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'Another sad day for heritage': Mayor Tom Mrakas hopes Aurora's Knowles Butcher Shop can be repaired after fire

Knowles Butcher Shop building has stood in downtown Aurora since 1885
June 28, 2021
Aileen Zangouei

Aurora mayor Tom Mrakas, said it was "another sad day for heritage" on a Facebook community group after a fire severely damaged the Knowles Butcher Shop building on June 25.

"This building has stood in downtown Aurora since 1885 and I am hoping it will be able to be repaired," Mrakas' post reads. "This will be a significant loss to our downtown, if it cannot be repaired." contacted Mrakas for a comment about the importance of heritage buildings in the town.

He responded in an email:

"Our past has always been an important part of the Aurora community, buildings such as the 'Knowles' building helps to inform our future; our history plays a big part in who we are as a community. Preserving, protecting and promoting our heritage is an important part of how we grow as a Town because we need to know where we came from to get where we are going. The 'Knowles butcher shop' building has been standing in this town since 1885 and will be a tremendous loss to our community if it cannot be repaired… I firmly believe that you cannot put a price on our history, because it is priceless! Once it is gone, it is gone forever.”

The roadways in all directions at Yonge and Wellington streets were closed as Central York firefighters dealt with heavy smoke that was reported coming from the rooftop of the commercial building in the area at around 2:25 p.m.

It is believed that the roof of the building located on the south side of Wellington St. just east of Yonge St. had been under repair.

All tenants were removed safely from the building, and no injuries were reported.

Crews checked for hotspots and were on scene till the early hours of the evening.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeremy Inglis said the second storey was fully engaged when they arrived. He described the fire as "stubborn".

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Motorists were advised to avoid the area and seek alternate routes during the late afternoon rush hour.