"I would love to see a public square with a park, benches and trees; a peaceful place to gather and read books, and a great place for sight see-ers as well."
- comment from attendee at
Canada Day celebration
"It absolutely mystifies me to think someone could prefer the square the way it is. I have been to the square in the evening three times in the last few months. It is grim and desolate. Cities seldom get an opportunity like this to create a new heart. The conditions are near perfect."
- Professor Rick Haldenby, FRAIC,
".. the biggest hurdle is fiscal but the project is an investment that will pay off through a higher quality of life ... making the community more liveable and walkable..... The challenge we've had for many years is that we've put traffic and cars ahead of culture and quality of life."
- Mayor Dan Mathieson, panelist
- Market Square Discovery Session 05.16.2012
Connect & Share
Market Square Revival Proposed for Stratford
Make Your Voice Heard
It's time to let Stratford City Council know that you share our vision for a revitalized Market Square that will properly reflect the dynamic character of our community. The City of Stratford is offering citizens an opportunity to complete an on-line survey about Market Square between now and April 14, 2015. It takes about twenty minutes, so grab a coffee and make your voice heard. Survey results, plus findings from several community focus groups, will give Council much of the input it needs to move forward.
The Stratford Market Square Committee, backed up by so many Stratford residents, wants to communicate to Council members how important their decisioin-making and vision is at this time. Stratford needs and deserves a well planned and well designed city centre, one that serves as the beating heart of our community.
Here's the survey link!
In cities across Canada, people are working with urban planners and municipal governments to recapture the spirit and energy of their Market Squares and public spaces. From Kingston to Toronto to Guelph to Waterloo, communities have restored their town centres, rooted trees and drawn people back to the central spaces that so many of us fondly remember.
We in Stratford, share that dream; to recreate our Market Square as the beating heart of our city centre and a welcoming place for citizens, families and visitors.
To quote Joni Mitchell: did we "pave paradise to put up a parking lot"? Did we lose something when we slowly transformed our central market into parking for cars and buses?
Stratford has a reputation for big ideas and big dreams. And we have ambitious initiatives such as the Stratford Festival, the Stratford Chefs School and the University of Waterloo (Stratford campus) to prove it. They follow in the footsteps of our ancestors who made their mark in agriculture, furniture manufacturing and the railway industry. As a result we host some of the best culinary, cultural, lifestyle, agricultural, technology and manufacturing capabilities in Canada.
As we launch into this brave new future we need our square more than ever; as we redefine our city, we need to remake our core. As the song suggests, we need to set down the roots of paradise in our city centre.
Momentum is growing around the idea that the Stratford Market Square could be great once again. Individuals, business owners, community groups and municipal officials are finding ways to talk together about a new vision for the Square. There is little doubt that when a city builds a healthy centre, the benefits radiate to everyone in the city. Visit our contact page to get involved!