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Machell’s Alley will welcome visitors to Downtown Aurora this summer

·2 min read

As work continues on Library Square, a new temporary downtown space will serve as a gathering place in Aurora’s historic downtown core.

Work is set to get underway on Machell’s Alley, a transformation of a vacant lot just north of the Clocktower/Post Office building on Yonge Street.

As reported by The Auroran last month, the space, donated by Yonge Developments Inc., has been spearheaded by the Aurora Downtown BIA and will serve as a place for residents to congregate before and after frequenting local businesses, all the while practicing social distancing.

“The Machell’s Alley revitalization is an excellent example of collaborative efforts to support local businesses,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas in a statement. “By working together, we can continue to build awareness of Downtown Aurora while providing a vibrant and inviting space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Once work transforming the site is completed, it will have open-air seating for residents to not only enjoy local food, but entertainment as well – and its new name has been chosen as a tribute to early trailblazers who started businesses in Machell’s Corners, the community that sprang up around Yonge and Wellington that eventually became known as Aurora.

“The location at 15217 Yonge Street has a fascinating history being the site of a blacksmith shop in the 1870s,” said the Town. “This early shop was torn down and a new building erected in 1908 which housed Philip De La Haye’s Blacksmith Shop, John Morning’s Garage, Wilson’s Hardware, North York Heating, Plumbing & Electrical, and finally a second-hand furniture store before being torn down in 1991.

“Machell’s Alley is a nod to all the early trailblazing entrepreneurs in the area and a symbol of the support for current business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran