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History and Heritage: Explore Stratford From Another Time

Explore Stratford on a self-guided heritage walk. There are over 10 walks to choose from, and you can easily stop by Destination Stratford at 47 Downie Street in downtown Stratford to purchase a set of six paper tours for $10.00. Individual tours are only $2.00 each.

At most stops, you can use a smartphone to scan a featured QR code in your guide. When accessed, these codes offer a brief additional audio commentary for the stop. It’s THAT simple.

Share your Stratford Stories!

Your stories add to the fabric of the Stratford Experience. We invite you to share them. Share them with us, and share them with the world using the hashtag, #StratfordStories.

#StratfordStories: Thomas Edison Early Innovations in St. Marys, Ontario

Forty six Ontario Street is where a teenage Thomas Edison lived when he worked in the Grand Trunk Railway station in Stratford and the Junction Station in St. Marys.

As a night telegraph operator, Edison was to send a special signal on the hour to ensure he was alert. Testing a new invention, Edison rigged his “6 call” to run like clockwork, signaling every hour so he could read or catch a few “Z’s”.

He was fired when he slept through an incoming message to warn the engineers of two trains that they were on a collision course, narrowly averting disaster.

Edison’s at 46 Ontario Street features pieces dedicated to Thomas Edison, who lived upstairs, and his legacy.

#StratfordStories: Alec Guinness Brings the Force to Stratford, Ontario

The Force was with him. Much to his chagrin, the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars Trilogy, is undoubtedly one of Alec Guinness’ most famous.

Trained in classical theatre, Guinness moved to Stratford Ontario to join his friend Tyrone Guthrie at the Stratford Festival Theatre in 1953. Guinness was in the Festival’s first performance as Richard III on July 13, 1953.

#StratfordStories: Wayne Gretzky scored his first minor hockey goal in Stratford

Stratford’s William Allman arena is the site of Wayne Gretzky’s first minor hockey goal in 1968. The real question is who was the goalie? The Arena is one of the last remaining examples of the Ice Palaces built in North America during the 1920s and ’30s.

The Stratford Adventure

Directed by Morten Parker in 1954, this short film depicts how a small Canadian city, bearing the name of Stratford, created its own renowned Shakespearean theatre. The film talks about how the idea sparked, how a famous British director and international talent were recruited, and how the Stratford Shakespearean Festival finally became a triumphant reality.

For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog: http://bit.ly/GXz1E .

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