conduct for the Aurora Farmers’ Market.

We in Aurora cannot forget a similarly titled document that was introduced by the former mayor, as part of her “Gold Standard” of democracy and governance. It applied to members of Council and came replete with an Integrity Commissioner.

That gentleman did not last long in his position as he was fired without ceremony when his first decision did not agree with the former’s opinion.

The Aurora Farmers’ Market was created by a municipal By-law passed on April 8, 2003. A copy is attached below for those who wish to read the entire document.

In the By-Law the Town appointed a Market Clerk who effectively administered the market. Lease agreements originally were between the Town on the one hand and the Lessee on the other for operation by the Lessee of a market stall.

At some point the location of the market moved from Temperance Street to its present location in the Town Park.

The Farmers’ Market seems to have acquired a Constitution, exactly when is a matter of some speculation. There was a rumour that former Councillor Granger had drafted one. We don’t know that the copy of the document attached below was his work.

The jam lady, in her capacity as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Aurora Farmers’ Market, has produced a risible bunch of words that purport to be a Code of Conduct for Vendors of the market. Attached below is the only copy we were able to find, and it is with thanks and hopefully the permission of Evelyn Buck.

We will refrain from commenting, other than to say that these words seem to simply demonstrate someone’s heightened sense of ego run berserk.

We would love to have your comments on this latest test of our town’s sanity.

AFM Enabling By-Law 135

AFM Constitution 136

AFM Code of Conduct 137

Posted in Code of Ethics, Community, Community Corner, Community Input, Guest Post, Leadership, Local Business, Politics | 29 Comments »

Is Yellow The New Green

Posted by auroracitizen on May 6, 2012

Yesterday, I had the occasion to drive around Aurora running a number of errands. I was shocked by the volume of dandelions .

It seems like every square inch of town owned boulevard is covered in yellow dandelions — which will soon turn to white seedlings and spread across Aurora.

Residents are fighting a losing battle against these plants in spite of the fact that everywhere I turned people were out digging these pests from their lawns. Trying to hold back their assault.

Since the ban on pesticides, the state of green has diminished.

There are now more environmentally and people friendly methods available of dealing with these weeds, but it looks like to town has thrown in the towel. Resultant, if you are unlucky enough to live near any town owned land, you are going to soon be overrun with the weeds moving onto your property no matter what efforts you make to maintain a healthy green lawn.

If Aurora doesn’t want to be overrun by these weeds — then something needs to be done.

Posted in Community Corner, Environment | 8 Comments »

Local Blogs Provide Opportunity To Share Thoughts and Ideas With Our Neighbours

Posted by auroracitizen on May 1, 2012

Aurora Citizen and Our Town and its Business are two active and entertaining blog sites. They can also be very educational and affect the way we feel and think about things.

Over the past couple of days conversations that have started with an invitation to join the local lawn bowling club on Aurora Citizen and a discussion about a tree removal By-Law on Our Town and its Business have taken off into areas not remotely related. We have visited full-contact lawn bowling (Australian Rules) and its equivalent in crocheting, pet burial grounds both local and in Uxbridge, the game of golf all the way back to the venerable St. Andrews and the nasty Scots weather that can suddenly appear without warning on “a municipal course on a moor in the west where, about four in the afternoon, a thick mist rose out of the ground.”

It is wonderful to have these opportunities, to read about what our neighbours say and to have a chance to express our own feelings, anonymously if we choose.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We should take a moment to say thank you for this.

It has given to us, and guaranteed, freedom of expression. We have seen over the past 18 months how valuable this is.

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Guest Post, Media | 1 Comment »

Flower Boxes

Posted by auroracitizen on April 27, 2012

Some time ago a reader asked a question about the large deposits of earth dirt along Wellington — between Bayview and Leslie.

We asked the question of Mayor Dawe and received the following response.

With respect to large deposits of earth on Wellington, between Bayview & Leslie: this is a project that goes back about 10 years with respect to the “2B” development. The 2B is the (mostly) housing development that is between Wellington & St. John’s Sideroad, on the East side of Bayview.

It is a streetscaping project, and those are flower boxes. The project was approved in principle many years ago, but never received budget approval until last year. It was started in the fall, suspended for the winter and restarting with the good weather.

This is joint project by the Town and the Region, and when it is done will certainly enhance the eastern entrance to Town.

Thanks for the question — and thanks for the answer.

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Geoff Dawe | 1 Comment »

When Will We Get A Cultural Centre Update?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 27, 2012

At a Special Council meeting on April 5, 2012, Section 5.1, among others, of the Terms of Reference, was amended to replace two members of Council with two members of Town staff, plus one alternate.

The apparent reason for this amendment is that insofar as the Negotiating Working Group will be meeting in secret, members of Council could not participate. A secret, or closed session that involves elected representatives is only permitted under the Municipal Act in very limited circumstances; the Negotiating Working Group does not qualify.

The above having been said, we are now almost three weeks after the above referenced Special Council meeting. Has there been any public announcement from the Town advising which two members of staff, plus one alternate, have been named to the Group?

Is the composition of the Group just as secret as its deliberations? This does not appear to be typical of our democracy at work.

The Group is only dealing with approximately $500,000 per year of taxpayer money. Is this not a large enough sum to warrant some limited public disclosure?

Has anyone heard any updates?

Posted in Community Corner, Geoff Dawe, Integrity, Leadership, Legal, Politics, Town Council | 24 Comments »

Our Town: 4/26 Guest Bruce Cuthbert

Posted by auroracitizen on April 26, 2012

Our Town has a very special guest on tonight’s show – Mr. Bruce Cuthbert. As this week is Organ and Tissue Donor Week (April 22nd through 29th), we felt it was important to showcase this very important cause.

An organ recipient and tireless advocate on behalf of the cause of organ and tissue donation, Mr. Cuthbert will talk about his experience with and journey through the transplant process – it’s impact not only on himself but on his family, friends and loved ones.  Mr. Cuthbert will also talk about his work with the York Region Gift of Life Association and the Be a Donor campaign ( – and the very real need to increase donor registrations in York Region.

One person dies every three days in Canada as they wait on the transplant list.  Increased donor registrations then is absolutely crucial.  Tune in to Our Town tonight and learn about this issue and the work and experience of one of Aurora’s tireless volunteers – Mr. Bruce Cuthbert.

Our Town airs on Aurora TV – at 7pm, Thursdays. Stay Informed, Stay Involved, because this is Our Town!!

by Alison Collins-Mrakas

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Our Town | 1 Comment »

The Aurora Lawn Bowling Club Invites you ….

Posted by auroracitizen on April 23, 2012

The Aurora Lawn Bowling Season is about to begin!

We are hosting two Open House evenings for people throughout York Region to come out and try the sport, or just to come out and watch!

Monday May 14th and Thursday May 17th at 7PM with a rain date of Sunday May 20th at 2PM.

As well this year we are trying something different. If anyone is interested in hosting a private event at the club we are now accepting inquiries. We will provide the equipment and coaching, as well as make our clubhouse available to you and your party. Pricing will vary depending on what you are looking for.

If anyone is interested please contact Kelli Collins, VP ALBC at 416-706-4552.

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input | 30 Comments »

Jazz Festival Back In The News Again

Posted by auroracitizen on April 13, 2012

It seem Councillors Ballard, Gallo and Gaertner never miss an opportunity to create controversy. They have tried to create a controversy where none should exist.

Council recently declined to wave the user fees for the Town Park — in keeping with the policies that apply to other user groups who use the park.

Seems pretty clear. In fact, it should never have come to Council in the first place. Remember, Council sets policy and then expect staff to execute accordingly. Why wasn’t staff simply allowed to do their job without the controversy?

More on point, why did the jazz festival come before Council in the first place. It’s simple — they expect to be treated differently. Which make sense — since the previous Council provided them with privileges no other group received. And clearly they have vocal support this term who feel they should get special treatment again.

However, not so fast. This Council rightly decided to treat everyone equally. Good for them. That’s leadership, transparency and integrity. What we voted them in to deliver.

But then Ballard and crew started their whining because their friends didn’t get to continue on the gravy train and get access to our tax dollars. And instead of dealing with the policy issues — then have tried to hide behind their cries of the balance of Council being “anti-culture”.

Well boo hoo. You didn’t get what you wanted — so again you start twisting the facts and trying to change the discussion.

First it the Aurora Cultural Centre being an attack on culture versus what it really was — a demand for accountability for our dollars. Now it’s the jazz festival.

This is a privately run organization that claimed to generate $100,000 in revenue. Yet they feel they are entitled to have you and I dip into our pockets and pay part of their expenses even if we would prefer to have that money used for something else. If the event is that successful — fantastic. Run it responsibly and pay your way like every other user group in town. But keep your hands out of our pockets.

And to Councillors who voted to give them the funds — start looking after our money — and stop giving it away to special interest that you deem as worthy. It’s not your money. It’s our money and we want to have a say on how you spend it.

Wonder when Councillor Ballard, Gallo and Gaertner will figure out that there was a reason their mentors were voted out. Auroran’s want transparency around how and where our tax dollars are being spent and no more special privileges for friends. The jazz festival situation has again brought out the underside of Aurora politics.

Posted in Budget, Community Corner, Leadership, Recreation | 17 Comments »