Dr. Strange’s departure from Aurora in 1876 raised editorial comment in the Aurora Banner;
As may be noticed by Dr. Hillary’s advertisement in another column, Dr. Strange has sold his premises [15372 Yonge Street] and intends to move to Toronto. Many of our readers will regret to learn this as Dr. Strange has had an extensive practice since residing here. Dr. Hillary who has purchased his premises and will succeed to his practice is [so] well and favourably known that it is [not] necessary to say anything further than we are satisfied that he will be as successful in the future as he has been in the past.
Dr. Robert W. Hillary had been in practice for twenty years when he moved into the Manor, and was widely known and respected in Aurora, Whitchurch and King. As well as physician, surgeon and accoucheur he was described in the Banner as a “master of the violin” who was enthusiastically encored whenever he played. At the Mechanics’ Institute (frequently as president) Dr. Hillary gave “amusing readings” and lectures on topics as diverse as “The Tides of the Ocean” and “The Electric Telegraph”.
Dr. Hillary served on village council, was leader of the village orchestra, Surgeon-Major of the 12th York Rangers and always managed to win first or second prize at the agricultural fair for his paintings and sketches. Less than five feet tall, he was sometimes known as the Little Colonel.