Image of Stratford Mayor Steve OgdenMayor’s Message
Winter 2024

Happy New Year! We welcome the new year with great hope and anticipation as we continue to strive to make Stratford the best community possible.

It was so great to see construction begin in 2023 on our new community campus, waterfront park, new active transportation paths, a new water tower, and many other long-awaited projects.

The Gray Group is beginning the development and building of downtown Stratford as evidenced by several major construction projects in the Town Core area they have underway. We know that many in our community are eagerly awaiting both the housing and commercial development they have planned.

Council, management team members, and I held a priority setting exercise in the fall and have worked together to identify what we see as the Town’s major priorities for the next three years. Currently, we are working on an operational plan which will be closely linked to the 2024/2025 budget and the long-term forecast to determine the impact on budgets for the following two years with these priorities in mind.

Our budget consultation will take place in coming weeks and further information from our priority setting exercise will be shared with residents at this time. You will also be asked for input to the draft 2024/25 Town budget and to respond to the Annual Resident Survey. Please take part in both of these opportunities as they provide valuable feedback to us.

The Shape Stratford Project is nearing completion and has been a great means of identifying how the Town can reduce barriers to construction, which in turn can help put in place adequate, affordable and attainable housing. We have been working closely with developers, residents, municipal partners, Federal and Provincial government representatives, and social and co-op housing advocates and service groups to address this pressing need in our Town. Through a great deal of analysis, research and discussion, barriers to development have been identified and solutions proposed. Conversations will continue in our community, particularly as we complete a review of the Town’s Official Plan and the Planning and Development Bylaw.

Over these winter months, I encourage you to find ways and places to connect with others. Volunteer, join a club, call a friend, and check in on one another. Although the winter can be long, there are many ways we can enjoy the numerous social and recreational activities available within the Town.

Thank you for everything you have done to make our community better in 2023.

I wish you and your families all the very best in 2024.

Mayor Steve Ogden