News and Notices

August 14 - Aurora to receive $1.2M in emergency funding due to COVID-19 pandemic

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, the Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, announced it is providing necessary funding to the 444 municipalities in Ontario, including the Town of Aurora. Aurora will receive $1,298,500 and the funds will be allocated to municipal pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic under the Safe Restart Agreement.

“I am pleased to announce that the province and the federal government, will be supporting the local municipalities in Ontario and providing funding to help alieve municipal pressures associated with this pandemic. While the Town is in a good financial position, we are grateful to accept this funding and help provide some extra financial support for Aurora as we continue to move forward through this global health crisis,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

“The Safe Restart funding will help the Town of Aurora as we begin to bring back services to the community and provide relief for interest charged on the late payment of tax and water bills to residents and businesses facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. This added funding will help our Town, as we recognize the impact of COVID-19 will extend into 2021,” says Aurora Chief Administrative Officer, Doug Nadorozny.

In September, municipalities in Ontario will receive $695 million in Phase 1 funding for municipal operating pressures per household. Additional funding of up to $695 million will be available through Phase 2 for municipalities that have COVID-related financial impacts that exceed the initial per household allocation provided under Phase 1.

For more information on this funding announcement, please visit news.ontario.ca.

 

 

 

June 17 - Statement by Mayor Tom Mrakas on reopening Aurora

The following statement is from Mayor Tom Mrakas regarding the reopening of Aurora after the province’s announcement on June 15 about entering into the second stage of the framework for reopening Ontario.

“Thank you to our residents and businesses for your co-operation over the past few months as we all work to flatten the curve. I know it has been difficult but our collective sacrifices and efforts have resulted in a positive step forward. The Town of Aurora is pleased to initiate a staged approach to reopening our community. As the province begins to reduce restrictions, Town staff are starting to assess and begin the necessary preparations for a gradual reopening of Town amenities over the coming months. Our top priority is to ensure all considerations are addressed to maintain the safety and well-being of patrons and staff. We know residents are anxious to get back to normal, but this will be a slow, gradual process in order to minimize the potential risk of future waves of COVID-19.

As we enjoy these new freedoms, I ask you to continue to follow the advice of our public health officials. We should all still be diligently maintaining physical distance with others, washing hands with soap and water often, wearing a mask if necessary and staying home if you are feeling unwell. Please remember to abide by the provincial orders regarding social gatherings of 10 people from outside your household, while maintaining a physical distance. You can also create a social circle, with guidelines. Please make sure to read the rules about how Ontarians can safely gather and stay true to your social circles. This is the only way we can continue to flatten the COVID-19 curve and end this pandemic.

By following the guidelines set out by the health experts, we have been able to move forward and if we stay vigilant, we will continue to progress.

The Town of Aurora will continue to work closely with the province and York Region Public Health officials to monitor the pandemic and the impact on our community. As always, the safety of our community is a main priority. Thank you to my fellow Aurorans for your continued co-operation and patience during this crisis. We will all get through this together.”

June 16 - Town introduces new relief measures for property tax payments

The Town of Aurora is supporting residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing additional property tax relief measures for the remaining 2020 property tax installations. Relief measures include extended property tax deadlines for all residents and businesses, as well as tax penalty relief for those who qualify.

“We continue to look at ways that we can ease the financial burden on our businesses and residents during these challenging times. These measures will give property owners who are experiencing financial hardship additional time to recover and will provide greater flexibility for families working hard to make ends meet,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

The final property tax instalment due dates are as follows:

  • September 15, 2020 (Final 2020 bill, first installment due)
  • December 1, 2020 (Final 2020 bill, second installment due)

There will be no penalties on payments made on or prior to these property tax final instalment due dates.

Property owners who are unable to make their payments due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for tax penalty relief. Once approved these individuals will be able to defer their tax installments without penalty or interest. This excludes accounts that have previously been in arrears from 2019.

The Town previously announced that property tax payments due on February 25 and April 15 could be paid by June 30 without any penalty or interest charges. Any unpaid and overdue balances will be subject to a monthly interest at a rate of 1.25% starting July 1 unless an application for relief on tax penalties has been approved.

Residents and businesses who are able to pay their property taxes are encouraged to do so by the deadlines of June 30, September 15 and December 1.

For more information on property tax payments and to access the tax penalty relief form, please visit aurora.ca/propertytaxes. For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19.

June 16 - Aurora implements new outdoor patio program during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Town of Aurora will begin to gradually reopen some community amenities and facilities, including outdoor patios for restaurants and bars, in alignment with the province’s phase 2 reopening strategy announced yesterday.

“With support from Aurora’s Business Improvement Association (BIA) and the Town’s Economic Development Division, we will be working with our local businesses for a phased in reopening. We have developed an outdoor patio program to help local restaurants, bars and retailers navigate the potential expansion of their patio areas and to accommodate patrons while keeping the safety of patrons and staff a key priority,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

For restaurants and bars who are interested in extending their patio space, the Town of Aurora requires the business to submit a Site Plan Exemption Application that includes a scaled plan showing the location of buildings, location and dimensions of the patio, fencing, entrances, exits and aisle widths. All applications are required to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Fire Code.

Some highlights from Aurora’s Outdoor Patio Program include:

  • All site plan application fees will be waived
  • Application fees for minor variances for patio expansions will be waived
  • Restaurants and bars that would like to expand or create patio space onto the sidewalk will have to enter into an encroachment agreement with the Town and must maintain accessibility requirements.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will not require licensees to apply or pay a fee for these temporary extensions but the retailer must ensure they have completed the Town’s application form, received approval by the Town and met all other applicable requirements. The AGCO measures will be in effect until January 1, 2021.

Town staff continue to work closely with the BIA and the local business community to ensure that procedures, tools and support are available to help businesses navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the support Aurora is providing to local businesses please visit aurora.ca/businesssupport.

For inquiries about Aurora’s Outdoor Patio Program, please email planning@aurora.ca. For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

June 5 - Aurora introduces new Business Visitation Program to support local business recovery

Starting Monday, June 8, the Town of Aurora is launching a new Business Visitation Program to provide assistance to local businesses as they move forward to recovery. This program is open to all businesses in Aurora.

“I am pleased the Town is providing this support to our local business community. It is critical we help guide Aurora’s economic development efforts as we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown and work to return to a prosperous local economy,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. “One of our top priorities is to support the economic health of our community by providing adequate support in times of crisis.”

The Town’s Economic Development staff will work with local businesses to understand the impact of COVID-19 and provide assistance to move forward toward recovery. Town staff will be reaching out to businesses to schedule visits and outreach calls. An online intake form is also available on the Town’s website for businesses to submit a request for an in-person visit or outreach call.

Town staff have prepared a resource kit to help triage issues businesses may be facing as a result of the pandemic. The toolkit includes a reopening checklist, a list of local personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers and suppliers and several marketing initiatives.

For more information on Aurora’s new Business Visitation Program or to access the intake form, please visit aurora.ca/businesssupport. For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

June 2 - Aurora Cancels all previously scheduled summer camps

Recreation staff currently exploring alternative programming options for summer

Due to the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19 and in the interest of public safety, the Town of Aurora has made the difficult decision to cancel all previously scheduled summer camp programs in 2020. The Town’s existing summer camp offerings are designed and structured in a way that cannot be delivered in line with current provincial requirements for physical distancing and social gatherings.

"I know this will be disappointing to both parents and children, but we must put the health and safety of our community first. Staff are continuing to look into whether modified camps can be offered in accordance with provincial guidelines. We will then consider whether it's in the best interest of the community to deliver these modified camps and whether this can be done in a manner that ensures everyone's safety," says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

"With direction and assistance from the Province and York Region Public Health, Town of Aurora Recreation staff are working on modified summer camp options. Town staff continue to look into the possibility of offering these new day camps in compliance with provincial guidelines regarding social gatherings and physical distancing. The Town of Aurora will consider whether it is feasible to offer any modified summer camps and if programs can be delivered in a safe and meaningful manner while still adhering to these provincial guidelines. If the Town of Aurora decides to run these alternative camp options, a new registration process will be opened", says Robin McDougall, Director of Community Services.

The health and safety of all participants is a top priority and the Town will continue to work with York Region Public Health to determine what additional health and safety measures can be put in place to protect campers, volunteers and staff, if the situation changes. In the meantime, recreation staff are exploring alternative camp options that will be announced at a later date.

Full refunds will be issued to all registered participants. Registrants will be contacted directly by Town staff regarding refund options based on the method of payment.

Further updates regarding Town of Aurora’s summer camps will be posted when available at aurora.ca/summercamps

For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19.  

For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit York.ca/covid19.

May 27 - Aurora implements new Clean Communities Bylaw

New legislation introduces section on graffiti and maintenance of boulevards


Effective today, the Town of Aurora will be implementing a new Clean Communities By-law #6257-20 replacing the Clean Yards By-law No. 4754-05.P and Debris By-law No.4738-05.P. The new legislation consolidates both former bylaws and introduces new standards on graffiti and maintenance of boulevards. The former bylaws were written in 2005 and this new standard provides more progressive and updated legislation.

“I am excited to have the new Clean Communities Bylaw in place. I have always been a strong supporter of protecting and preserving the beauty of Aurora. This new bylaw will provide more regulations addressing graffiti within our community and will align our legislation with other municipalities in York Region,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

The new features of the Clean Communities Bylaw includes:

  • A more modern, consolidated and easy-to-read document that helps Aurora meet the current needs of the community and prepare for future growth
  • New standards to address graffiti that align with other York Region municipalities
  • Provides Bylaw staff with the appropriate enforcement tools
  • Allows the community to maintain its local, small-town charm
  • Introduces the maintenance of boulevards on all properties within the Town (including keeping boulevards free of long grass, weeds and waste with a minimum three-day compliance timeframe)

Many of the existing items from the combined bylaws still remain such as requiring owners and occupants to clean the debris and garbage from their property, keeping their property free of grass or weeds exceeding 20 centimeters in height and more.

To report an offence to the Clean Communities Bylaw please email bylawdept@aurora.ca or call 905-727-1375. For specific requirements and more information on the Clean Communities Bylaw, please visit aurora.ca/bylaws.

May 19 - Aurora to reopen select recreational facilities

Exclusions apply to pools, water-play areas, playgrounds and washrooms

Effective Tuesday, May 19, the Town of Aurora is permitting recreational use of tennis courts, basketball courts, sports fields, baseball diamonds, skateboard parks, pickle ball courts and the dog park. All outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas in Aurora are now open. Staff are working to prepare and open the skateboard parks over the next few days. Excluded are water-play areas, playgrounds, play structures, washrooms and clubhouses. Also prohibited is the use of these facilities for organized sporting activities, such as football, softball, ball hockey, soccer, frisbee and basketball, as these activities do not allow for proper physical distancing.

Aurora’s trail system continues to be open. Open park spaces in Aurora were reopened on May 7 for activities such as catching or kicking a soccer ball, flying a kite or letting young children run around.

"Following the lead of the Province of Ontario, we are pleased to announce that Aurora’s park amenities will begin to reopen effective immediately, being one of the first municipalities to do so. We are focused on resuming operations on a gradual basis to ensure the health and safety of our community. This incremental approach protects our community and at the same time allows residents to spend time outdoors to benefit their well-being and overall health," says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. "We must remain mindful that this pandemic is ongoing, and in order to keep enjoying these activities we need to practice proper physical distancing, wash our hands frequently and follow provincial orders."

Public health guidelines will still apply according to the prohibitions under the current Provincial Orders including the ban of organized public events, gatherings of more than five people (inclusive of gatherings on private property but excluding family members who reside at the same address), physical distancing of at least two metres from non-household members during all outdoor activities and entry to and use of certain outdoor recreational amenities.

School board open spaces are still closed as this use is governed by the school boards. Sheppard’s Bush will be reopening as of May 29 with restrictions, please visit lsrca.on.ca for more details.

For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

May 7 - Aurora permits limited use of open spaces in Town parks

Exclusions apply to park amenities such as playgrounds, benches etc.

Effective immediately, the Town of Aurora is permitting limited use of open spaces in Town parks. This excludes the use of play structures and playgrounds, swings, washrooms, benches, picnic tables, shelters, and off-leash dog areas.

“By allowing our residents to use our open park spaces, we are providing much needed access to families of the same household to spend time outdoors. This will aid in the health and well-being of our community and give residents a chance to participate in some limited outdoor activities. This health pandemic is not over, we still need to flatten the COVID-19 curve and practice safe physical distancing, washing our hands often and following the provincial orders,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. “Aurora will fully reopen its parks and facilities once it is safe to do so. Our number one priority is the safety of our residents, visitors and community.”

Everyone must still comply with current prohibitions under the current Provincial Orders including the ban of organized public events, gatherings of more than five people (inclusive of gatherings on private property but excluding family members who reside at the same address), physical distancing of at least two metres from non-household members during all outdoor activities and entry to and use of certain outdoor recreational amenities.

Examples of permitted activities for individuals from the same household in an open park space include:

  • Playing catch or kicking a soccer ball
  • Flying a kite
  • Exercising and stretching on a yoga mat, but not in a class
  • Letting young children run around

Use of all playgrounds, sports fields, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, basketball courts, skateboard parks and the dog park are still prohibited as per the provincial orders. School board open spaces are still closed as this use is governed by the school boards. Sheppard’s Bush also remains closed as it is governed by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

Additionally, prohibited park use extends to all organized sporting activities and training, such as football, softball, ball hockey, soccer, frisbee and basketball, as these activities do not allow for proper physical distancing.

For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

April 22 - Aurora starts planning to safely reopen facilities and local businesses

The Town of Aurora is beginning the critical plans to eventually reopen municipal facilities and local businesses once the Province of Ontario deems it is safe to reopen. Town staff has established an internal working group and are in the initial stages of developing safe and proactive return to work plans once the facilities reopen. Plans will also include advice from York Region Public Health.

“The Town wants to ensure we are well-prepared to phase residents, businesses and staff back to work in a safe and gradual approach. Aurora’s Business Continuity Task Force is taking a proactive approach to developing a “back-to-work plan” so we are ready to reopen safely when the Province and medical experts give the go ahead to begin whatever the “new normal” will be. This is not a time to sit back and wait. The Town, all our businesses, and residents need to be ready to go once the green light is given,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

The Town, in partnership with the Aurora Chamber of Commerce created a specialized task force to help support the local economy and provide assistance to small businesses in Aurora. The Aurora Business Continuity Task Force brings together business professionals with global, national and local experience to help find creative ways to assist Aurora’s small businesses. For more information on Aurora’s Business Task Force, please visit aurora.ca/businesstaskforce.

For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

April 17 - Town of Aurora Cancellations and Closures Update

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Town of Aurora, in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and our community, has indefinitely closed all municipal facilities and suspended programs, events and facility rentals until further notice. Town staff are still available to service the needs of the public through email and telephone. For a list of key departmental contacts and facility closures, please visit aurora.ca/covid19.

Virtual Council meetings

Aurora Town Council will continue to meet remotely to move forward critical municipal business during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on upcoming virtual meetings, please visit aurora.ca/livecouncilmeeting.

Virtual recreation programming and events

Are you looking for ways to stay active and engaged while physical distancing and self-isolating? Find a collection of games, activities and ideas to keep you and your family engaged at home. Activities range from creative projects, fitness training, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programming for kids, seniors activities and more. Stay tuned for details regarding virtual Canada Day activities. Follow the Town’s social media accounts (FacebookTwitter and Instagram) for more information on virtual events and activities.

Waste events & textile recycling cancellations

Aurora's Textile Recycling program has been temporarily suspended until further notice and all Diabetes Canada and Cornerstone to Recovery community bins are closed. All Town waste and recycling events have also been cancelled for the remainder of the year.

Parks & public spaces

All Town parks, playgrounds, sports fields, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, basketball courts, skateboard parks and the dog park are closed. Playgrounds are not sanitized and can easily spread the COVID-19 virus in our community. Trails are still open and patrons must use physical distancing. Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has closed Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area. York Region Forests will be reopening this weekend with specific guidelines for use in place.
For updates on status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.
April 9 - Aurora Town Council to meet virtually for General Committee and Council Meetings

On March 31, the Town of Aurora held its first virtual special council meeting to discuss matters relating to Town operations during the state of emergency. Based on the success of the meeting, Aurora Town Council will continue to meet remotely to move forward critical municipal business during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The next virtual meetings of Council are as follows:

  • General Committee Meeting, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 7 p.m.
  • Council Meeting, Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 7 p.m.
  • General Committee Meeting, May 5, 2020 at 7 p.m.
  • General Committee Meeting, May 19, 2020 at 7 p.m.
  • Council Meeting, Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Delegations will be allowed by video conference. To delegate for a meeting, please email clerks@aurora.ca. To view the livestream meeting please visit aurora.ca/livecouncilmeeting


For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions, please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

April 9 - Aurora to issue fines for individuals not complying with emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Town of Aurora will begin strict enforcement of provincial emergency orders and trespassing of municipal closures this weekend. On March 27, the Province of Ontario granted Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Officers the ability to issue fines under the Emergency and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Under the provincial guidelines, the Town of Aurora will begin to issue fines to individuals who do not comply with the following emergency orders:

  • No gatherings of more than five (5) people (inclusive of gatherings on private property but excluding family members who reside at the same address).
  • Trespassing in areas that are closed to the public (parks, tennis courts, skateboard parks, sports fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, playgrounds, Sheppard’s Bush and the dog park).
  • Closure of non-essential businesses
  • Price gouging on necessary goods such as hand sanitizers and household cleaners

Individuals charged with an offence under the EMCPA will face fines starting at $880. Failing to identify yourself upon the request of a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer conducting an investigation under the EMCPA will result in fines of $1,250. Fines could also carry punishments of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual and up to $10,000,000 for a corporation.

The Town of Aurora reminds residents to continue to stay at home, limit the number of people you come into close contact with, stay at least 6 feet apart from others when walking outside or in a grocery store and refrain from having social gatherings.

For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions, please visit aurora.ca/covid19. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

April 7 - Aurora launches first Mayor’s Roundtable of Sport meeting

The Town of Aurora recognizes the significant impact that the global health crisis COVID-19 has had on our community and our local sport organizations. The Mayor’s Roundtable of Sport has been created to empower all local sport organizations to work together to move sport forward and find solutions to address the current and upcoming challenges they are facing.

 “Our local sport organizations and recreational sport programs play a key role in the health and well-being of our community, so it is vital that there is a collaboration of efforts to get the community active again in a safe way. The Mayor’s Roundtable of Sport will bring local sport organizations together as the current situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves and will provide next steps to ensure people are able to quickly get active in sports when this crisis ends,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. 

The first virtual roundtable meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The roundtable will consist of members from local sport organizations, Town staff and members of Aurora Town Council. The meeting will focus on opportunities to collaborate and support sport organizations, how local sport organizations are engaging with their members during the current health crisis and the challenges they anticipate during this situation. Other key areas of interest will also be discussed. 

The Mayor’s Roundtable on Sport will not only meet during the COVID-19 health crisis, it will be an ongoing forum where the group will move forward the priorities of Aurora’s Sport Plan, discuss critical topics in sport and demonstrate collaboration within a safe and inclusive environment. 

Looking to participate? If you are from a local sporting organization and you are interested in attending, please email.

For more information on the Mayor's Roundtable of Sport, please visit aurora.ca/roundtableofsport

For updates on the status of Aurora’s municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19. 

April 3 - Aurora assembles community action team to help the most vulnerable citizens in the community

The Town of Aurora recognizes the significant impact that the global heath crisis COVID-19 has on our community. During this difficult time, all levels of government are working together to find solutions to address the challenges citizens and businesses are facing. Community leaders in Aurora have come together to form the Aurora Cares Community Action Team. This team will assess the emerging needs of the most vulnerable and at risk in our community such as citizens who may become homeless or who are homeless, seniors, disabled persons and those who rely on food banks. The goal is to help fill in the gaps where needed and add to what is already being provided by the provincial and federal government. 

“The Town of Aurora has always been recognized as being a community that is giving, generous and dedicated to helping those in need. Keeping this in mind, I believe that the Town must help the citizens in our community who are most vulnerable. We need to respond to these emerging needs and provide tools and resources to assist our citizens during this very difficult and confusing time,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

The action team will consist of the following community leaders which will be supported by Town staff:

  • Barb Allan, Executive Director, Able Network (2019 Citizen of the Year)
  • Christina Bisanz, Chief Executive Officer, CHATS - Community & Home Assistance to Seniors
  • Wendy Browne, Past President, The Aurora Rotary Club
  • Erin Cerenzia, Manager, Neighbourhood Network
  • Wendy Gaertner, Councillor, Town of Aurora
  • Rosalyn Gonsalves , Former General Manager, Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Nancy Harrison, Community Relations Representative, Salvation Army
  • Sandra Humfryes, Councillor, Town of Aurora
  • Koula Koliviras, Aurora resident
  • Tom Mrakas, Mayor, Town of Aurora
  • Heidi Schellhorn, Superintendent, York Regional Police
  • Beverley Wood, Founder and Past Chair, Welcoming Arms (2014 Citizen of the Year)
The first meeting of the action team will occur early next week. The group is expected to meet on a regular basis via video conferencing until the impact of this pandemic ends.  

For more information on the Aurora Cares Community Action Team, please visit aurora.ca/auroracares

For updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19 as the situation changes. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19

March 31 - Aurora assembles task force to focus on local economy

The Town of Aurora in partnership with the Aurora Chamber of Commerce has created a specialized task force to help support the local economy and provide assistance to small businesses in Aurora. The Aurora Business Continuity Task Force will bring together business professionals with global, national and local experience to help find creative ways to assist Aurora’s small businesses.

“I recognize these are challenging times for our local businesses and we are committed to actively helping our residents and businesses during this pandemic. The Town has already announced tax and water bill deferral programs for those in need to ease demands on the community. While this is a small offering during a time of great need, it is something that we can do quickly and within our local authority. This pandemic will likely be impacting us for several weeks and businesses will need support from community leaders to steer them through this uncharted territory,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. “To that end, with the support of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, we will be assembling a task force of business and community leaders to focus on our local economy and the small businesses that are the backbone of Aurora. As a group, we will be looking for creative and innovate ways to support local businesses and help them through these challenging times.

“I am pleased to launch this much needed task force with the Town of Aurora to support our local businesses through this global health crisis. The Chamber and the Town recognize the challenges that local businesses are facing and we have made it a priority to ensure this task force looks at all possible supports available to businesses,” says Aurora Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO, Sandra Ferri. “We care about the health and welfare of our business community and by collaborating together we are a stronger voice on behalf of local businesses.”

The task force will consist of the following business professionals which will be supported by Town staff:
  • Aaron McCarthy, Executive Vice President &Chief Human Resource Officer, MAGNA
  • Al Wilson, Vice-Chair, Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Debra Wilson, Chair, Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Harold Kim, Councillor, Town of Aurora
  • Joanne Russo, Aurora Business Improvement Area (BIA), Chair
  • Marilee Harris, Vice-Chair, Economic Development Corporation
  • Nicholas Fidei, President, Treasure Hill Corporation
  • Raz Khamissa, Business Owner, Omars Shoes & Clothing
  • Sam Palmerio, Manager, Government Relations, Desjardins Group
  • Sandra Ferri, President & CEO, Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Tim Hammill, Chair, Economic Development Corporation
  • Tom Mrakas, Mayor, Town of Aurora

The first meeting of the task force will occur later this week. The group is expected to meet on a regular basis via video conferencing until the impact of this pandemic ends.

The task force is seeking feedback from the community about how to help our local businesses. Please submit your ideas to tmrakas@aurora.ca. Every idea is worth considering, no matter how small or large the potential impact.

For more information on Aurora’s Business Continuity Task Force, please visit aurora.ca/businesstaskforce.

For more information about the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, please visit aurorachamber.on.ca.

For updates on status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions please visit aurora.ca/covid19 as the situation changes. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19.

March 26 - Aurora closes all public open spaces to help flatten the COVID-19 curve

To encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Aurora will be closing all public open spaces effective immediately including parks, tennis courts, skateboard parks, sports fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, playgrounds and the dog park.

“I would like to strongly encourage residents to adhere to the closure of public open spaces in Aurora. We need to flatten the COVID-19 curve, and we can only do this with a global commitment from everyone to practice social distancing and refrain from social gatherings,” says Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. “Residents can still take a walk, go for a bike ride or sit outside but just maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from each other.”

Trails in Aurora are still open to the public although the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has closed Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area. If you decide to use the public trails system in Aurora, you are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing.

We encourage residents to report violations of the public open spaces closure instead of approaching the groups themselves by sending an email with the day, time and location to bdepartment@aurora.ca or leaving a voicemail at 905-727-3123 ext. 4240 with the details mentioned above. All complaints will be investigated. Fines of up to $5,000 may be made in accordance with the Town’s Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw.

Updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions will be posted on aurora.ca/covid19 as the situation changes. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19
March 25 - Aurora lists essential services available for residents

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 the Town of Aurora adjusted operations to provide essential services only in response to the COVID-19 global crisis. 

Town staff will continue to respond to calls and emails for essential service requests such as roads, water, bylaw and billing inquiries. We will also have a Report-an-Issue menu that residents can use to help direct their inquiry which can be accessed through aurora.ca/covid19. A range of additional services will also be provided by staff who have been equipped to deliver town services from their home. Response times may vary as we work to establish business processes during this transition. 

While our on-site staff have been reduced to a minimum, the Town still has staff available on-call to respond to any emerging issues. 

Please see the following list of essential services by department below.

Communications 

  • Website and social media monitoring in place. All inquiries will be responded to. 

Community Services 

  • Business support to process cancellations and refunds for programming and facility booking
  • Monitoring of all Town facilities for security and safety

Corporate Services 

  • Access Aurora phone and emails for all general inquiries 
  • Bylaw and Animal Services inquiries and enforcement operations 
  • Information and Technology Services supporting all Town systems and off-site workers 

Finance 

  • Tax and water bill payments and inquiries 

Operations 

  • Parks maintenance 
  • Road patrol and road maintenance 
  • Waste & recycling collection and inquiries (Green For Life Environmental Inc. collects waste and recycling in Aurora). 
  • Water and wastewater infrastructure monitoring, maintenance and repair services 
  • Water testing

Planning & Building 

  • Building inspections and permit processing for permits already submitted 
  • Reviewing Planning in process applications, draft agreements and bylaws 

Emergency Services

  • Emergency, fire and police services are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week 

Updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions will be posted on aurora.ca/covid19 as the situation changes. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19

March 23 - Aurora reduces service levels in response to global COVID-19 concerns

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 the Town of Aurora will be adjusting operations to provide essential services only. This change is to ensure the safety of our staff and community by reducing the number of employees required to attend their workplace. This action is consistent with the recommendations of Canadian health officials to assist in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

 

Town staff will continue to respond to calls and emails for essential service requests such as roads, water, bylaw and billing inquiries. We will also have a Report-an-Issue menu that residents can use to help direct their inquiry which can be accessed through aurora.ca/covid19. A range of additional services will also be provided by staff who have been equipped to deliver town services from their home. Residents will be able to directly email or leave a voicemail for the division they need to contact. Response times may vary as we work to establish business processes during this transition.

“The health and safety of our residents and staff continues to be our top priority. We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and we are making decisions to best protect our community,” says Town of Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. “We ask that everyone stay home unless absolutely necessary, practice social distancing and proper hand washing and most of all please stay at home if you’re sick. We need to work together to flatten the curve of the spread of this virus.”

“This is a dynamically evolving situation and in order to protect the health of our community and staff the Town has decided to undergo a significant change in our operations. We will use every effort available to help minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus and get through this challenging time,” says Town of Aurora Chief Administrative Officer Doug Nadorozny.

Updates on the status of our municipal operations, cancellations and disruptions will be posted on aurora.ca/covid19 as the situation changes. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19
March 18 - Mayor's message regarding state of emergency
My fellow Aurorans, I wanted to let you know that out of care and concern for our residents the Town of Aurora is declaring a state of emergency. This decision was not made lightly. We are following the lead from the Province of Ontario to ensure that we can properly support the long-term needs of our businesses and residents. Declaring an emergency allows Council and staff to assess the ongoing crisis and provide additional resources to help our community as necessary.

In an effort to ensure the safety of our residents and staff, we have closed Town Hall, the JOC, all recreational facilities, the Aurora Public Library, the Aurora Museum and Cultural Centre and the Aurora Seniors’ Centre. We have also cancelled some of our upcoming events to ensure the spread of this virus is contained. We will still be servicing the needs of the public through email and phone. Services such as water, wastewater, roads, parks maintenance and solid waste collection services are not expected to be affected.

We have also temporarily suspended overnight parking enforcement. This restriction will not apply if we have a snow event. Daytime parking enforcement is still active for all general offences and complaints. We have also approved an exemption to the noise bylaw that will allow deliveries at all times to ensure that our retail businesses and local grocery stores are fully stocked and able to service the needs of our residents. We are also currently in discussions to create some options for tax deferrals which we will announce soon.

We will be meeting with our emergency operations team to see how we can further monitor the situation and support our residents.

My top priority is to keep our citizens safe. Every step and action that we take ensures that the proper procedures are in place to contain and limit the spread of this virus. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this COVID-19 crisis and practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently, containing your cough, avoiding contact with people who are sick and staying home if you are feeling ill.

We need to come together as a Town to help each other and stop the spread of this virus. My sincere thanks and support goes out to all the doctors, nurses and first responders who are committed to taking care of those who are sick. We applaud your efforts to help keep our community safe.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. As always, I am here for you!

Sincerely,

Mayor Tom Mrakas

 March 18 - Town of Aurora formally declares state of emergency

Today, Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario. This declaration follows the Ontario government’s announcement that a province-wide state of emergency is now in place and will allow the Town to access additional resources and funding if necessary to help control the spread of the virus.

“These are unprecedented times that call for extraordinary measures,” said Mayor Mrakas. “We need to give residents and businesses confidence that the Town will be positioned to provide whatever assistance is required and by declaring an emergency we are best positioned to do this.”

As a result of this declaration, the Town will also be suspending all General Committee and Council meetings at this time. The next meeting will take place when required with notice being provided to the public when scheduling is confirmed.

The Town of Aurora acknowledges that this is a fluid situation that we are continuously monitoring. The Town is committed to keeping Aurora residents informed through our dedicated webpage aurora.ca/COVID19 and will continue to provide more information about the Town’s response to COVID-19 as it becomes available.

 March 17 - General Committee and Council meeting procedures during COVID-19

Update: All General Committee and Council meetings are suspended at this time. The next meeting will take place when required with notice being provided to the public when scheduling is confirmed. If you have any questions about General Committee or Council meetings email clerks@aurora.ca

In an effort to protect staff and the community, the Town of Aurora is taking a proactive approach to social distancing and has closed Town Hall and the Joint Operations Centre to the public as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. Some services will still be available by email, online and telephone.

There will be no delegations allowed at the meeting. If any member of the public wishes to provide Council with comments to any item on the agenda, please email clerks@aurora.ca and this will be forwarded to all Council members.

To view the live meetings, visit aurora.ca/gcstream or view the archived video on the Town of Aurora's YouTube channel.

As well, all Advisory, Ad Hoc and Committee meetings and Local Planning Appeal Tribunals will be cancelled until further notice.

For questions regarding council and committee meetings, please email clerks@aurora.ca.

Updates on the status of our municipal operations will be posted on aurora.ca/covid19 as the situation changes. For updates on the status of the COVID-19 virus in York Region, please visit York.ca/covid19.