About Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

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About Stratford for Stratford, Ontario and Area

When you want to know Stratford, Ontario

Overview of Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Stratford, Ontario is known for its world renowned Shakespearean Festival, the Stratford Festival of Canada. Every year thousands of visitors from all over the world make their way to Stratford to experience the drama on stage. But that is only one part of the experience. There are many additional ways to enjoy Stratford, from music, literature, theatre, gardens, architecture, art, history, crafts and more. The Victorian era architecture in downtown Stratford adds to the charm and atmosphere of the city and it was named Prettiest City in the World at the 1997 Nations in Bloom awards.

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  • Population: 29,700
  • Population Density: 1353.7 km2
  • Area: 22 km2
  • Latitude: 43°24` N
  • Weather: See forecast
  • Elevation: 360 m. above sea level
  • Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time
  • Language: English
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History of Stratford, Ontario

Stratford began in 1832 when Thomas Mercer Jones, a Canada Company director, gave a picture of William Shakespeare to the owner of the Shakespeare Hotel. A stone marks the site of this hotel, near 70 Ontario Street. Jones gave the village the name of Stratford and the creek, which had been known as Little Thames, was renamed the Avon River. In 1854, Stratford became a village and a town in 1859. In 1953, Tom Patterson helped launch the Stratford Festival making tourism a significant industry.

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Stratford's Demographics

The main ethnic composition of Stratford is white, with the largest visible minority represented by the South Asian community at just over one per cent. Other nationalities make up a combined total of almost four per cent of the local population.

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Stratford's Climate

Located on the same latitude as Boston, Massachusetts, the Nebraska heartland and Northern California, the City of Stratford enjoys a year-round moderate climate. Southwestern Ontario in general has four distinct seasons, with winter lasting from December to March and summer temperatures from May through September.

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Education in Stratford, Ontario

There are eight public elementary schools and two secondary schools, run by the Avon Maitland District School Board. The Huron Perth Catholic District School Board runs three schools at the elementary level as well as one high school.

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Transportation around Stratford, Ontario

Three international airports, in London, Toronto and Hamilton are all within an hour and a half drive from Stratford. Passenger rail service is available through VIA Rail in Canada, and Amtrak from the States. Local transportation is provided by the Stratford Transit System.

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Tourism and Attractions of Stratford

The swan has become a main symbol of the city, with 24 white swans and two black swans released into the Avon River every spring by their honorary keeper, Mr. Robert J. Miller. The Annual Swan Release is usually the last Sunday in March. Winterfest is an annual festival with musical events, ice carving and a variety of carnival games. In warmer months, paddleboats and canoes are available to rent to cruise the Avon River, and there are guided walking tours presenting Stratford's history.

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Surrounding Communities

  • Stratford
  • Science Hill
  • St. Marys
  • Rannoch
  • Conroy
  • Fairview
  • Maplewood
  • Brunner
  • Topping
  • Nithburg
  • Lisbon
  • Ratzburg
  • Punkeydoodles Corners
  • Tavisstock
  • Mennonite Corner
  • Hampstead
  • Amulree
  • Brocksden
  • Sebastopol
  • Harmony
  • Shakespeare
  • Flannuigan Corners
  • St. Pauls Station
  • Avonton
  • Avonbank
  • Motherwell
  • Carlingford
  • Fullarton
  • Wartburg
  • Kinkora
  • Rostock
  • Moserville
  • Kuhryville
  • Gds Hill
  • Sebringville
  • Mitchell
  • Brandy Point

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Geography of Stratford, Ontario

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Stratford's Government

The City of Stratford is governed by the mayor and ten councillors, and municipal elections are held every three years. The next municipal council and school board elections for the City of Stratford will be held on Monday, November 13, 2006.

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Stratford's Economy and Industry

Stratford`s economy is a diversified base of manufacturing, tourism, commercial, financial, and service industries. The two top sectors of Stratford`s growing economy are manufacturing and tourism. International companies such as Honeywell and F.A.G. Bearings, rely on Stratford's labour to produce a variety of products like automotive parts, aerospace components, precision bearings, industrial machinery, and carpets.

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Stratford's Culture and Significant Events

In Canada, Stratford is automatically associated with live theatre. The Theatre Festival attracts over 600,000 visitors to live performances of Shakespeare and a host of other classic playwrights annually. The festival began over 50 years ago to replace the dying railroad industry. Today, it is the largest event of its kind in North America. On the streets, there are numerous restaurants offering cuisine that reflects the high standards of local, internationally recognized cooking schools.

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Sports in Stratford, Ontario

Stratford is home of the OHA Junior B hockey team, the Stratford Cullitons. An extremely successful team, the Stratford Cullitons have produced such NHL superstars as Chris Pronger and Rob Blake.

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Media of Stratford

Stratford has one local newspaper, the Beacon Herald as well as local radio coverage on both am and fm stations.

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