The Town of Stratford is committed to building a strong local economy, preserving our heritage, celebrating our diverse culture and respecting the natural environment entrusted to us for present and future generations. Stratford is situated on a peninsula just south of Charlottetown, the provincial capital. Stratford is surrounded with magnificent water views bounded by Fullerton’s Marsh, the Hillsborough River, Charlottetown Harbour and the Hillsborough Bay. The Trans -Canada Highway, connecting the eastern end of the province to Charlottetown, bisects the Town from east to west.
The Stratford area was first settled in the 1750’s by Acadian families and early economic activities included farming, shipbuilding, and brick making. The Town of Stratford was created in 1995 from the former communities of Bunbury, Southport, Crossroads, Keppoch-Kinlock and the unincorporated area of Battery Point. Stratford covers a land area of 22 square kilometers (5,230 acres), and is a highly desirable, peaceful community with a rich rural heritage and high quality of life with a population density of 381 persons per square kilometer.
The landscape of the Stratford area varies greatly. The elevations rise to 88.7 meters along the southern coast of Stratford; there are also areas of high slope adjacent to several tributaries, rolling hills, flatlands, a significant number of watercourses and kilometers of coastline demonstrate the Town’s broad spectrum of topography.
In 2011, the number of census families in Stratford was 2,575, which represents a change of 22.0% from 2006. This compares to a growth rate for Canada of 5.5% over the same period. In Stratford, 72.3% of private households lived in single-detached houses. After Canada’s official languages of English and French, the three most common mother tongues are Chinese, Mandarin and Dutch.
Stratford is by no means a typical PEI or Atlantic Canadian community; its population is not declining but is in fact growing strongly with an influx of new residents. Stratford is favoured by the ongoing urbanization of the Island and has exhibited robust growth since its formation in the mid-1990s. Stratford is the fastest growing municipality in Prince Edward Island is the second fastest growing community in Atlantic Canada after Dieppe, NB. Now that the predominantly residential community has grown to more than 9,000 persons, a new commercial core is beginning to emerge and recent developments are creating a full service community. With current development in the core area, Stratford is ready for a significant increase in retail and commercial activity in our “downtown”.
The quality of life in the town is enhanced by the pride that residents take in their properties, the abundance and accessibility of recreation programs, the proliferation of municipal parks, the beautiful views of water and pasture land, the number and variety of trees in the community and the community spirit that is evidenced by the high level of voluntarism and engagement of residents in decision making.
The population of Stratford was 8,574 in the 2011 census, this represents a 21% increase during the previous 5 year period, the largest population increase in Prince Edward Island. This data also indicates that Stratford is the second fastest growing large (over 5000) municipality in the Atlantic Provinces next to Dieppe, New Brunswick which grew by 25.6%.
Population growth alone does not tell the whole story for Stratford because of changes in the demographic profile of our residents. The number of persons per dwelling unit in Stratford has stabilized reflecting a younger family profile within the community relative to Prince Edward Island and Canada. A net total of nearly 600 people between the ages of 20 and 44 moved into Stratford over the five – year period. Most likely, they were accompanied by the majority of the roughly 400 children and young people under 20 who were also estimated to be added to the area.
In 2011, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over in Stratford, was 13.4%, compared with a national percentage of 14.8%. The percentage of the working age population (15 to 64) was 68.2% and the percentage of children aged 0 to 14 was 18.4%. In comparison, the national percentages were 68.5% for the population aged 15 to 64 and 16.7% for the population aged 0 to 14.
The strong growth of the Town can be seen in the growth of residential dwelling units in Stratford; from 2006 to 2011 the number of dwellings increased in Stratford from 2,898 to 3,509. The Town of Stratford is the preferred location for residential development in PEI and all indications are that this trend will continue.
Stratford is located 60 Km from the Confederation Bridge to New Brunswick and 60 Km from the Wood Islands Ferry to Nova Scotia. Stratford is connected to Charlottetown by the Hillsborough Bridge which has the highest annual average traffic volume in PEI, an average of over 31,000 vehicles per day cross the bridge into Stratford. It takes less than 10 minutes to drive to the Charlottetown Airport and only 5 minutes to drive to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or downtown Charlottetown.
Stratford’s tax rates are the lowest of any of the full service communities in the Province. The municipal residential property tax rate is $0.44 per $100 of assessment and the municipal commercial rate is $0.99 per $100 of assessment. Provincial property taxes are in addition to this, both residential and commercial, and are the same in all communities.
Stratford provides police protection, fire protection, street lighting, sidewalks, animal control, urban planning and building inspection, and a number of other services. The majority of the Town is serviced by a municipal sewer system and a growing portion of the Town is serviced by a central water system.
The Town of Stratford has four major community parks and 25 neighbourhood parks. There is an outdoor recreational trail system in development and public access to the shore in several locations throughout the town including the public beaches at Tea Hill Park and Kinlock Beach Park. Town owned recreation facilities include 4 ball fields, 6 soccer fields, four tennis courts, an outdoor rink and a youth/seniors centre.
Stratford runs many different recreational programs for all ages, including: soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, hockey, ball hockey, basketball, tennis, badminton, rhythmic gymnastics, line dancing, fitness classes, karate, walking, jellybean gym, fun`n learn drop-in and play, wildlife carving, and computer camp. The town also hosts special events such as Canada Day celebrations, Winter Carnival, Stratford Days, a New Year’s Day Levee and various other functions.
Municipal offices are located in the Stratford Town Centre at 234 Shakespeare Drive. The Town Centre also includes a stage, gymnasium, walking track, meeting rooms, town offices and leased office space for the headquarters of the Eastern School District.
As part of the town’s effort to increase employment and the commercial tax base, a business park was constructed adjacent to the existing industrial area of the community. The first phase of the business park was completed in 2000 and subsequently all building lots have been sold and are in various stages of development. Business Park services include fire rated water, sewer, three phase power and fibre optic cable access.
The Official Plan is the over-arching plan to guide how the Town will develop over the long term. The Plan provides the foundation for the Zoning and Development Bylaw and the direction for Council’s actions.
The zoning map shows the rules for development on each and every property within the Town, it can be found by clicking on the Zoning Map.
2016 Development Bylaw Review is now underway
The Town’s rules for development and land use are found in our Development Bylaw. This impacts businesses, developers, home builders, land owners and all residents by influencing the places we live, work, shop and travel through. Click here to learn more and engage in the process.
Residential housing lots vary in price from low prices in the $40,000 range to more than $300,000 for some waterfront lots. The residential housing market is very strong in Stratford, with more than 3,500 dwelling units in the town. Stratford is the fastest growing municipality in the province and the second fastest growing municipality in the Maritimes.
Stratford is becoming a regional service center for residents of the surrounding service area which extends into eastern Prince Edward Island. There is an eighteen hole championship golf course, Fox Meadow, with a first class clubhouse and excellent facilities located near the center of town.
Residents and visitors will find two full service grocery stores, a full service building supply store, a number of medical and dental clinics, a pharmacy, liquor store, restaurants and more than 130 business enterprises. Minutes from the vast retail services provided within the Greater Charlottetown Area, Stratford is a great place to live and work, truly a town of beauty and opportunity.