Art at the Manor 2017

Opens November 16, 2017

We are pleased to once again announce that we will be working with local artists to present Art at the Manor for the sixth year. This year the AHS is pleased to once again be working with the artists of the Aurora Studio Tour. Each artist will have the opportunity to display up to three pieces, one of which must depict Hillary House, or the Hillary Collection, in some way. It is an exciting opportunity to present unique art by local artists in a historic house setting.
Artists Include:

Carol J. Beaver

Shirley Binns

Judy Bobsin

Karen L. Bowen

Deborah Campo

Claire D’Aurore

Willo Rodrigues

Christine Valentini

Online Oral History Digital Library found at This website hosts our latest project, Let’s Talk, which featured local high school students interviewing local seniors to collect oral histories about Aurora through-out the twentieth century. This project was funded by New Horizons for Seniors through the Employment and Social Development Canada Department and was in partnership with the Hollandview Trail Retirement Community and the Senior Wish Association.

Wooden Toy Carrier
150 Artefacts for 150 Years: Wooden Toy Carrier
150 Artefacts for 150 Years

This exhibit was done in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada in 2013 in celebration of Aurora’s 150th anniversary. It features images of 150 artifacts from the Hillary House collection, including some that are not seen on display in the house, includes pictures of the Hillary family, excerpts from our archives, and artifacts from the collection.Tour through the history and beauty that Hillary House has to offer in your very own home.

Yonge Street, Aurora, 1910

150 Years Yonge

Opens July 1, 2017

In celebration of 150 years since the confederation of Canada, the Aurora Historical Society will be looking at one of the countries most famous streets,Yonge Street, and how it has impacted the shaping of our nation. Beginning with it’s origins as a trail for the Aboriginal peoples, to its clearing as a road under John Graves Simcoe in 1792, to today, and everything in between. Hillary House will host 15 narratives, one for each decade of confederation, sharing the history of the street it stands on. More information to come soon.

R. Stuart Hillary, 1916

WWI: The Road to Vimy

Opens April 4, 2017

This exhibit will be the second installment of the First World War Exhibition Trilogy at Hillary House, beginning from where the first exhibit, WWI: For King and Country, left off, in late 1916.

Memorial at Vimy
For King and Country began with the origins of the war in 1914; initial reactions, both locally and nationally; and the surge of early enlistment. The exhibit ended with the realities of war settling upon a nation that had begun so eager to fight, with the Second Battle of Ypres and trench warfare.

The new exhibit will start in that somber state where we left off, with the casualty list mounting, the trench deadlock, and the realities of war setting in with no end in sight. It was in this atmosphere that Dr. Robert Michael Hillary, and his eldest son, R. Stuart Hillary, enlisted in 1916, and began the march towards the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, where Stuart lost his life on April 4, 1917. This exhibit will explore the battle, its impact on the war, and on the Canadian national identity; as examine well as the personal narratives of the Hillary Family through these events.

Curated by Erika Mazanik with assistance from Jeremy Hood, Mason Gooch, and Marisa Kelly. Thank you also to the Aurora Museum and Archives, Mary Beth Hess, Richard Hess, Brenda Snape, Leigha Cooney, and the Campbell/Nisbet Family for their assistance.


Art at the Manor 2016

Once again the AHS is proud to present Art at the Manor. This year’s exhibition will see artists from Local Colour Aurora displaying their art, including some pieces of the house itself. More details to come.

Opens November 2016

Image from Art at the Manor 2015: Sunflowers in Blue Pitcher by Shirley Binns

From the Doctor’s House: A Glimpse into the Koffler Museum of Medicine

Iodex-0018 Opens September 2016

AHS is teaming up with the Aurora Cultural Centre for their Community as Curator program. A selection of rarely seen artifacts from our medical collection will be on display at the Cultural Centre next to the reception desk. The world of medicine changed drastically in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, see how with the medical implements used by the doctors of Hillary House. Curated by Erika Mazanik and Jeremy Hood.

World War One: For King and Country

Opens August 20, 2016

The Great War was a devastating world event that killed millions and resulted in an overall shift in the world as everyone knew it. From the initial enthusiasm, to the trenches, and the shell-shock that followed, the Aurora Historical Society has worked to cover all aspects of the First World War and its global, national, and local impacts over the course of three exhibitions in the next three years.

This first exhibit will start with the origins of the war in 1914, initial reactions, and early enlistment, and end with the realities of trench warfare and the Second Battle of Ypres. Along the way we will follow the lives of individual soldiers from Aurora and their personal war narratives.

FamilyChristmas-528Thank you to Magna Hoedown for supporting this exhibition.

Image from the Aurora Museums and Archives Collections

Curated by Erika Mazanik with assistance from Nida Atif and Robert Hess.

Nora’s Suitcase

Nora Hillary (1902-1993) was an enthusiastic world traveller. The Hillary Collection has many items from her travels including souvenirs, travel documents, postcards, clothing, and more. This exhibit will go through the changes in travel throughout the 20th century, following Nora on her journeys. Her extensive travels, connection to Hillary House, and long life that perfectly spans the 20th century makes her the ideal subject for this exhibit.

Deborah Campo
By Deborah Campo
Art at the Manor 2015

Grand Opening: Friday November 6, 2015

For the fourth consecutive year AHS is proud to present Art at the Manor at Hillary House National Historic Site. The exhibit showcases pieces by local artists who are influenced by the world around them.

Part of the Aurora Studio Tour November 14th & 15th from 10am – 4pm.

For more information please visit or contact Erika at 905 727 8991 or

Aurora Tennis Club - 1913

Tennis in Canada: From Early Beginnings to Global Success

Ended Saturday September 26, 2015

Did you know that the very first tennis club in Aurora started right here on the Hillary House lawn in 1911? We will take you on a journey from the origins of the sport, to its spread into Canada, to tennis in Aurora. The exhibit will feature the evolution of tennis equipment, the changes in the fashion, and the role of tennis in our culture.

This exhibit is part of our Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Celebration! Find out more here.