House of Medicine, By Mark Koning

House of Medicine

It touches me every time I see people volunteering. So the other week when I was out volunteering myself, with the Heart & Stroke Foundation, riding the Big Bike, I found it a rather nice coincidence to be passing by a group of volunteers doing outdoor doing yard work to pitch-in, in a clean up effort. Another funny coincidence on top of that was the fact that they were working around the grounds of the historic Hilary House, a place that I was planning to visit.


The Hillary House and Koffler Museum of Medicine, was built in 1862, and is situated in Aurora, Ontario. It is a picturesque house just off of Yonge Street.

From 1862 and into the early 1900’s the place had been home to four doctors who all operated their medical practice out of the dispensary room located in the front of the house. The doctors also frequently traveled via horse and buggy to visit their patients. Imagine that; doctors rarely even make house calls anymore…… oh how times have changed. The medical devices that are on display and the sciences that are explained through journals and books, can all be considered old, artifact, ground breaking and simply astonishing! It always amazes me to see, hear about or read up on the way things were years ago and then to close my eyes and allow my mind to wonder, to try and picture it. The way people got along, the way they were treated. I love my life now, but what would it have been like then? To have your doctor come to your home, to treat you on your couch, to receive that personal touch. My hat goes off to the current medical profession; it has grown with society. Needs are in demand much more than during those times. But one still has to wonder.

One of the best things I like about historical sites is that they offer education to generations that were not around during those times that were, in fact, quite different than current lifestyles and the structure of modern society. I think in a way it humbles all of us in allowing us to realize true priorities and importance; but also, it slows us a little from the fast paced rush we tend to live through on a daily basis.

Like many places filled with history that deserves to live on, Outreach Programs are offered with a variety of activities and curriculum put into place; and along with it are a variety of events and rental packages for meetings, small receptions, parties, recitals and more. Just visiting and being on the grounds of this beautiful home is enough to peak someone’s interest and imagination to the way things were.

Visit The Aurora Historical Society and the Hilary House and take a time travel tour of medicine.