Willow Farm

At 15900 Yonge Street stands a lesser known jewel in the town of Aurora, a heritage farm.

Found on the registrar of Canada’s Historic Places here: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=8919 it made front page news of the May 4th 2010 edition of The Auroran when a fire started in the apartment above the garage: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?wpfb_dl=396

Long since repaired and restored the 1865 home and impressive grounds were recently sold.

The Globe & Mail featured the property in this piece from August 23rd of 2012:
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/home-of-the-week/a-yonge-street-home-with-rolling-hills-a-babbling-brook—and-a-grande-soy-latte/article1994519/?service=mobile

The listing on Priceypads provides additional photos and details here: http://priceypads.com/willow-farm-4450000/ showing how woefully out of date the Town of Aurora’s records are: http://www.e-aurora.ca/aurora/index_e.aspx?ArticleID=468

On July 6th and 7th an estate sale was held, opening the property up to the public. Photos of the sale are view-able on this flickr page:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/79932851@N03/sets/72157633481024389/

I went with my camera and found the owners to be very welcoming. Here is a small selection of captures:

Much more impressive than any of the additions to this year’s Doors Open Aurora event, Willow Farm is majestic.

Complete with tennis courts, pools, stables, separate garage and additional living space one can see how it would have made an ideal corporate retreat.

Also at under $4 millon for a property that located at the North entrance to town, adjacent to trails and could have served as a great destination in town, providing youth, heritage and ecology programming on a large open space. The town could have had its own corporate retreat run in partnership with those in the hospitality industry and educational sector.

Willow Farm provides a significantly wider range of vision than what we have seen from the Heritage Park proposal. If as a town we are interested in an open, transparent and honest debate about real-estate deals, and although the mayor would like to deny that is exactly what the hokey Hillary-MacInTired park concept is, then alternative properties should be part of such a discussion.

As a historic site Willow Farm, like Aurora’s Pet Cemetery, provides diversity in Aurora’s rich historical narrative.

One that needs to be re-examined by our town, and definitely those who plan events like Doors Open.

Contrary to some closed minded people our town’s entire history isn’t concentrated at Hillary House. We are doing a great disservice if that is where we choose to continue to focus all our attention.

That would be, as they say, selling the farm.

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