In the 1960/70s, the historic city hall of Stratford, Ontario, was in danger of demolition. It was a challenging time for the community, but thanks to the determination of seven remarkable women, the building was ultimately saved. Dean Robinson, an author from Stratford with a background in local history explores the architectural significance of the city hall, as well as the broader historical context of the time. This video showcases the perseverance of a community in the face of change and the power of collective action to preserve cultural heritage. By shedding light on the efforts of the seven women, we hope to inspire future generations to stand up for what they believe in and fight for the preservation of their cultural landmarks. Join us on this journey as we take you back in time to explore the struggle in Saving City Hall.
Opened in May 1891, Stratford General Hospital was the first for the city of Stratford, Ontario. Designed by renowned architect George F. Durand in the High Victorian Queen Anne Style it is an imposing, picturesque sight even to this day. Avon Crest, as it became known, what part of the push across the country in the 19th century to build lay general hospitals in Canada’s growing cities. Few of these buildings now survive. Avon Crest is one of Stratford’s most important architectural and historical landmarks, one that deserves to be preserved for generations to come.
In 1967, communities across the country were encourage to celebrate Canada’s centennial with municipal projects. Stratford built Confederation Park. Designed by renown landscape architect, George Tanaka and overseen by project landscaper Clive Porter, Confederation Falls, within the Park, was a massive undertaking. In this documentary, Clive unfolds some of the challenges, and rewards, of locating, collecting and placing the massive rocks required to build this unique waterfall.
Mary Newel, great-great-grandaughter of William Easson, outlines some of the history and adventures of Boss Easson life and his influences on Stratford of the mid-to-late 1800s. Mary visits Micaela Fitzsimmons, Manager of Collections & Exhibits at the Stratford Perth Museum to comment on some of the Easson donations Mary has made to the museum.
Carole Huband, a founding member of the Stratford & District Historical Society, presents an overview of the history and some of the captivating narratives linked to Stratford’s six railway stations spanning over 160 years of rail service. The present-day station, constructed in 1913, continues to cater to commuters on the Sarnia/Toronto line.
During the mid-1970s oil crisis, a severe recession compelled companies to reconsider their operational approaches. In response, Stratford Beacon Herald’s pressmen, Sam Ogilvie and Lorne Bolton, devised a solution to enhance the efficiency of their printing process. Their innovative idea not only saved the company millions of dollars but also played a pivotal role in preserving jobs during a period of economic adversity.
Dean Robinson, Stratford-Perth Ontario historian and author, describes the convergence of some of the significant events in Stratford’s history that define the city’s character today.
Al Chipps, born in 1918, was raised in the small farming town of Courtland, Ontario. His reminiscences take us on a journey through his adventurous life, starting from his early childhood. As a licensed car mechanic, his expertise seamlessly transitioned to aircraft during the events of World War II. Throughout the passing decades, Al assumed diverse roles, showcasing his adaptability and versatility. Finally, in the 1990s, he chose to semi-retire to the sunny shores of Florida. An individual always in motion, Al Chipps’ unwavering work ethic, unyielding determination, and unique outlook on life served as an inspiration to numerous individuals fortunate enough to cross paths with him.
Allan Tye, like approximately 10% of the Canadian population, is a descendant of a British Home Child. Between 1869 and 1939 approximately 100,000 British Home Children were sent to Canada from Britain. These children, some as young as 4 years old, where predominately from poor families, not orphans as is popularly believed. Many were abused emotionally, physically and sexually by their placement families. The house at 51 Avon Street, Stratford, Ontario, run by Annie MacPherson, was a receiving home for over 8,000 children from 1883 to 1919. Special thanks to Lori Oschefski, for allowing use of images for this video. The following websites offer more information: https://canadianbritishhomechildren.w…
Sam Ogilvie, the Former Pressman at the Beacon Herald, takes pride in spearheading an innovative program that was initiated at the newspaper during the 1990s. Back then, the staggering volume of newsprint and its associated waste posed a significant challenge. Recognizing the pressing need to repurpose this waste due to the growing environmental concerns in the latter part of the 20th century, the team at Beacon Herald embarked on a mission. Even potential environmental hazards such as the adoption of plastic plugs forced a review of repurposing efforts. In addition, the newspaper started reusing inks in new formulas and efficiently melted down lead type to recast it into usable forms. Also, certain photographic chemicals found a way into the recycling process. The resounding success of the Beacon Herald’s environmental initiative led to its expansion across Canada.