is a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
suburban town located in central Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...
It is situated on a peninsula formed by the Hillsborough River
The Hillsborough River, also known as the East River, is a Canadian river in northeastern Queens County, Prince Edward Island.-Battle at Port-la-Joye :...
estuary, Charlottetown Harbour, and Hillsborough Bay - a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait
The Northumberland Strait is a strait in the southern part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in eastern Canada...
Stratford is located in the township of Lot 28
Lot 48 is a township in Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is part of Bedford Parish....
in Queens County
Queens County is located in central Prince Edward Island, Canada. The county is geographically divided by the Hillsborough River's estuary, a tidal inlet which almost splits the county and Prince Edward Island...
and is a suburb of the provincial capital Charlottetown
Charlottetown is a Canadian city. It is both the largest city on and the provincial capital of Prince Edward Island, and the county seat of Queens County. Named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, Charlottetown was first incorporated as a town in 1855 and designated as a city in 1885...
It is currently the province's third-largest community based on population and is experiencing some population growth as a direct result of an improved highway bridge over the Hillsborough River, connecting the town with Charlottetown.
Stratford was created under the Charlottetown Area Municipalities Act, effective 1 April 1995. This resulted in several rural villages and communities on the east bank of the Hillsborough River being amalgamated into a new town, including Southport, Bunbury
Bunbury is a community in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, located within the town of Stratford.Once amalgamated with surrounding areas, the name Bunbury got changed to Stratford.----...
, Keppoch, Rosebank, Kinlock, and Crossroads.
The town's naming was controversial as municipal leaders opted to choose a name that had no historic connection to the predecessor constituent communities. It is derived from the Stratford Road, a 4 km suburban road connecting Bunbury via Southport with Cross Roads.
Local observers have noted with humour that unlike communities with a similar name such as Stratford, Ontario
Stratford is a city on the Avon River in Perth County in southwestern Ontario, Canada with a population of 32,000.When the area was first settled by Europeans in 1832, the townsite and the river were named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It is the seat of Perth County. Stratford was...
or Stratford, Australia
Stratford is a town on the Avon River in Victoria, Australia, east of Melbourne on the Princes Highway in Shire of Wellington. At the 2006 census, Stratford had a population of 1950. The town services the local regional community and travellers on the Princes Highway. Stratford's principal...
which are named after Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, south east of Birmingham and south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" to indicate that it covers...
and are situated upon rivers that derive their name from the River Avon, the town of Stratford, Prince Edward Island should be named "Stratford-upon-Hillsborough".
Located on the opposite bank of the East (Hillsborough) River (a 30 km long and 1 km wide tidal inlet) from Charlottetown, the communities comprising Stratford were hampered in their development by geography until relatively recently.
Stratford's constituent communities each have had slightly different development patterns. The shoreline of the Hillsborough River in Southport was historically a cottage area for city residents, with cottage development proceeding to Keppoch during the post-war
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
era. Cross Roads, Bunbury, Rosebank and Kinlock were historically agricultural communities.
The area's fortunes are tied to the evolution and development of transportation links with Charlottetown. During the 1800s, a small seasonal passenger ferry service operated between Ferry Point in Southport to a wharf on the Charlottetown waterfront. During the winter months, horse-drawn sleighs would operate directly across the river, if its waters were frozen.
In 1905, the Prince Edward Island Railway
The Prince Edward Island Railway was a historic Canadian railway.-Construction:Located wholly within the province of Prince Edward Island, construction of the PEIR started in 1871, financed by the United Kingdom...
constructed the first Hillsborough River Bridge
The Hillsborough River Bridge refers to two separate Canadian bridges which crossed the Hillsborough River estuary between Charlottetown and Stratford in Queens County, Prince Edward Island.-First bridge, 1905-1962:...
between Charlottetown and Southport, allowing for train travel to the eastern side of the river.
Horse-drawn carriages and sleighs (and later automobiles) were also permitted on the span when trains were not operating, although it was only 1-lane wide with wood planks placed between and on each side of the rails.
The railway bridge was replaced with a 2-lane highway bridge in 1962. Following completion of the new bridge, the communities comprising present-day Stratford began to experience a slow but steady growth, with permanent year-round dwellings and several subdivisions beginning to replace the seasonal cottages which fronted the Hillsborough River. By the 1980s, commuter and residential development patterns in PEI were changing and it became apparent that the traffic levels on the new 2-lane Hillsborough River Bridge were surpassing its designed capacity.
The 1962-era 2-lane bridge was expanded to a 4-lane bridge with new approach routes in 1995 as a sub-contract to the Northumberland Strait Crossing Project (the Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the "Fixed Link" by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place...
) with cost-sharing between the federal and provincial governments. The expanded Hillsborough River Bridge was completed in the mid-1990s at around the same time as municipal amalgamation took place.
The current town of Stratford is experiencing growth as a result of the improved highway connection to Charlottetown, where most residents work. The development now includes new subdivisions, a waterfront area, a highway commercial district, and several municipal buildings including a town hall and community centre.
Street Name Index
East River Drive,
Front Beach Lane,
Quiet Water Drive,
Trout Point Drive,
Upper Tea Hill Crescent,