Living in St. Andrews on the Hill
St. Andrews on the Hill is an affluent family oriented neighbourhood that has grown up around the landmark St. Andrew’s College, one of the premier boys private schools in Canada. St. Andrews on the Hill is blessed with a beautiful topography thanks to its location on the edges of the magnificent Oak Ridges Moraine. The streetscape is lined with a colour guard of mature trees. The streets wind and twist, up and down hills, following the natural contours of the land. The agriculture and horse farms that border this neighbourhood in Newmarket to the north, and King Township to the west, make you feel like you are in a country setting. This is in stark contrast to the increasingly urbanized Yonge Street which runs adjacent to St. Andrew’s College and forms the eastern boundary of the neighbourhood.
History of St. Andrews on the Hill
St. Andrews on the Hill was originally part of a 210-acre Crown grant awarded to William Hughes in 1803. Hughes cleared the vast forest around his property to fulfill the terms of his grant from the Crown and then in 1820 sold his parcel of land to Dennis Fitzgerald for $2000.00. Shortly thereafter; in 1827 Thomas Cosford purchased the Fitzgerald property for the bargain basement price of $1800.00. Thomas Cosford was born in England in 1796. He emigrated to Canada in 1811. He was an accomplished blacksmith and carriage maker by trade. His property came to be known as Willow Farm. The actual Cosford farmhouse was referred to as Oakland Cottage a name associated with the Cosford ancestral home in England.
Cosford married Nancy Pearson whose family owned the farm immediately north of the Cosford property. They had three children: Thomas William, Mary Ann and Jane. The Cosford family at one time owned properties on all four corners of Yonge Street and St. Johns Sideroad which came to be known as Cosford’s Corners. The ownership of Willow Farm remained in the Cosford family until 1903. The surrounding farmland land would change hands many times prior to St. Andrew’s College arrival in 1926. SAC was surrounded by farmland until the 1980s when the residential neighbourhood known as St.Andrews On The Hill was created. Willow Farm Lane the signature street in the neighbourhood is a reminder of this neighbourhoods past. Editors Note: Willow Farm still exists today as a private residence located off St. Johns Sideroad.
The south-end of this neighbourhood was part of the Aurora Orchard real estate development which began in 1965. It was the largest in the history of Aurora. This planned mixed use community had previously been an apple orchard. As part of the approval with Aurora Town council it was stipulated that 3,000 apple trees would remain on the property providing a link to this neighbourhoods past.
Homes in St. Andrews on the Hill
St. Andrews on the Hill is an upscale community consisting of luxury homes on premium lots. This neighbourhood forms the northwest boundary of Aurora. The topography is hilly and the streets twist and wind often leading to a quiet cul de sac. These luxury homes are mostly brick and Georgian in style. Two or three car built-in garages are the norm. Properties are lavishly landscapped and lined with a mature street canopy.
Lifestyle in St. Andrews on the Hill
St. Andrews Shopping Centre conveniently situated off Yonge Street is a landmark in the neighbourhood with its distinctive clock tower. This charming outdoor boutique plaza features cobblestone walkways as well as landscaped gardens and sitting areas. Fashion stores, restaurants, health and wellness and professional offices are all part of the mix at this shopping destination.
Recreation in St. Andrews on the Hill
The 126-acre St. Andrew’s College campus welcomes the rental of their vast facilities by the greater community. The six-lane, 25-metre indoor swimming pool and La Brier Family Arena are popular venues.
St Andrews Valley Golf Club at 4 Pinnacle Trail is known as a challenging but fun course to play. The bent grass fairways and USGA spec greens have earned St Andrews the distinction of being one of the highest rated golf clubs in Canada.
The Aurora Community Centre located just west of Yonge Street off Aurora Heights has two ice pads that are heavily used for hockey, figure skating, and pleasure skating. This centre also has an auditorium and community meeting rooms.
The Willow Farm/Lakeview trail system, traverses the countryside of St. Andrews on the Hill. This walking and cycling trail winds its way through the neighbourhood up and down hills through greenspaces and woodlots. It is extremely scenic and feels miles away from the hustle and bustle.
Arts in St. Andrews on the Hill
Aurora Cultural Centre located at 22 Church Street in downtown Aurora is open to the entire community and people of all ages. Located in a beautifully-restored 1886 schoolhouse, the Aurora Cultural Centre includes four vibrant gallery exhibition spaces, that host a range of instructional classes for children, teens and adults, an eclectic live music series, special family events, summer arts camps, and stunning rental spaces.
Transportation in St. Andrews on the Hill
York region operates regular bus service on Yonge Street and Bathurst Street. The Aurora Go station at 121 Wellington Street East connects passengers to downtown Toronto’s Union Station.
Motorists can take Yonge Street or Bathurst Street directly south into Toronto. The City limits are approximately thirty minutes while downtown Toronto would be a 1 hour plus commute. Highway 404 on-ramps are situated at Bloomington Road and Wellington Road. This commuter highway connects to the GTA’s 400 series highways.