"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

Tuesday 31 May 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "CAIN AND ABEL COME TO MIND":

Why this biblical reference to the first murder?

I am outraged but not content. 

What do you propose we do, take up arms, descend on the legislatures and town halls and cudgel our way through to the prevaricators and throw them into their own private chess pools.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 31 May 2016 at 19:25
However charming that mental image, we live in a civil society which gives us the right to say what we are thinking and we must be content with that. 

You are doing what you can. Even on this small platform, you are declaring outrage.

If you privately  and regularly informed your elected representatives  of your discontent and encouraged friends and neighbours to do the same it would be even better. Especially if you are polite.  Never under-estimate your influence as an elector.

The history of the 407 was forwarded to me. I published it on the blog with a few of my own thoughts. No, I did not know the Liberals tried to reverse the agreement. I have used the 407 a few times and  it's a dream compared to the 401. 

You responded. 

Cain and Abel as a title popped into my head unbidden. The version I knew was probably written for children. The lesson was about the profligate son. Not the prodigal, the profligate. Religious studies had great words I would never have heard or read anywhere else. I got good marks.but nobody 

The two were brothers. Each received a portion to start out . We didn't read much about Adam and Eve after  their original sin got them tossed  from the Garden of Eden. Kinda like defeated politicians.   

Cain squandered his share and  came back looking for more.Abel managed his well and multiplied his assets.

The moral of the story was obvious. Canny management is a desirable trait. 

I  went to Wiki to get the right spelling for Abel. I never expected  to read that Cain murdered his 
his brother out of envy. I imagine that version did not consider it a good idea for small impressionable minds. 

I mostly like nursery rhymes  titles.  It's a light touch. I'm not trying to change the world here. I just hope to spark interest in particular issues within this small sphere and encourage reaction. 

 T'wern't nuthin' in my head about murder and mayhem... I swear. 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "GUEST POST": 

I hear these things all of the time. It is bogus. If you travel on the road, you owe them for the use. Do you think that this person drove on the road and thought that they would not charge him?  

Sorry, not logical. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 31 May 2016 at 12:38


How does the logic of a lengthy post go right over the heads of readers with sufficient intelligence to challenge it. 

Bob Rae's one term government was in charge when the 407  was completed. It was Ontario's first 
and only toll road  desperately needed and funded by Ontario tax dollars. 

Whatever it cost , tolls would have recovered the cost in a pre-determined period. 

The government then would have had a choice: use toll revenues to build more roads to relieve other bottlenecks, or allow users free acces as an essential bypass to the 401.

People continue to use it the 401 despite the risks.  Obviously 407 tolls are beyond their means. 

The government's choices would be known when the road was contemplated. They  would have been favorable arguments. The road was likely plannedby the  government previous to Bob Rae. A project like that takes more than a single term to assemble land and plan construction. 

Then along comes Mike Harris with his slash and burn Trump-like mentality  and sells the lot out from under ,no doubt at bargain basement price. 

People currently enjoying the convenience of using the 407, could have had it at a fraction of the cost along with the satisfaction of knowing the revenue could have extended the highway or built other essential bypasses. 

There can be no satisfaction for an even slightly aware Ontarian to know the revenue is leaving the 
country  and the company scooping up the gravy pays no taxes in and enjoys the services of the Government of Ontario to ensure tolls are collected.

The stupid stuff we see every day at our local level of government is repeated at the senior levels 
of government; and  for the same reason .

Because the people who elected them couldn't care less . They choose not to  see beyond their own noses. 

The government can cancel construction of  gas fired hydro generation plants at a cost of billions
and  maintain a contract for a toll road  that robs us of billions. 

Still the populace accepts the outrageous and declare themselves content. 

Because there are more of them than there are of us, an ancient proverb aptly applies.  

People get the government they deserve.  

Monday 30 May 2016




Read this, because this is more than likely going to be the same thing
that will happen with Ontario Hydro when the Liberals sell it off.

                           HISTORY OF HWY. 407

You can drive the 400 mile length of the New York Thruway (I-90), from
Buffalo to New York City, a toll road with fully staffed toll booths, 
for peanuts. Actually 2.1 cents per km. No accounting fee and no video fees.

Then there is the cost of driving across the top of Toronto on Hwy 407
everything is electronic and automated, drivers pay for the camera
operations and the billing costs in addition to the exorbitant toll
rates... and the Ontario Gov. acts as 'enforcer' in collecting the unpaid tolls!!

Even Al Capone and his crew never had it as good as this during the
bootleg liquor days of the 1920's and 1930's!!  It is very expensive
to travel this road!

I thought you might like to read this; it's a real eye opener, what a rip-off!!

In the early 1990's Ontario was almost bankrupt under Bob Rae's NDP
government.  But it desperately needed new roads, as it still does
today. So the Rae government built a toll road around Toronto and it
was a great success. It was a cash cow called the 407 ETR.

The Conservative government of Mike Harris then later foolishly leased
this road for 99 years to a Quebec-based company for a substantial
amount of money. This was in May 1999, and was done to reduce the
deficit and look good.

Before the Harris government could lease the road, however, they had
to pass new legislation to allow this, because never before had a
'public road' been sold to a private company. This very flawed
legislation was passed in November 1998. The new Quebec owners then
closed the deal and Ontario had 'sold' its first highway.

This Quebec company then sold the road at a profit to Spanish owners,
thus assuring that profits from the road would never be taxed in Canada.

As part of this deal, the Ontario government agreed that individual
license plate renewal would be denied if there were any outstanding
tolls against that plate and its owner. So this arrangement, in
practice, made our government a collection agency for a privately
held, for-profit foreign consortium. In addition, the terms of the
deal stated that there would be no statute of limitations on these
bills and that they would never go away even if the citizen went bankrupt.

Even your income tax has a statute of limitations.

The 407 ETR refuses now, as then, to produce any photographic or other
evidence, that what they bill is an accurate reflection of the
offending vehicles presence on their roadway. So there is no
accountability and OUR Government still collects the SPANISH bills for
them. Oh, I forgot to mention that the Spanish company decides on the
interest rate on these forever bills and currently it is 26.82 per
cent compounded monthly but it varies based on the whims of the Spanish owners.

And there is a definite problem with who gets billed. In very short
order after the sale of the highway, according to the media of that
time, 100,000 citizens who had never been on the road had been
incorrectly billed. The MPP's were deluged with complaints and so the
Conservatives under then transportation minister David Turnbull told
the private Spanish company to clean up their act. Until there was
evidence of that happening their collection deal was cancelled. This
was in 2000. But in 2005 the 407 ETR went to court to reinstate its
original sweetheart deal. The judge ruled in its favour even though
this company still showed no accountability and still did not produce
evidence of the legitimacy of its charges.

The government of Premier Dalton McGuinty should have appealed this
decision but did not.  Now the government is the collection agency for
the Spanish consortium... Now the agreement covers any vehicle that is
owned by the person who has an offending license plate. So if you own
six vehicles and one of them is alleged to have been on their road,
your government will not issue any license plates for any of your
vehicles until you pay the 'alleged bill' at your government license
office, whether it is correct or not.

The toll in 1999 was seven cents a kilometer, and now it is 19.85 cents a kilometre!

There is also a monthly accounting fee of $2.50 and a video charge of $3.25.

That is far beyond the rate of inflation and there is no control on
how much this foreign company can charge.

The tolls here are higher than anywhere that I travel. This road is
simply built through corn fields, whereas in Mexico or Italy there are
mountains, tunnels, bridges, etc., and still those countries have
tolls that are substantially lower.  You can travel from here to Los
Angeles for less toll than it costs to cross Toronto.

I believe the current toll in Mexico is 13 cents per kilometer, but
that includes automatic medical coverage for everyone in the vehicle.

With all the road tax that we Ontarian's pay, the last thing we ever
expected was a toll road.  We need to buy back this road and break the
deal with this consortium.

I find this whole arrangement both offensive and intimidating.

If any Canadian government is going to collect for any privately held
company, change the rules on the statute of limitations, etc., then it
had better collect for all private companies on the same terms. This
current arrangement discriminates against all other private companies.




 and ….companies can right-off the toll charges as the “Cost of Doing Business” and all Ontario taxpayers pay these deflected costs in their taxes for the “poor” companies and especially for the poor owners and executives who speed along in their $100,000.00 cars disregarding the normal folks who pay their way…..!.







Saturday 28 May 2016


It's impossible to list differences between then and now. Or even choose among the major changes. Most obvious ,with widest impact, is development. And money. 

When I became Mayor, the Ontario Water Resources had just ruled the sewage treatment facility 
at capacity. Only twelve more residential permits could be issued. 

Development is the life blood of a municipality. 

At the time, I wondered how OWRC could  be so specific on liters of sewage flow. 

The country was still in the throes of a downturn in the economy due to the oil crisis. Farmers deposited loads of the stuff at the banks. They had taken on debt for modern machinery. Small businesses weren't making enough to cover their over-draft at the bank. Interest rates rose by double digits on debt. The town was hard pressed to keep taxes from rising even standing still.  

We borrowed and bought Jack Wood's farm at the south end and developed a showcase industrial park. It's not exactly how we planned it but the debt got paid in short order. Prestige lots close to Yonge Street could be sold without the profit factor.

In 1969, when County School Boards were created, the town rented Church Street School to the 
Public school board for $1.00 a year. The idea was, when it came time to build new headquarters 
they would be in Aurora. In 1976, election year, the town and board moved into a beautiful new joint administration building on Wellington Street. 

But first, to free up the spectacular location,we  had to move the works department to Scanlon Court. 

The works yard was the biggest  blight in town. A couple of rusty old quantset huts, Piles of dirty, used winter sand, rusty metal collected from all  over and stored until Christmas, and a raggle-gaggle collection of vehicles and equipment. 

So in a couple of years we had a new administration building,a new works building,pre-fabricated,no architect, and oh yes, we tripled the size of the library and started a showcase industrial park. 

Wellington Street was reconstructed by the Region. New underground services,sidewalks, 
lighting and tree planting  were all installed and funded by the town. 

When I was defeated in 1976, my predecessor the late Dick Illingworth  suggested I had gone too far too fast. 

I knew that wasn't the reason. 

What I remember now is the great excitement  of working, staff and council together, and so much accomplished in such a short time. 

In my first term as Mayor ,we completed a Business Improvement Area in the downtown block as well. It was follow through from the intent of the  previous council. Our new planning department was the main resource for that project. That's a story in itself. 

This post took off on its own direction. I'll get back to the difference between then and now another time.

Friday 27 May 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHAT YOU SEE ...YOU REALLY

Your wish is my command.

"During your term(s) as mayor of Aurora did council come anywhere near to the stupidity of present day ones?

Or were you and your fellows able to distinguish the nuts from the bolts, the wheat from the mouse poops?

Have times changed that much?

Has human intelligence changed that much?

When I see what is happening south of the border I must say, yes they and it have."

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 27 May 2016 at 07:49

This is a tall order.

 I was Mayor in a simpler time.The town was small,compact,and the office and Council Chamber were in the middle of the block between Wellington and Mosely.

People paid their taxes in person.They lined up daily for mail at the post office. Once a year,we lined up at Elwood Davis service station next door to Cousins Dairy, south of Mosely. 

Elections were held every year  until the sixties; then every two years.

Nominations were held in Wells Street School and the place was packed. People filled the stairs outside. Candidates had to be moved and seconded and names were written in chalk on a board. 

School boards were local and police departments. The Fire Department was volunteer except for the Chief. 

The Clerk conducted the nomination meeting. Each candidate had three minutes to speak. A small tinkle was the warning to wrap up and a final ring ended each speech. 

I was elected Councillor on my third try. I took  the Reeve's office on my fourth. Reeve and Deputy Reeve represented the town at County Council. I was the Town's last Reeve. 

 I ran for Mayor, in the  first year of Regional government and lost. Came back and ran for Council two years later and topped the poll.

The Mayor had to resign after the first meeting of the term. He had a conflict of interest with his job with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. I was appointed to the office by a vote of Council.

I was re-elected to the Mayor's office for a second term and defeated along with six Councillors in 
the next election. That was about entitlement. 

In my judgement, a valuable tradition was lost then. 

Conventional wisdom was  to re-elect incumbents ; experience was better than none. 

If  a challenge was made for the Mayor's office, it always came from the Reeve or an incumbent Councillor. 

When the election was over,council was expected to get down to work. New ouncillors learned from incumbents . The Mayor, council members and staff were all extremely helpful . 

There were no Pollyannas but everyone was civil, respectful and welcoming. 

A position or comment made that was clearly political would be greeted with a good-natured groan.

Council meetings were not televised. 

Staff lived in town . The clerk-treasurer managed the operation with the help of Dorothy Wardle ,
Treasury clerk and Colleen Gowan  administrative clerk. 

There was a succession of deputy clerks . 

The Supervisor of Public Works , Angus McGregor had a work force of fourteen. He lived  in Holland Landing. It was a source of  disquiet that he took a Town vehicle home and it sat in a Holland Landing driveway for all the world to see. 

There was no shortage of conduits for public opinion .

George Timpson took the Mayor's office after my defeat. George was very keen to be popular. He didn't learn much in his first two terms. None of the new Councillors had municipal experience but they had lots of confidence. 

The two surviving incumbents did not complete their terms. Staff influence was substantially reduced. 

Tradition ended and never returned.  

Four years later, I was re-elected to Council and found a very different atmosphere. 

It wasn't about Councillors being less intelligent. It was about being more focussed on themselves
and less on the community they served. 

Collegial is the word used in academe. 

Something Indefinable but valuable had vanished.  

It didn't get better . When I ran again in 2003, I hoped I could make a difference. 

I kept hoping. 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHAT YOU SEE ...YOU REALLY DON'T": 

We see that the Deputy is front and center of a music event.
The Mayors clique also has used that facility for concerts.
Take your pick. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 27 May 2016 at 06:13

The Ipad is a wonder but too often my fingertip hits the wrong spot. The comment was deleted in error.  

Theatre Aurora is not the only theatre group in town . A couple of commercial entities have been established. 

I was never a member of the organisation but family members, particularly my late husband,
 were heavily  involved. I was a follower though and  many friends' lives evolved around the 
organisation. Grand -daughter Stephanie helped out back-stage in a recent production. 

My son Frank was Aunt in Charley's Aunt in the play that opened the new premises.Theresa was one of a group of kids dressed all in black, who silently changed sets in darkness because there were no curtains. 

The play was on at Shaw Festival Theatre in their almost new facilities in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 
We all  hopped in a bus and went  to see it before our first night.

It was excellent. Ours was infinitely more fun and exciting .

The many shows and talented individuals who found satisfaction, stars,directors,producers,will forever be the high point of our lives. No professional theatre surpassed them. 

Fiddler on the Roof. My Fair Lady, Oklahoma,The Boyfriend, A Man For All Seasons, The Lord High Admiral of the King's Naveee. ..there was little they did not dare.,

Actors  ,doing hum-drum jobs by day and shining stars at night would be too long to list and  I would be afraid to leave anyone out. There were so many. They  were so great. Norma Dover as the little French maid with a feather duster. It was magic.

An unlikely thespian in the Odd Couple was Ron Wallace, engineer of the little newspaper that could ...The Auroran 

Were I  asked to enumerate Council accomplishments during the time I was Mayor, the building that gave theatre their own home in Aurora, would be high on the list. 

We didn't build it. Nor finance it. Neither did we breathe life into the performances. 

We merely had the privilege of  helping to make it possible.

Opportunity presented and we snagged it without a moment to lose. 

We had many such moments. 

Over the years ,Theatre Aurora has  not been greedy. They have shared building and all they created from their labours. Winter Blues Festival  was performed there recently and I know other groups have had access. 

They participated in Town events. Floats in the July 1st Parade, a Council skit in one celebration and  lent their many skills in other areas. 

All of it volunteer, unpaid labour, week-ends and long evenings ,after and over and above normal working hours. 

Craig Kamke a former teacher at St Andrew's College offered Children's Theatre several summers. 

In every way, It has  been a success story. The community has been enriched and completely  supportive. 

For Council to even think of taking from them, that which is not Council's  to take,  is unthinkable. 

Only people with no idea of town history or what it takes to provide community theatre,would even contemplate such a thing. 

And sadly, we know the very group. 


NmAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "ANOTHER BITTER BETRAYAL": 

It was telling that the director doing the hardball negotiations, making unreasonable demands, was absent from last night's council meeting. The mayor struck a conciliatory tone, and informed the Theatre Aurora supporters that the CAO will now be in charge of the issue. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 May 2016 at 18:18

During the Mormac years,the re-organisation presented by the newly appointed CAO within weeks of joining the administration,responsibility for management of facilities was transferred to the  Director of Environment and Infrastructure. He became responsible for facility leases. 

That's how space intended for heritage got leased to a regional organisation. He had no idea. 

With no other justification, status and remuneration of one director rose and fell for the other. 

It was a tactic.

Not the only one. 

Except for termination of the Town Solicitor, little  changed after the election of  2010. 

The nest prepared by the previous presiding member proved  comfortable for the successor. 

In practice, responsibilities were not so clearly delineated. 

The Culture Precinct project was  a planning responsibility that proceeded  under the  Director of Recreation. Whatever the reason, it's certain the Rec Director did not reach into the Planning Director's territory and scoop up the responsibility

Someone at a higher level of responsibility gave the direction . 

Of all the leases the town is partner to ,Theatre Aurora 's lease for a facility  that was donated for their use, that they created with thousands of hours within forty years of volunteer effort, at no expense to the municipality,was not targeted by the Director of Recreation for appropriation. 

The direction had to come from above. 

My guess is another group wants access to the theatre. 

Either a Councillor or friend of a Councillor.

The truth of it may never be known by the public. 


I've lost a comment about how things compare to the way they were in the seventies. 

I intended to respond. I would like it re-sent if that's possible. 

Thursday 26 May 2016


The previous post expresses dis-satisfaction over the many hare-brained schemes perpetrated on Aurora citizens after listing the latest from Tuesday's agenda. The list was incomplete. 

A recommendation to award a contract for a special needs playground costing $387,000 or thereabouts was listed. 

It was not approved. It had not been before the Accessibility Advisory Committee. There was a question about adequacy of parking. 

It's three years since the project was proposed. 

Well now, the story about how it came about may interest some. Not least the timing.

 It came forward in the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. 

The original idea of tribute from this small community in Ontario, Canada was to rename a park. Possibly plant a rose garden with the assistance  of the Aurora Horticulture Society.

Civic Gate on John West Parkway has high visibility and a cluster of multiple residential buildings 
whose residents might well enjoy such an amenity within walking distance.

There was no budget for the project. No budget was required . No cost proposed. 

It was a simple suitable tribute that could not possibly create controversy.  

But simplicity could not  be allowed. Councillor Pirrie proposed installation of a playground for special needs children. 

No request from the community. No recommendation on priority from the Accessibilty Advisory Committee.No need for such a facility identified in the Master Recreation  Plan. No development charge funding available for an identified need. 

No work undertaken to determine numbers of potential users. 

Town house neighbours were not happy to surrender use for the children of the small neighbourhood. 

Estimated cost of such a facility was not far short of half a million dollars. A normal playground designed to meet the needs of all children costs $75,000. 

Finally , three years later the contract was presented for award on Tuesday. 

The Accessibility Committtee has still not been consulted. They have not determined the project is a priority ? Nor, I venture to suggest, has a budget been created by the committee for the project

Accessibility is the Statutary responsibility of the committee. An annual budget for the purpose is also required by law. The question of parking has not been planned . Disabled parking is larger than the norm.No numbers have been identified. The parking lot accommodates overflow from the town hall. 

Councillor Thompson is concerned that the price might not hold if the award is delayed.

Three years ago the idea came out of the blue. 

Like there was a sum of $400,000. sitting in town coffers crying out to be spent.  


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ANOTHER BITTER BETRAYAL": 

There are three "serious" articles in this week's The Auroran. They deal with Yonge Street parking proposal hits roadblock; residents demand action to curb speeders on Kennedy and Mavrinac; and town willing to "attempt mediation" over Highland Gate.

All three are ill-considered and lacking in intelligence.

The mayor has a pilot project in his febrile little mind to create a new on-street parking system for Yonge Street from Wellington to Kennedy Street. This hit a road block, as well it should have. Our esteemed mayor wants single lane traffic in each direction on Yonge Street in order to create a "people-friendly space for sidewalk cafes and other divertissements. Read the full article to get a better feel for the idiocy of this scheme.

Kennedy Street West has three significant speed humps west of George Street and these WORK. They have been in place for over 10 years. Every vehicle slows down crossing these. They make the little ant hills on Golf Links look like mini ant-hills. Install similar ones from Murray to Bathurst and speeding will come to a complete halt. I grew up in North Toronto and there was a street called Duplex Avenue that ran from Fairlawn to Eglinton. It was a speedway. There were about a dozen intersecting streets and to resolve the issue the city of Toronto made ALL the intersections STOP streets. That ended the speeding. Just a bunch of signs. The town has pissed away several hundreds of thousands of dollars on chicanes north-east of Yonge and Wellington that were so unpopular they had to be removed at another huge expenditure. Please read about this. It can be solved and the residents are right to be concerned.

So far as the town "willing to attempt mediation" over Highland Gate, this is a complete farce and a waste of time. Have members of council not the intelligence to realize that the town simply does not have the mental capability to mediate the removal and storage of snow. much less deal with a project with a nearly $100 million price tag?

I am getting sick and tired of having to read about more hair-brained schemes that council wishes to perpetrate upon our town's citizens. And what's the poop on Theatre Aurora?

Does anyone at town hall have the faintest glimmer of a brain?


Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 May 2016 at 22:42


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ANOTHER BITTER BETRAYAL": 

Is Theatre Aurora not "culture"? I thought the supporters of this board did not want the Town to be in the business of subsidizing culture.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 26 May 2016 at 07:26


Every now and then I am compelled to publish a comment like the one above.

Not because it makes any sense but because it doesn't. 

Where did that person read that the town is subsidizing or has ever subsidized Theatre Aurora?

Not here. Nor anywhere in the more than fifty years of existence. 

There have been businesses that  helped out . Macdonald's Furniture used to lend used furniture for props.

The building was donated for the purpose of a theatre. The original seating was a gift. A grant and 
volunteer labour made the  clean upand build, stage and back stage and other accoutrements 

Earnings invested eventually  turned the small concrete forming plant,  into a little bijou theatre with curtains,backdrops,sound and lighting and ambiance and proper seating. 

 Never was there a demand for funding from the town. Never any exchange except a contribution to the life of the community. 

People bought  tickets to pay for their  entertainment. Others  bought a subscription for the season. 

Many generations of Aurora thespians,singers, dancers and performers of all kinds have gone to work every day and come home to work long hours at their first love, the  theatre, to fulfill a need within themselves. 

The commenter read all of that and then asks an irrelevant question; 

"I thought this board did not want the town to be subsidizing culture"

One can only conclude a lack of reading comprehension. ..or a built- in bias against anything 
said  on the issue...or just a general lack of intelligence.

Whichever it is...it's the key to our political woes. 

The reason why the citizens  you would like to run for office, don't.

Wednesday 25 May 2016


Regency subdivision was built in two phases.The second after the Feds reduced interest on mortgages to stimulate the home building industry and ipso facto, the national economy. 

In the second phase. Sterling Drug was already up and running. The east a end  of Henderson Drive at Yonge Street ,was intended industrial development. The small building that houses Aurora Theatre was constructed but unloccupied. 

I was Mayor when the land and a farm changed hands and became the town house development ,
a shopping centre and Henderson Drive was opened to Yonge Street. 

Dodie Herskovitz didn't build anything. But she acquired several properties in Aurora and they were developed.no doubt to financial advantage. 

 The factory building and site were not part of the subdivision agreement. 

Taxes were owing. $5,000. was a figure I heard mentioned. 

Theatre  Aurora was a going concern .St. Andrew's College made their auditorium available for shows and  rehearsals. Sets  were built in individual  basements and put together on stage  the week of the performance. 

Labour was intensive but not more than the enthusiasm of the creators  and their audiences. 

Every play and  musical and Doyly Carte opera was well received by appreciative audiences. 

TIm and Jean Baker Pearce made their home available for every need but the cast parties at the end of the run were memorable occasions. Especially after a musical. 

TIm and Jean owned   a little frame house at the top of the hill on Temperance Street. They  added a great room.  HIgh ceiling, field stone fireplace to the roof and flagstone floor. The rafters rang  and floor trembled  in hearty rendition of every song and dance, like  they never  wanted to let the excitement fade. 

Actors  are like that when  deprived of opportunity. 

I never heard anyone give voice to a dream that they might one day have their own theatre.

 RIchmond Hill had the Curtain Club but the Aurora group never spoke of the possibility. 

Dodie  Herskovitz changed that. She gave the little factory to the town for use as a theatre along
with two hundred a fifty seats. 

Theatre props had been stored in the building awhile. She was aware of the need.

It was hard to imagine a theatre rising from the wreckage.Last use of the building was a factory for concrete forming.

The front fifteen feet was designed  for office space. The rest dropped into a well filled with broken forms and mis-shapen casts. Every window was broken. BIrds had taken over the space,swooping and diving like creatures from another place. Huddled  in a small space cleared for the purpose,Theatre Aurora's shabby little bundle of props.

There never was any argument about accepting the offer. Bud Rogers, the town's Clerk-administrator, lived in the town. HIs wife Judy was an accomplished singer and frequently performed. 

A Provincial Grant was available. To meet a timeline, plans had to be drawn up over a week-end.  

TIm Baker-Pearce,  Harry Shaw,  Barb McGowan's husband and brother and others put the plans together and by Monday morning an application was filed and $21,000 was granted in short order. 

 It wasn't much but everyone who had any skills and others who could just lift and lay ,the job was completed and a skeleton of a theatre came to be.

There was a stage, dressing rooms, lighting booth, chairs on a flat cement  floor,windows were re-glazed, washrooms with plywood doors installed. Norm Weller. the town's solitary parks keeper, always available wherever he was needed, landscaped the front of the building and cleaned up the sides .

There were no lights, stage curtains,sound system , no backdrops. no tiered theatre seating and the washrooms are still  freezing. 

The first play was Charlie's Aunt.  Excitement was high

The theatre has changed since. 

Auditorium space has shrunk in from the sides.Tiered comfortable seating is in place along  with all the accoutrements of theatre. Curtains, flys, lighting ,sound   all huge  financial investments. 

Every year, a  full season of theatre is provided.  

Plays are entered into competition. Awards of Excellence regularly earned. 

Children's Summer Theatre with opportunity for junior thespians is provided.

Real theatre has been created in every sense of the word. 

All funded from earnings from hundreds of thousands hours from generations of the unpaid, passionate Aurora  theatre crowd. 

Now the town wants to take it from them. 

A new lease is proposed that would return  to the days when they had to depend on limited time availability of St Andrew's College. 

For  ten years, Aurora Culture Centre  has enjoyed free use of a building that cost millions to renovate, for one dollar a year rent. All maintenance is provided by the town,plus  $400,000  of funding, rising 
each year.

For two years Petch  House  has sat empty with no use assigned. 

The Aurora Men's Soccer Club has a high visibility real estate parcel for $1 a year rent. THey compete with tax-paying  catering business in town .

A reques to lease a building for million dollar commercially operated sports organizations is being considered. 

Aurora Council has informed Theatre Aurora the facility they created, solely through their own labour,  is no longer theirs to meet the needs of full-time theatre operated completely by volunteers. They take from no-one, they contribute to the community 

They are the targets of a dastardly betrayal of trust.