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The Town’s Sports Field

Town Park’s central location combined with its openness and accessibility made it the ideal place to hold competitions. The Park was equipped with a large field, ball diamond and, in winter months, an ice rink, which meant that various sports could be played throughout the year.

A horizontally oriented paper poster with a brown background and soft text advertising a football match in Town Park. The poster is significantly ripped along the two side edges as well as the top edge.

A poster advertising a football match in Town Park, 1896

During the late 1800s there was a surge in the development of team sports in Canada. When a new sport reached Aurora it would be tried, tested and played in Town Park. Originally referred to as the Cricket Field, Town Park was the go-to place for sporting events and Cricket was one of the first sports played in Aurora with a club dating back to the late 1850s.

A black and white photograph of fourteen men, some wearing baseball gloves and others holding bats, posing in a straight line on a grass field with trees and a wooden building in the background; ten men are wearing baseball uniforms inscribed with

T. Sisman Shoe Company Baseball Team, 1914


During the early 1870s lacrosse and baseball grew in popularity; league games were played regularly and informal matches happened as part of the annual Victoria Day and Dominion Day (July 1st) celebrations.

When writing about an 1895 lacrosse game between the Buffers and the Duffers, played in Town Park, the Aurora Banner (Oct 11, 1895) noted:

It was an endless source of amusement to the fashionable crowd, who numbered four or five hundred, to watch the energetic, graceful and frequently brilliant attempts made by players.

Sporting events were a central form of entertainment for both residents and visitors. Organizers would charge a small admission fee to help cover costs although not everyone was willing to pay the cost:

A newspaper clipping reporting on the crowds viewing lacrosse and baseball matches without paying

Aurora Banner, June 17, 1904


It was in Town Park where cricket, lacrosse, football, hockey, baseball and basketball would flourish while residents participated or cheered on their local team.

A black and white photograph of a football (soccer) team posing in three rows, five in uniform sit on grass with middle boy holding a ball, second row of 5 in uniform seated on a bench, last row of 5 standing behind; four houses and a picket fence visible in background

The Aurora Football Club in Town Park, 1914