About Us


The Master Plan

The first Master Plan was presented to Aurora Town Council in 2006 and accepted by the Council. The plan is now part of Aurora’s Leisure Services Master Plan. An updated Master Plan was presented to and approved by council in late 2017. It provides the blueprint for the current and ongoing future development of the Arboretum.
David Tomlinson

The Master Plan

David Tomlinson, a retired local Landscape Architect and previous member of the ACA board of directors, created the original Master Plan in 2005 and updated it in 2017. David’s expertise and intimate knowledge of Aurora, its soils, micro-climates, flora and fauna, combined to give us a comprehensive and professional Master Plan. He knew that the task was not to try to replicate the forest of 200 years ago, as so much has changed, but to create a new sense of that forest and meadow, as well as incorporate a specimen tree area that is heart of the ‘formal’ Arboretum, a living tree museum where many species and varieties of trees are showcased. Commemorative trees and benches are found in this area.

Master Plan Elements

It is proposed that the area south of John West Way will become a collection of Carolinian tree species once the invasive phragmites currently infesting it, is controlled. This area may also be impacted by proposed development of the adjacent private lot such that work here is suspended until this work is completed.

A Specimen Tree Collection – Hardy Species

This is a representative selection of large and smaller growing trees, both native and exotic species, and varieties that are hardy and can be grown in the Town of Aurora and surrounding area.

A Specimen Tree Collection – Tender Species

These specimen trees are at the Northern edge of their hardiness zone and need to be carefully located in sheltered locations protected by topography or existing trees and shrubs.

A Wetland Tree Collection

These are trees that need ample moisture during their growing season, but most will not grow in standing water.

Trees on the Holland River Valley Slopes

It is proposed that all the valley slopes should be re-forested to create a visual screen between the valley lands and surrounding development. A mixture of native and exotic trees and shrub species are being used here. These trees and shrubs will also form Shelter Belts creating micro-climates for tender species and wildlife corridors.

‘Flora Aurora’ – Ornamental Flowering Trees and Shrubs

This is an extensive collection of trees and shrubs that are Spring flowering, display good Fall colour and colourful Winter berries, providing Aurora with masses of flowers in mid-May. This area has been designated as Flora Aurora and is a significant feature of the Arboretum.

Natural Areas – Old Field Herbaceous

Old-field herbaceous and old-field shrubs are two of the richest wildlife habitats, supporting a large number of different species of birds, mammals, amphibians and insects.

A Bottomland Forest

The proposal is to plant an extensive area of the valley lands with typical bottomland tree species. Large Willows and Cottonwoods can be planted along the banks of the river.

A Grassland Meadow

This area in the Northern part of the Arboretum is designated as The Meadow and will include a wide range of grasses. This should provide a grazing area for migrating waterfowl and habitat diversity to the Arboretum.

Upland Forest

These are plantings on the high ground (tablelands) on the edge of the valley.


100+ acres east of Industrial Pkwy N, between St. John's Sideroad and Wellington St. E

Aurora Community Arboretum

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