Aurora Historical Society

Type: Historical Society

This society works to preserve and promote the history of Aurora, Ontario. It has restored and operates Hillary House, the site of both the rural medical practice and family home for three generations of physicians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.




Built in 1862, Hillary House is recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board as one of Canada’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It is also a fine example of the architectural links between household and medical office. It retains its original layout, which provided for a medical examining room and dispensary at the front, with family living quarters behind. Rather than being incidental to the design, as in other examples of houses built for medical practitioners, the spaces used for the practice of medicine here were very carefully planned to provide convenience and privacy for both patients and family members. See the website for details.


Hillary House contains a significant collection of medical instruments, books, papers, household furnishings, and equipment dating from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century and is open to the public as Hillary House, the Koffler Museum of Medicine.


Charles Godfrey Library, an outstanding collection of books, journals, and manuscript material relating to the history of medicine and the social and cultural history of early Ontario. This collection is housed temporarily at the Aurora Public Library.

Public Programming:


The presentation of artefacts in Hillary House, as well as special exhibitions.


Booklets on the history of Hillary House.


Hillary House offers guided tours, led by knowledgeable interpreters, of its historic home and grounds throughout the year. Special accommodations can be made for large groups.


School tours and programs for Brownies and Scouting earning Heritage Badges.

Special Events

Lectures, cultural events, children’s activities.

Volunteer/Internship/Placement Opportunities:

The Aurora Historical Society warmly welcomes youth volunteers, student co-ops and placements. Download the application form. Volunteer opportunities exist in:
•    Special Events
•    Collections Management
•    Public Programming
•    Marketing
•    And many more areas

Address & Contact Information:

Aurora Historical Society
Hillary House, National Historic Site
15372 Yonge Street
Aurora, ON.
L4G 1N8

Phone: 905-727-8991

Hours of Operation:

Seasonal Hours:

May through September: Open Daily 10:00AM to 4:00PM

September through April: By appointment only – contact the AHS office for private tour, programming or rental inquiries.

Key Words: household, health