The Aurora Armoury was designed by Walter Moberly in 1874 as a drill shed for the 12th Battalion of the Infantry of York Rangers and has played a significant role in both Canadian and Auroran history. The site is located in Aurora Town Park within the Downtown core and has historically served as a gathering place and community hub for residents. At the time of its closure as a National Defense Facility in 2012, it was the longest-serving active armoury in Canada.
The Armoury has also traditionally been linked with events in the Town Park such as political rallies and speeches, festivals and sporting events and as such has been designated as a Federal heritage building. In fact, the Aurora Armoury was the backdrop for Edward Blake’s the famous “Aurora Speech” on October 3, 1874, when speaking to a crowd of 2,000 in the Armoury, he outlined his nationalist ‘Canada First’ views and argued that Canadians should take more control over their political affairs from Britain and was a catalyst for a series of important Canadian political reform.