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Stratford
Information about the city


Stratford is a city on the Avon River within Perth County in southwestern Ontario, Canada, with a 2016 population of 31,465 in a land area of 28.28 square kilometres (10.92 sq mi). Stratford is the seat of Perth County, which was settled by English, Irish, Scottish and German immigrants, in almost equal numbers, starting in the 1820s but primarily in the 1830s and 1840s. Most became farmers; even today, the area around Stratford is known for mixed farming, dairying and hog production.

The area was settled in 1832, and the town and river were named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Stratford was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1886. The first mayor was John Corry Wilson Daly. The swan has become a symbol of the city. Each year twenty-four white swans are released into the Avon River. The town is noted for the Stratford Festival, which performs Shakespearean plays and other genres from May to October.

The city of Stratford is best known for its Shakespeare theatre festival. When the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season, throwing thousands of people out of work, the city's prescient policy of pursuing high tech opportunities helped keep the lights on.

History of St. Jamesí Church, Stratford, Ontario, Canada
From 1840 to 1924 to commemorate the consecration of the church by his Lordship Bishop Williams, Sunday, June 15, 1924, by Dr. S. Silcox (pdf)

the Stratford Quarterly
Vol. 1 No. 1 Issue 1 (pdf)


Return to our History of Ontario Page

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