Aurora Strategic Plan, Sustainable Communities, How? High Density Housing

Aurora Strategic Plan, Sustainable Communities, How? High Density Housing

Building sustainable community in the Town of Aurora, a community that promotes sustainable living by reducing use of Earth’s natural resources, is my next topic for the Aurora’s 2031 Strategic Plan.

We all know that the idea of sustainable community or living is not new. With all the buzz of climate change around the world (too hot or too cold), we know that change must take place as soon as right now. We all must act together, but remember the sustainable living starts at home and then spreads out.

The Ridgewood, Aurora

In 20 years I will be 60. My goal in 20 years is to go back to even more sustainable living, as far as back to my early childhood years where my sole means of commuting was walking. Walking to school, to store, to church or to a bus station as far as 3 km away from home. Even biking wasn’t an option – it was always the eldest child who was granted a bike, and it wasn’t me.

I read an article in the Auroran yesterday, Wells Street facade is utmost priority school owner says [The Auroran, Week of November 22, 2011, pg 1,8] about future of the Wells Street Public School.

Wells Street Public School, Aurora

The local newspaper reported: ‘Joanne Birch … form Wells Street Schoolhouse Lofts, told The Auroran that the new owners were attracted to the heritage building both for the beauty of the building itself and the opportunity to build in Aurora as a well known community. Aside from the building itself and the Town in which it stands, Ms. Birch said her company was also attracted by additional amenities including the proximity to Yonge Street shopping, GO Transit, and being so close to the idyllic Town Park.’

Good start. Good thinking. A first step to sustainable community living on the Wells Street. We need more builders or developers to think like that.

We have 20 years to build and we also have data from the past to work with. A perfect example is the closing of Foodland store on the St. Andrews plaza on October 29, 2011 and leaving local residents with no other grocery store close by, especially elderly that commute by public transportation.

Foodland, Now Closed, Aurora

If you note my first paragraph, I said sustainable community and not communities. Yes, I want to see in 2031 for the Aurora to be one sustainable community, an integration of sustainable sub-communities or a network of sub-communities. We need to all work together.

The best part comes is how do we achieve this. It will not happen overnight, so we must act now. Even with the Strategic Plan in the horizon, the change must start. We don’t want to start building the sustainable community in 2031, we want to be sustainable community then.

Hollandview Trail, Retirement Community, Aurora

What I have in mind is to introduce (for future developments) more of high-density housings and putting limit on the population growth to secure more green space. I am not asking for sky scrapers, but something that will reduce the residential footprint leaving us with more natural land around.

Some may argue that it may increase traffic on the roads, but not if residents get access to the basic amenities within a walking distance.

For example, a grocery store, a medical/dental office, a restaurant/food court, a bus station, more bike racks, access to walking /hiking /biking paths, all must be part of the residential development project. Stores can easily be build underground as they are above. The idea is not to attract visitors from outside especially those who drive. Residents must have an option to commute to work/school by bus, bike or even walk. Many of them may even work within their living community.

I know, I know – we already have few similar places in Aurora but they are just shops – how many times will I need a wedding gown compare to a bag of milk. Just once in a life time for the gown but – milk every week. You tell me what is more beneficial.

The Ridgewood, Aurora

The message is clear that we need rules, by-laws and plans implemented to build future Aurora sustainable community. It may not be possible with current developed Aurora, but there is still lot of potential land to be developed and I hate to see being carelessly filled.

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.


  1. I think three- and four-story condos aren’t bad, but I lived in those huge apartment towers over in Mississauga, and I thought it was icky. Too much humanity crammed into too little space. The closer together people are packed, the less civilized they are, in my experience. I hope Aurora never goes the way of Mississauga.

  2. Yes too high is not that good. I know what you mean about Mississauga, they have some high scrapers there, lol. The recent one even looks weird.
    Thanks for all your comments.
    Anna :)