"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday 27 June 2013


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Late Night Tuesday":

It seems to me that the mayor and four councillors are not cognizant of the fact that they are supposed to be stewards of the public purse.

From my standpoint that means investing taxpayer money into projects that will be of benefit to the community at large and will enhance the town's provision of services to its residents.

The thought of spending $10million, give or take a few, on a defunct Heritage Theme Park on some of the most valuable land in downtown Aurora is not just inane, but borders on the criminal.

What statistical research data has been carried out to demonstrate the financial benefits of such a project? Does such a project exist anywhere else?

Is $25,000 now going to be pissed away on a feasibility study instead of being spent on something that would benefit the town? What consultancy of morons exists that states it is capable to conducting such a study? Will the town be equally vigorous in establishing its bona fides as it was in gutting the Music in the Park group? Possibly this consultancy will similarly blow up.

$25,000 might sound like chump change when related to $34million in the Hydro fund, but it is not if you ask any resident. They unlikely will say that this amount is of no consequence.

How did we get such a group of failed intelligences to occupy five seats on our council, including the mayor, who disappoints more with each passing week?


Anonymous said...


Matt Maddocks said...

While I'm all for the preservation of heritage, I'm not convinced as to why our elected representatives are spending a dime on a feasibility study for a project that's being proposed for what is essentially privately-owned land and property. Some of the park committee members have been quoted as saying they "hope to eventually hand the property over to the town", and that this is a vision they would "like to share with the town". The words "hope to" and "like to" don't exactly give me the warm and fuzzies about investing our tax dollars, in some estimates up to $5 to $6 million worth, in a privately run project by a group on non-elected / non-accountable individuals. And what of the long-term plan? What becomes of this park in 5 years, in 10 years, if the money tree dies and the committee dissolves? Who will provide for the maintenance and upkeep of the facilities and land? Will it end up on the Town's (read taxpayers) back? In my opinion, this venture has a similar smell and feel of another private group in town who enjoy the unfettered use of our tax dollars and facilities with little or no elected oversight. If the Hillary-McIntyre group feels their proposal has the merit and benefit they state it does, then by all means go to the private sector to get their buy-in. Any organizations who feel having their name affixed to facility rentals, amphitheatres, picnic grounds, etc would make for good corporate PR, should be willing to make the investment. But as it stands now, I just don't see the business case, emotional, historical, or otherwise, as to why the Town should be investing our tax dollars in a private plan such as this.

Anonymous said...

Mister McGinty is off to Harvard.

Anonymous said...

They should form a consortium of interested, well-heeled groups who share their vision - when that vision emerges. Wonderland grew from a small seed. The Town should not be in ' business ' other that taking care of its own.
The current Council cannot even agree on the interpretation of a Code of Conduct. They show no sign of business acumen.

Anonymous said...

Well said Matt Maddocks

But let me turn the project on its ear.

The objective might be the right thing in the wrong place. As previously stated by someone these four and a fraction acres are possibly the most valuable in Aurora and could make a significant contribution to the town's tax revenue.

Think about Black Creek Pioneer Village. It is entirely composed of what was transported there from original siting or built in accordance with historic documents, blueprints, drawings and photographs. If the three "Heritage" houses were to be relocated onto a portion of the recently donated Stronach acreage (with the necessary approval) in a setting appropriate and in conjunction with other uses, they would receive far more attention and visitation than if they remain where they are.

The land could be developed into a relatively luxury condominium, a small boutique hotel and elegant shops and restaurants on the ground floor. Possibly this concept is worthy of a study to assess the commercial possibilities of such a development and determine a value that could be paid for the land. This would likely be into the several millions of dollars.

From these funds would flow the relocation/reconstruction cost of the three houses. There likely would be a sizeable sum left over with the town as beneficiary, provided that reasonable purchase prices were paid for the houses and land on either side of Hillary House.

I have read Steve Hinder's letter to the Mayor and Members of Council dated June 21, 2013. While I have the greatest respect and admiration for Mr. Hinder I completely disagree with him.

People will unlikely come in great numbers to view a Heritage Centre on Yonge Street. And where will the shops and restaurants be located that Mr. Hinder mentions?

Aurora thrives because of the automobile; hence the commercial success on Bayview and Leslie north of Wellington. People require a destination with a specific purpose, be it shopping or what have you. They will not drive into the traffic of central Aurora to view three old houses. If, as Mr. Hinder states, there will be a large population base established between Bayview and Leslie then the attraction should be located in proximity to it, as part of an overall experience. Many residents living in central Aurora already do their shopping on Bayview and Leslie because of the many choices and ease of parking.

The Yonge Street downtown area will never experience increasing commercial viability unless investment is made by private enterprise. One thing that really puzzles me is that the new condominium under construction on Yonge north of Wellington does not include that ratty concrete block eyesore to its immediate north. Can someone answer this?

And so to the Mayor and four councillors you now have something else into which you can dig your teeth.

It Takes All Kinds said...

Heritage homes in the historic core of Aurora and you propose to MOVE them out to what was Whitchurch Township?! Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

What's in this proposal for parking? Are they going to take some of their land and convert it into enough parking for their site? Is traffic going to be diverted down Irwin to Machell to enter the site from the west of Machell?

I agree with Matt - if this is such a good idea then private business would be jumping all over this to get into it and make a profit and it shouldn't need town (our) money. The Town could help promote the idea but without our investment.

I suppose some at the Town would like to see it as their legacy as part of the "good work" while still in office.

I would suspect that the owners of the properties see this as the best way to turn a profit since the buildings perhaps can't be torn down and condo's built as they are deemed historic. The existing buildings must remain in the plan of whatever happens on this prime Yonge st. land.

Can anyone shine a light on the development restrictions due to the existing building? That I suspect is the key to why this is being proposed.

Don't get sucked into the idea that "if we build it - they will come". This isn't Field of Dreams. More like Dreams of Easy Profit.

Anonymous said...

10:36 PM
Have you seen the inside of the one mouldering on the market? That guy who predicts at least one will be sold by next Feb is selling bad hootch.

Anonymous said...

Right. And Aurora show such professionalism in dealing with the Petch House mess. Got a peculiar structure with nothing original from the building included.

Anonymous said...

6:47 AM
If Aurora has no use for those residences, which I believe is the case, could they not pass a by-law to un-deem them from being historical buildings ? Although the fact that one has been on the market unsuccessfully for some time indicates that purchasers are likely only interested in the land.
Mississauga & Streetsville have moved large historic homes successfully but those were very, very special. The two being discussed currently do not qualify IMO.

Anonymous said...

Where is a list of ALL the individuals involved in this proposal? Where is the pubic input mandated before using the former Hydro Reserve Fund?
We have the cart before the horse - again.

Anonymous said...

To: It takes all kinds

If I am not mistaken the original Petch House was located in Whitchurch.

Later it was relocated to a Leslie-Wellington site here in town.

And ultimately to its present resting place beside the Seniors' Centre.

The Stronach land so generously donated exists completely within the physical boundary of Aurora.

You might look this up in The Auroran in the issue announcing this most gracious contribution to Aurora's future.

If you are going to comment please try and get the geography straight.

Rocket science said...

Will this wonderful contribution include MOE tests on the soil before transfer?