Top 12 Unique Things to do in Aurora – For Everyone
You have probably heard of Edmonton, Montreal, or Saskatoon, but did you know before now that a town exists in Canada called Aurora? Now you know! And alongside this new information, we are hinting you on the 12 most unique things you can do in Aurora.
It is no news that Canada is the most beautiful country to visit in the world. However, only a few cities in the country are touted for their beauty and amazing spots to have fun. The truth is, you can have fun from just anywhere in Canada, whether you are around the coast of the Atlantic or further up north, in the western region of the country, or further up north.
That being said, Aurora is one of the small towns in Canada, and there is a list of just as many fun things to do there today as there is for any other Canadian city you already know about.
Where exactly is Aurora in Canada?
Aurora is a town located in Central York Region, within the Greater Toronto Area. The town lies in the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario and is situated precisely north of Richmond Hill City.
Aurora exists within the UTC-5 (E.S.T.) time zone and has an area of about 50 square kilometres, which is approximately 19.31 square miles.
Unlike most other popular cities in Canada, Aurora is a small town housing only about 62,000 residents. The town has an average population density of 1,241 persons per square kilometre.
In the 2016 Canadian census, the country ranked the 95th largest town in Canada. Still, it will surprise you to know that Aurora ranks as one of the top ten wealthiest towns in Canada. As of 2010, the average annual income in Aurora was $155,463, making the town one of the most affluent in Canada.
Cities Near Aurora
Aurora shares border with Richmond Hill in the south and King City in the west. It also shares its border with some other districts and communities. Below is a list of cities that are near Aurora:
- Richmond Hill
Major cities that are still reasonably close to Aurora are:
How to Get to Aurora by Air and Road?
When commuting by road, you could access Aurora from Toronto through Highway 404. Many nearby cities already mentioned, like Markham, Vaughan, and Richmond Hill, also have routes that link to Aurora.
You could also access Aurora from Toronto by train through the Aurora Go Station, under the G.O. Transit Regional Express Rail plan.
Although there is no airport in Aurora, you can fly in first to Toronto through the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport or the Toronto Pearson International Airport and then commute by road or train to Aurora.
Other local airports around are the Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, the Barrie Executive Airpark, and the Oshawa Airport.
Things to do in Aurora in Ontario
For a little town like Aurora, fun has just gotten even more exciting! We have created a bucket list of activities you can explore during your visit to the town.
Although you shouldn’t expect everything to be as steamy as what you’ll get in bigger Canadian cities, life in Aurora is promising and full of of exiting engagements.
Here are some of the things you can do:
#1. Visit the Heritage Conservation District
In Canada, a Heritage Conservation District (H.C.D.) is a sectioned-out part of a city or town containing old buildings and other structures considered valuable for historical or architectural reasons.
If you have a flair for history and would love to know what Aurora and the whole of Ontario must have looked like a century or two ago, you should visit the town’s Heritage Conservation District.
Northeast Old Aurora has been preserved as a provincial H.C.D. since 2006. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area was predominantly a residential neighbourhood.
The area is recognized for how it represents the growth and development of Ontario as a residential area some two centuries ago. Here, you will find evidence of the prosperity and industrial flair of the people who lived in the district.
Today, the conservation area lies on the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Yonge and Wellington Streets.
#2. Play Soccer or Basketball
For its small-town size, Aurora currently maintains 69 soccer and 18 baseball fields located throughout the town. These sporting fields boast of high construction and have been adequately maintained. You and your folks can always book to use any of these fields while you enjoy the game of your lives.
Before visiting any sporting field in Aurora, however, ensure that you contact the facility before that, so you don’t walk in when it is maintenance time.
#3. Explore the Aurora Cultural Centre
You would have already known by now that Aurora is a place of culture and history. Hence, you may never to able to exhaust all the places of culture in one visit. But we can offer you one piece of advice: do not skip the Aurora Cultural Centre.
The Aurora Cultural Centre was established in 2010. And since then, it has welcomed people to experience the culture and history of the locals right within a building.
Activities at the cultural centre include gallery shows, theatre and performing arts, music and dance series, special family events, and instructional classes for children, teens, and adults, including a summer art camp. The centre is well maintained, air-conditioned, wheelchair accessible, and has parking space.
#4. Burn Some Fat at the Recreation Facilities
Aurora as a town is committed to promoting the role of active lifestyles for residents of Aurora and visitors alike. One of the ways the town achieves this is through its many recreational programs.
When you visit Aurora, you will find two recreational facilities: the Aurora Family Leisure Complex (A.F.L.C.) and the Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex (S.A.R.C.). Visit any of these recreational facilities and participate in exciting activities to stay in shape while you are away from home.
#5. Peep Inside the Museum and Archives
Wondering what else you can do in Aurora today? Drop by at the Aurora Museum and Archives and explore historical exhibits upon collections. All of these exhibits tell stories and will take you back in time while promoting the vibrant culture of the people.
#6. Find out Who has Made it to the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame
We tell you again, some of the activities you can engage in at Aurora, you may never get them anywhere else or that cheap. Imagine getting access to a list of all the Aurora locals who have risen to frame in the world of sports and have done the town proud. That is what the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (ASHoF) offers you.
ASHoF is a centre that celebrates the history, excellence and sporting spirit of Aurora locals. Not only will visiting this place grant you an overview of Aurora’s place in sports, but you will also get educative facts firsthand, especially if you are a sports enthusiast of any kind.
Currently, there are about 34 outstanding athletes, coaches, and builders who have made it to the hall of fame. Visit the Hall of Fame to find out what made these persons so special and how they were able to rise to excellence. Meanwhile, you could also get to nominate sports folks who you think have done well enough to be included in the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.
#7. The Aurora Town Square
With a major restructuring going on at the Aurora Town Centre, a visit to this place could become the highlight of your stay in the town.
The Aurora Town Square is a place of unlimited opportunities, designed to feature as managing engaging spots as possible. Whether you are young or old, single or with family, during the summer or winter, fall or spring, the town square will continue to offer premium engagement to its visitors.
There would be libraries, galleries, shopping centres, children’s parks, and relaxation points. To stand out amongst all of these structures would be the large open outdoor square and the 250-seater capacity performance hall.
#8. Tour the Public Library
You don’t need to be so nerdy to visit the Aurora Public Library. All you need is a spark for learning or networking with persons of like minds.
Opening six days a week from 11 am to 5 pm, the library is a vibrant community space for learners and creatives. Supposing you want to cool off with a short read in a conducive environment, the library is your best shot.
The Aurora Public Library also features extensive print and digital collections, a creative studio, comfortable rooms for meetings, collaborations, and socializing.
#9. You Could Plan your Visit in Time with the Culture Days
Culture Days is a national annual event that happens during a pre-determined period in Aurora and many other cities within Canada. This event has become the largest cultural gathering in Canada, attracting about 2.5 million attendees annually.
As you would have already guessed, the event explores culture and art, but at a much more immersive level and with a touch of festivity to it.
Culture Days would usually last for weeks and features collaborations with local cultural organizations and individuals who are willing to contribute actively to promoting the culture of residents.
Activities at Culture Days include art exhibitions, artistic performances, music festivals, cooking demonstrations, photography contests, virtual and walking tours, and lots more.
#10. Wine and Dine at The Armoury
While you’d think Aurora is a town for cultural and historical explorations alone, it has even much more to offer!
At The Armoury, you can enjoy the best of local and international cuisines prepared by teams of willing and experienced chefs. As history has it, The Armoury started as a drill shed for the 12th Battalion of Infantry (York Rangers). Today, the structure does something else entirely, yet something as inviting as steamy meals and well-brewed beers.
Suppose you are really intentional about honing some culinary skills, and you have time to spare in Aurora. In that case, you can also register for short-term culinary, wine, and beer classes at The Armoury.
#11. The Aurora Wildlife Park
In a bid to expand its recreational and tourism base while also preserving the natural environment, Aurora began establishing its wildlife park.
The park features a trail system that stretches for kilometres while being dotted with several ponds and wetlands. The Wildlife Park is a boast of Aurora’s natural flora and fauna and is ready for exploration.
#12. Wait, What about the Skylight Gallery?
Are you an art lover or an artist yourself? Then you should leave Aurora without visiting the Skylight Gallery. Under the guiding beauty of the starlit night, you can appreciate works of art done by local artists in town. Particularly, the skillful work on the background lighting will make you enjoy your tour around the gallery in the most beautiful setting.
If you are lucky, you may be in time to witness the Featured Artist of the month exhibiting his works. During these periods, you’ll get a firsthand peek into the artist’s mindset and what compels his work. You may also be able to take a beautiful piece of art home at a very fair price.15 unique Things to do in Blainville
What to Do in Aurora on Special Days?
Special days are meant for special events, right? If you are in Aurora to mark a special day, then these are the best activities to engage in:
- Explore the Skylight Gallery
- Wine and dine at The Armoury
- Visit the Heritage Conservation District
- Visit the Town Square
- Attend the Aurora Culture Days
What to Do in Aurora on a Weekend
Things to do in Aurora this weekend:
- Play soccer or basketball
- Tour the Public Library
- Explore the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame
- Wine and dine at the Armoury
- Peep inside the Museum and Archives
- Exercise at the Recreation Facilities
Things to Do in Aurora Today
- Visit the Heritage Conservation District
- Explore the Cultural Centre
- Peep inside the Aurora Museum and Archives
- Explore the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame
- Visit the Town Square
- Attend the Culture Days
- Wine and Dine at the Armoury
- Explore the Skylight Gallery
Best Times to Visit Aurora
The best season to visit Aurora is during summer when the sun is high in the sky, and the weather is friendly. During this season, you can enjoy playing soccer or basketball in the open fields, wining and dining at the Armoury, or engaging in one indoor activity or the other.
Nevertheless, there is still room for you if you decide to visit Aurora during any other season. For example, you can keep your activities during the winter season to explore the museums, galleries, and recreational centres available in the town.
The Aurora Town square also makes an excellent place to visit during winter. In fact, the Town Square will always be lit in tune with the weather or season.
From a broader perspective, the best time to visit Aurora would be during the Culture Days. You could spend a day or two having a taste of the culture and history of the town before heading to another city for a similar (or not so similar experience).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Aurora a Good Place to Visit?
Whether you’re considering visiting Aurora for a few hours or a couple of days, the little town makes one of the best places to visit in Ontario. Its fun activities range from trail tracking and skating to soccer, visiting theatres and galleries, and exploring the classic Heritage Conservation District.
What is Aurora in Ontario Known for?
If there is one thing that makes Aurora unique, it has been its ability to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the area. In 2008, the province was awarded the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership.
In a similar feat in 2009, Aurora bagged the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership in heritage conservation and promotion.
Is Aurora Part of the Greater Toronto Area (G.T.A.)?
Yes. Aurora, alongside other cities, towns, and communities, make up the Greater Toronto Area. G.T.A. is divided into five regions: Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region, Toronto Region, and York Region.
The York Region consists of towns and cities like Richmond Hill, King, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Vaughan, Aurora, and Newmarket.
While some persons prefer vacations in teeming and bustling cities, a few others prefer to relax in smaller communities, where there are even more friendly people and beautiful activities to engage in.
Here, we have listed 12 exciting things you can do in a small town like Aurora. With so much to do, you’ll be too busy to remember why you are not spending the vacation in the city like most other folks.