About Stratford go
90 miles (120 car minutes) west of Toronto, lies Stratford, largest city in Perth County, located right in the middle of Ontario’s prime food producing area. Is this Camelot? We came to enjoy:
– culture and entertainment
– renowned food production and world class dining
– beautiful and unique scenery
– active outdoor adventures and recreation
– rich history
– stimulating people interaction

Weekend visit or extended vacation – much to savor here. Plays, charming hamlets, countryside, hand crafted furniture, antiques, local produce, arts and crafts – some of the choices. Taste farm raised game meats, crawl pubs, feed swans, paddle a canoe or kayak on Avon River, cycle or walk all over town, hike trails to birdwatch. Tour historic Stratford – finely conserved 19th century homes, churches, commercial and civic buildings. On a self guided tour of Stratford’s Avondale Cemetery visit the graves of early settlers. Factoid: Young Thomas Edison lived in Stratford while working as a night signal operator for the Grand Trunk Railway.

Stratford Shakespeare Festival go
Perhaps the most prominent Canadian arts event, this annual (April-November) live theater festival is renowned worldwide. Theater pilgrims from outside Canada, especially British and American, flock to the “wooden O” upon the hill as to sacred ground. Festival success has dramatically changed Stratford into a city valuing arts and tourism. Many of the finest restaurants are open only during theatre season.

Shows are performed in four permanent theaters: Festival, Avon, Tom Patterson, Studio. Shakespeare represents 1/3 of the programs, the rest, classical and contemporary works and musicals. Theatergoers, actors, and playwrights come to Stratford to see great Canadian, British and American actors playing roles here.

History: The Festival exists because Tom Patterson, a Stratford-native journalist, wanted to economically invigorate the town when it faced a disastrous loss of jobs with the closing of the Grand Trunk Railroad. On October 31, 1952 the festival began, dedicating itself to Shakespeare works since the town shares the name of his birthplace. First Artistic Director was British actor/director Tyrone Guthrie. On July 13, 1953, the first performance was held in a giant canvas tent on the Avon River banks. Actor Alec Guinness spoke the 1st lines of the 1st play: “Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this son of York.” The season lasted 6 weeks, with 2 plays: Richard III and All’s Well That Ends Well. The second year the playbill expanded to 3 shows including the 1st non-Shakespeare play, Oedipus Rex. The Festival Theatre built on a ridge above the Avon River opened 1957. It was designed to resemble a tent, in memory of those early performances.

Food, farms, cuisine
Perth County, in south-western Ontario, does not touch any of the Great Lakes. It is rural farm country with many hamlets. Stratford is the largest city. The culinary traditions of this area – nose to tail, slow food, farm to table, seed to plate, pitchfork to table fork, 100 mile rule – exist because local farmers grow great food and local chefs are trained to create healthy beautiful dishes from the freshest local ingredients. A pre-historic lake bed, the soil is rich in calcium, sand and organics. Perth farmers protect and enhance the fertility of the land with their farming practices. There is pride among the farmers we meet. There is also concern and strong interest in maintaining land for farming and in helping young farmers acquire land to farm. Game meats and pork are produced in the area. The renowned Stratford Chef School, with it’s innovative educational design, trains chefs who make gastronomic magic around the world and go on to achieve international reputations.

Bayfield and Goderich
Settled 1826, these lovely lake-side towns, located on Lake Huron shores, 40 miles (1 1/2 hours driving leisurely) from Stratford, are low-key picturesque vacation spots with scenic, tree shaded streets, accessible beaches – charming and relaxing. Queen Victoria once commented that Goderich was “The prettiest town in Canada” – although no reigning monarch has ever visited Goderich. Here you can walk on a lakeside boardwalk, visit the Goal built 1841, see a history museum like none other, dine at a pub or gourmet restaurant, see a glorious lake sunset, watch commercial ship traffic moving grain and salt from Goderich Port, stroll unique town squares, walk the surrounding Carolinian forest.

 

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Stratford go
90 miles (120 car minutes) west of Toronto, lies Stratford, largest city in Perth County, located right in the middle of Ontario’s prime food producing area. Is this Camelot? We came to enjoy:
– culture and entertainment            – renowned food production and world class dining
– beautiful and unique scenery        – active outdoor adventures and recreation
– stimulating people interaction       – rich history

Weekend visit or extended vacation – much to savor here. Shakespeare Festival plays, charming hamlets, countryside, hand crafted furniture, antiques, local produce, arts and crafts – some of the choices. Taste farm raised game meats, crawl pubs, feed swans, paddle a canoe or kayak on Avon River, cycle or walk all over town, hike trails to birdwatch. Tour historic Stratford – finely conserved 19th century homes, churches, commercial and civic buildings. On a self guided tour of Stratford’s Avondale Cemetery visit the graves of early settlers. Factoid: Young Thomas Edison lived in Stratford while working as a night signal operator for the Grand Trunk Railway. more

ABOUT Nov11

ABOUT

About Stratford go 90 miles (120 car minutes) west of Toronto, lies Stratford, largest city in Perth County, located right in the middle of Ontario’s prime food producing area. Is this Camelot? We came to enjoy: – culture and entertainment – renowned food production and...

Day 1 Nov06

Day 1

after weekending in Toronto, we pick up rental car and drive to Stratford go Traffic and construction slow us, but ride through small towns and pretty farm country makes the ride pleasant. noon arrive Stratford Lovely 19th century city – impressive court house and city...

DAY 2 Oct08

DAY 2

breakfast Tango Cafe & Grill go The cafe’s highlight color, red, brightens our day. Local art, colorful and exuberant, intensifies the mood. Cafe offers traditional breakfast fare made with fresh ingredients. Coffee, tea, juices, eggs, house baked muffins and scones. 9...

DAY 3 Oct07

DAY 3

breakfast Tango Cafe & Grill go Second day here – the staff considers us “regulars”. We have custom omelets with house baked scones and good coffee. 9:30 am drive to Eastern Perth County to explore Amish communities 10 am tour Perth County Welcome Center...

DAY 4 Oct06

DAY 4

breakfast Tango Cafe & Grill go At our final breakfast we discover the tango dance steps on the ceiling – hence the name. We fuel up with seasonal fresh fruit, just right poached egg served with an English. 9:30 am drive to Lake Huron to...

DAY 5 Oct05

DAY 5

breakfast Ivey Dining Room, Benmiller Inn & Spa go On three separate tables the buffet is laid out in country style with authentic old mill tools and relics serving as props. The artifacts blended and woven among the food create a visual delight and authentic theme. Just...

DAY 6 Oct04

DAY 6

breakfast Stone Maiden Inn go Chef Mark Brown creates a fresh breakfast menu each morning. His juice blends are healthy, delicious and delight the eye. Even a plebeian yogurt is embellished with fresh fruit and oats, presented in glass so that layers are visible. Attention to...

DAY 7 Oct03

DAY 7

breakfast Stone Maiden Inn go Another breakfast surprise – Chef Mark does not run short of ideas. New juice combos this morning. His French toast is cut 1 1/2″ wide and about 6″ long and served with white chocolate. More delights on Day 8. 10 am unveiling...

DAY 8 Oct02

DAY 8

breakfast Stone Maiden Inn go Chef Mark Brown continues his surprises: a black strap molasses cookie (duck shaped), bartlett pear juice with blackberries and lime leaf, brioche ‘pain perdu’ with peanut butter mousse, banana and carob ice cream. Also tried the Roasted and...

CREDITS Oct01

CREDITS

Thanks to all who helped create this fine experience For All Events  Joseph Cillo Publisher & Editor in Chief  Mary Buttaro Creative & Photo Editor Stratford Tourism Alliance  Cathy Rehberg Marketing Manager Stratford Festival  Ann Swerdfager Publicity Director County of...