Think you know Stratford?
Stratford is an international destination with a thriving cultural economy. You’ll be surprised by the Smart City achievements and tech aspirations, serious culinary roots and vibrant cultural core. Spend time exploring independent shops, trendy and modern. Participate in authentic experiences, tasty adventures and spontaneous street surprises.
Videos tell the story
Discover Stratford’s vibrant experiences in the visual arts, music, culinary excellence, and play time in five one-minute videos released in 2019.
- #DYK The Justin Bieber, Stratford’s biggest pop star, exhibition welcomed 20,000+ visitors from around the world to the Stratford Perth Museum in 2018? This has inspired a new book and a refreshed exhibit in 2019.
- #DYK The Stratford Festival is one of Canada's leading tourist attractions, attracting over half million patrons, generating $134M in economic activity, $65M in taxes, $5M in municipal taxes and creating 3,000 direct and indirect jobs each year?
- #DYK Stratford Summer Music showcases 100+ musical events during six weeks of music every July and August? More than 350+ diverse artists from around the world perform in Stratford representing a wide range of musical genres.
- #DYK The Amazing Race Canada, Murdoch Mysteries and Stephen King's In the Tall Grass filmed in Stratford and area in 2018?
- #DYK Gallery Stratford is the place to find contemporary regional and Canadian visual art? Formerly the city’s pump house, admission is free and it’s only a five-minute walk from the Festival Theatre.
You’ll love Stratford’s on-line personal discovery concierge on visitstratford.ca – so easy to Plan Your Experience. No need to download an app. Just click on Plan Your Experience. Pin your events and map your visit. Then send it to a friend. Stratford is the very first tourism organization to implement this kind of technology, a reflection of our leadership and innovation. (Jan 2019 using Chillwall Artificial Intelligence) Learn more...
Stratford’s Culinary Landscape
Stratford is located in Perth County, Ontario's richest agricultural region and one of its most agriculturally productive counties. Our culinary adventures take you beyond the dining room to farm markets and cheese makers, craft breweries and distilleries, honing your skills in cooking classes and foraging in the wild. Celebrate the next generation of young talented chefs, the tenacity of local producers and the unrelenting demand for excellence in our food scene. Discover Stratford's exciting food scene for yourself. Use the 25th edition of the Stratford Culinary Guide to steer your journey to #nextgen chefs and restaurants.
- Stratford Chefs School, where the best chefs train since 1983, now offers Open Kitchen cooking classes, hands-on cooking and learning experiences devoted to home cooks and food-lovers in state-of-the-art kitchens on Ontario Street. Student created dinners are offered from October through early March.
- Junction 56 Distillery is proudly local using Ontario grown grains and ingredients to create small batch, high quality spirits including moonshine, gin, vodka and flavoured liqueurs. Their first bath of whisky was released in November 2018 to rave reviews.
- Craft Brewing: Black Swan Brewery, Jobsite Brewing Co. and Shakespeare Brewing Company (uses 100% local Ontario ingredients) offer exciting flavours from light and approachable to bold and complex reflecting the terroir distinctive to this area.
- There is magic and passion in Stratford restaurant kitchens, on the plate and in your glass. Fuelled by freshness arriving at the restaurant’s kitchen door and featured on a blackboard menu the same day, our chefs are always pushing the limits. Plant-based menu choices and hip restaurants deliver exciting, new-world flavours. Global trends influence dishes created with locally sourced ingredients
- Elevate your visit to Stratford any time of year with unexpected surprises along our culinary trails. Meet the artisans with sampling your sweet faves on the Chocolate Trail. Savour pork-inspired bites and craft brews on the Bacon and Ale Trail.
- Foraging with Pucks Plenty rewards your wild side with sustainable and delicious finds on tours offered spring through late fall. Some also include a lunch using the wild edibles.
- Stratford Farmers Market, one of Ontario’s longest running markets (since 1855) open every Saturday from 7am-12noon at the Agri-plex (enter at Rotary Complex, McCarthy Rd) - Perth County Slow Food Market – good, clean, fair – open year-round on Sundays from 10am – 2pm in Market Square (May-Oct) and indoors at Festival Square (Nov-Apr).
What makes Stratford a Smart City
- Earning its place in the Top 7 Intelligent Community of the Year rankings for 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), an international distinction.
- Our citywide high-speed fibre optic network is a progressive investment that provides fibre to our homes and businesses and wireless connectivity to every mobile device, anywhere in the city. Free access to VisitStratford.ca and StratfordCanada.ca is included. Rhyzome Networks is a data infrastructure company operating the 50-km, underground fibre optic grid and a wireless network spanning the City. A redundant, contiguous IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi mesh network taps the fibre network at more than 100 points throughout the City. The fibre portion runs at speeds up to 1gig/sec. and the Wi-Fi up to 100megs/sec.
- Stratford is one of six Regional Technology Development Sites across Ontario which will support and enable small and medium sized enterprises to develop, prototype, test and validate new autonomous technologies. Designated as a demonstration zone for autonomous technologies through its partnership with the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association, it will help with assisting companies in using the technologies they develop at the sites in a real-world setting. (May 2018) Learn more...
- The City of Stratford is moving forward with the next phase of its smart parking pilot project, with the release of a real-time online map that shows the availability of municipal parking spaces in the downtown core. Parking sensors or pucks were embedded in the asphalt at 78 downtown parking spaces, along Wellington, Downie and Albert streets. Those sensors transmit signals through a wireless network to indicate whether a vehicle is parked in that spot or not. (The online map, which is still being refined, is intended to serve as a tool to give motorists an indication of where open parking spaces are available in the core before travelling downtown.)
- The Stratford Accelerator Centre is where success starts! They help tech entrepreneurs and digital media companies move from start-up to scale-up. There is no better place to provide mentorship, coaching, programming and leadership services to accelerate a client's growth from vision to market readiness. It is rated #4 in the world due to its strong mentorship program.
- The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business at the University of Waterloo offers undergraduate and graduate programs in digital arts and design within a global business framework. Students combine creative exploration, critical thinking and design research to create positive technology-enhanced user experiences. Stratford is proud to host this designated school.
- RBC has selected Stratford as its new computer centre home fostering technology and innovation.
- More questions about Stratford? Contact us!