population 29,676) is a city
on the Avon River
in southwestern Ontario
. Both the city and the river were named when it was first settled in 1832
, of Shakespearean fame.
Stratford was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1886.
Originally a furniture manufacturing city and railway junction, tourism became a large part of the local economy when the Stratford Shakespeare Festival started in 1953. The annual festival now brings hundreds of thousands of Shakespeare buffs to the area.