Aurora United Church Remains

While attending a Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting last year it was brought to the committee’s attention by members Bob McRoberts and David Heard that there is potential that senior members of the Tyler family are buried under the Aurora United Church Parking lot.

Former Deputy Mayor McRobers has been a member of the United Church which burnt to the ground last year. Shortly after the event he wrote a passionate letter to the Auroran which you can read here: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=6281

McRoberts has also advanced 2 pages from a 1968 book “celebrating 150 years of church on the site”. Highlighted are some points of interest to this discussion:

Notice the treed lawn to the north of the Church in the Toronto Public Library photo, the space that is now parking lot.

I appreciate that this type of thing is not uncommon.

Back in 2012 King Richard the 3rd was found under a parking lot:
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141202/ncomms6631/full/ncomms6631.html

Just this month a story broke that King Henry The 1st, fourth son of William The Conqueror is the next medieval English monarch that may be enshrined under asphalt:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/22/us-britain-king-carpark-idUSKBN0O70X620150522?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews

That’s England, what about something closer to home?

Here’s a CBC News piece from November of last year that featured the discovery of 57 graves from an 1800s cemetery located under the parking lot of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, located at Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue West:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/dozens-of-old-graves-found-under-toronto-church-parking-lot-1.2822601

The significant archaeological effort on this church site proceeded with the church still standing.

By comparison the site of the former Aurora United Church with no structure standing provides an excellent opportunity to determine if graves indeed exist on the site, especially if the services of an outfit like Archeological Services Inc. ( http://www.iasi.to/ ) was employed for this type of discovery.

Given that the town’s Heritage Planning Manager vacated her post for stress leave last year and the fact that this issue, like many others inexplicably fell off the HAC’s pending list it needs to get back on the radar before development plans for the site start taking shape.

There are far more suitable final resting places for the remains of these early Aurorans instead of simply leaving them to be paved over twice.

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