A largely undeveloped portion of Aurora is subject to the Ontario Government's Greenbelt legislation which enforces limits on growth in designated Green Belt locations. In Aurora, this affects mostly the south-eastern areas of the town.
Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe gave the order for Yonge Street to be extended to Holland Landing in 1793, the first step toward the establishment of a community where Aurora now stands. Yonge Street opened between 1794 and 1796. In 1795, the first house in Aurora was built at Yonge St and Catherine Av. The government began granting deeds to land in 1797. By 1801 there were fourteen homes.
In 1804, Richard Machell became the first merchant at the crossroads 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. Flour and grist mills were built around 1827. With the coming of the railway in 1853, Aurora emerged as an important centre north of Toronto. The Fleury plough works foundry opened in 1859, making agricultural implements.
Records from 1885 describe Aurora as the "largest village in the county" an "enterprising and stirring business community" with several factories and mills, five churches, a school house with 210 students, and two weekly newspapers.
The nearest major international airport to Aurora, Ontario is Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ). It is less than an hour's drive from Aurora. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) is near downtown Toronto and is approximately an hour's drive from Aurora, depending on traffic conditions.
Major highways with access to Aurora are Ontario Highway 400 (a north-south highway to the west) and Ontario Highway 404 (a north-south highway to the east). These highways are accessible from the east or west via Ontario Highway 401 and Ontario Highway 407 (a toll road).
By public transit
YRT/Viva's Blue route Bus Rapid Transit buses run from the Toronto Transit Commission's (TTC) Finch subway station through Richmond Hill and Aurora to Newmarket.
GO Transit operates trains and buses with stops in Aurora. The Aurora GO Station is a stop on GO Transit's Barrie Line. Trains depart approximately every 15-30 minutes southbound towards Toronto during weekday morning peak periods, and northbound towards Barrie approximately every 30 minutes during the afternoon peak. On evenings, weekends, holidays, as well as during the weekday midday period, trains operate approximately every hour between Aurora and Toronto with GO Bus connections at Aurora to and from Barrie.
The Town of Aurora is served by York Region Transit (YRT), including several local routes. The cash fare is $4 ($4.25 from 1 July 2019).
- Aurora Historical Society, Hillary House, The Koffler Museum of Medicine, 15372 Yonge Street, ☏ . May-early Sep: W-Su 10AM-4PM. Built in 1862, Hillary House is recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board as one of Canada’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It contains a significant collection of medical instruments, books, papers, household furnishings, and equipment dating from the early 19th to the late 20th century and is open to the public as Hillary House, the Koffler Museum of Medicine. By donation.
- Canadian Moments Mural, 15243 Yonge Street (at Wellington). Memorable moments in Canadian history.
- Aurora Cultural Centre (http://auroraculturalcentre.ca), 22 Church St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Town of Aurora Museum, galleries, exhibitions, concerts.
- Aurora Arboretum (between Wellington Street East and St John’s Sideroad). 100 acres of parkland dedicated to the growth and maintenance of trees and shrubs. Bring your bike or your walking shoes and your dog. Free.
- Fishbone Kitchen + Bar, 302 Wellington Street East, Unit 7, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, Su-Th 5PM-9PM, F Sa 5PM-10PM. Seafood. Mains $21-29.
- Bijoy's Restaurant, 42 Temperance St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 9AM-2PM, W Sa 3PM-5PM (for afternoon tea, reservation required), Th F Sa 5:30PM onwards. Indian. Lunch mains $10-13, dinner mains $25-40.
- Graystones Restaurant, 14889 Yonge St, ☏ . Su W Th 4PM–8PM, F 4PM–8:30 PM, Sa 4PM–9PM. Austrian. Schnitzels and pastas. Mains $20-28.
- Dos Mariachis, 444 Hollandview Trail, ☏ . Tu-Th noon-9PM, F Sa noon-10PM. Mexican.
A Microtel hotel is under construction (as of 2019) at 180 Goulding Ave in Aurora.
|Routes through Aurora|
|East Gwillimbury ← Newmarket ←||N S||→ Richmond Hill → Toronto|
|Barrie ← Newmarket ←||N S||→ Vaughan → Toronto|