About the Key to the Town

Town key inside branded wood box, with the name The Town of AuroraThe Key to the Town of Aurora is the Town’s most prestigious form of recognition. It is reserved for and bestowed upon esteemed community members, former residents and visitors whom the Mayor wishes to honour. It’s a sign of great achievement and distinction and is given to an individual who has positively impacted and changed our community for the better. While primarily symbolic, the key signifies trust and freedom for the recipient to enter in and out of the town as they wish knowing that Aurora will always be their home.

Joe Bentolila standing with Mayor Mrakas, holding up the key

Joe Bentolila

Mayor Tom Mrakas officially presented a Key to the Town to Joe Bentolila, the former president of the Aurora Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), on May 24. In addition to serving as AMHA president for 25 years, Joe also held the role of president of the York Simcoe Minor Hockey League, helping set the direction for 15 local hockey associations and close to 300 teams. Joe’s innovative and compassionate leadership significantly strengthened both organizations and helped ensure that hundreds of our young athletes are able to receive world-class training and coaching in respectful and inclusive environments. Joe’s strong commitment to athletes and families is an inspiration and his legacy will be felt for generations.

Barclay Goodrow and Mayor Tom Mrakas, posing with the key. They both have masks on.

Barclay Goodrow / 2021

Mayor Tom Mrakas officially presented a Key to the Town to Aurora native, Barclay Goodrow, of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning on August 26. Starting at five years old, Barclay played in Aurora, won multiple OMHA championships, and despite a setback at ten, he persevered and played AAA hockey. Drafted by the OHL’s Brampton Battalion, he became captain and continued to lead when the team moved to North Bay. Although undrafted by the NHL, Barclay’s determination led him to development camps and eventually a contract with San Jose. His resilience paid off with a trade to Tampa Bay Lightning, where he won back-to-back Stanley Cups (2020 & 2021). Barclay’s hard work, perseverance and success is an inspiration to young athletes.

Robert Thomas and Mayor Tom Mrakas, outdoors posing with the Stanley Cup

Robert Thomas / 2019

Mayor Tom Mrakas officially presented a Key to the Town to Aurora native, Robert Thomas, of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues on July 29. Drafted in the first round, 20th overall, by the St. Louis Blues in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Thomas won gold at the World Juniors and was the OHL Playoffs MVP in 2018. He had an amazing season with a Stanley Cup win in 2019, in which he brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Aurora, Ontario. Thomas previously played for seven years with the York Simcoe Express, as well as two years playing for St. Andrew’s College U16 team before departing for the London Knights of the OHL. His hard work and dedication has contributed to a powerful sense of Town pride and has inspired young athletes to strive for success.