The settlement of Stratford began with the surveying of the Huron Road by the Canada Company in 1828. In December of that year and January of 1829, their agent, William "Tiger" Dunlop, planted his surveyor's stakes around the area that was to become this beautiful city.
Stratford, itself, began to take shape in 1832 when Thomas Mercer Jones, a Canada Company director, gave a picture of William Shakespeare to William Sargint, the owner of the Shakespeare Hotel. A stone marks the site of this hotel, near 70 Ontario Street.
In 1834 surveyor John MacDonald created the town plan. He placed the geographic centre of town at the point where four townships met, not far from today's Wade's Flower Shop. He then created four main roads radiating from the centre. Three of these roads were named for the Great Lakes to which they lead, Huron, Erie and Ontario.
The city's economy took a major turn when the Shakespearean Stratford Festival started in 1953. The annual festival now brings hundreds of thousands of theatre goers and tourists to the area. Celebrities such as Alec Guinness, Christopher Plummer, Peter Ustinov, Dame Maggie Smith, and William Shatner have performed at the festival. The world-renowned festival takes place in four theatres throughout the city; the Festival Theatre, the Avon Theatre, Tom Patterson Theatre and the Studio Theatre.
The top two sectors of Stratford's growing economy are manufacturing and tourism - a unique combination that works well. Industries such as Honeywell Consumer Products Group (Fram), Dyna-Mig, Novatronics, F.A.G. Bearings Ltd., Stratford Plastic Components and Springs Canada have chosen to call Stratford 'home'. These international companies rely on Stratford's labour to produce a variety of quality products including automotive parts, aerospace components, precision bearings, industrial machinery, and carpets.
- From the City of Stratford's Community Profile page.
|519 305-1313||49 Huron St., Stratford, Ontario N5A 5S4|