75 Waterloo St. S.
Ontario Tourism Region : Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
- Pop. 28,002. In South Easthope T., Perth C., on the Avon R., Hwys 7 & 8 and C. Rds. 112 & 119, 36 km. W of Kitchener.
- The attributes of Stratford as a townsite were noted by surveyors as they hacked out the Huron Rd. from the Waterloo C. boundary to Goderich from 1828-29.
- The place was known as Little Thames, after the river, when William Sargeant and his wife arrived in 1832 and built a hotel, which they called The Shakespeare Inn. A Canada Company official donated a painting of Shkspeare to Sargeant to hang in the hotel
- The river had previously been named the Avon by Dr. William 'Tiger' Dunlop of the Canada Company, so when the post office was established in 1832 residents agreed the place should be called Stratford after Shakespeare's birthplace in Warwickshire, Eng.
- In the 1860s, when Stratford was divided into five wards, they were named Shakespeare, Hamlet, Romeo, Avon, and Falstaff.
- It wasn't until 1953 that Stratford really capitalized on its Shakespeare connection (thanks to the idea and efforts of newspaper reporter Thomas Patterson.)
- Patterson set up a committee in 1952 to explore the possibility of holding a theatre festival and sought the advice ofleaders in the theatre arts.
- He arranged through Dora Mavor Moore for Tyrone Guthrie, eminent British producer, to meet the committee in 1952. Patterson held executive posts in the organization that grew out of this committee.
- The following year, in a massive tent beside the Avon R., Sir Alec Guinness played Richard III.
- The venture was a huge success, and the 1957 season opened in a permanent home with 2,262 seats, none of which is more than 65 feet (19.8 m) from the stage.
- The 1901-vintage Avon Theatre became a partner in the festival in 1967, and the Third Stage Theatre opened in 1971. The three theatres now draw 400,000 persons a year to 'The Festival City.'
Natural Resources Canada in the County of Perth.
Address of this page: http://www.stirling.ruralroutes.com/stratfordontario