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The Cadets

Once the Aurora Cadet program was established in 1912, the 12th Battalion was no longer the only one drilling in Town Park. The Cadet program reached Aurora through the efforts of the Aurora Public School principal J.G. McDonald and Captain W.H. Taylor of the B Company, 12th Regiment. Local school programs were considered to be the ideal location for training future armed forces. Military skills were taught to boys over the age of 12 and weekly Friday drills saw young cadets in their smart new uniforms marching in formation throughout the Park.

A black and white photograph of a group of young boys in uniforms with rifles, lined up in a single row; two small boys and several men, some in uniform, observe from the right side; a large rectangular wooden building and several houses visible in the background

Cadet Inspection, c. 1920


A black and white photograph depicting a line of girl cadets in uniform marching through a park; baseball diamond and houses visible in background

Girl Cadets marching in Town Park

Girls were also active members of the Cadets in Aurora albeit unofficially; legally, the Cadet program was only for boys. Although girls were not permitted to attend any of the overnight training camps this did not dampen their enthusiasm for the program and they actively participated in the multitude of events including weekly drills, annual inspections and parades, all of which centred around Town Park.

The School Cadet Program lasted until 1965 when changing public attitudes towards military training in schools forced its cancellation. While involvement with the school system came to an end, the Cadet Corps continued under a new charter with the sponsorship of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Queen’s York Rangers.


A colour photograph depicting uniformed boys parading with flags in a park setting; trees and a rectangular white clad building with red roof in the background

Cadets Parading in Town Park, c. 1970


The revamped Cadet program for boys and girls continued their close association with Town Park. Many a fond memory was created for hundreds of boys and girls who passed through the program.

Audio clip with transcript: “Cadets”