4 Things To Do By Or On The Avon River in Stratford, Ontario

Stratford is brimming with things to do no matter the time of year, but come the spring and summer months, the swan-filled Avon River is reinvigorated as the heart of the city. With plenty to see, do, and explore both on and by its shores, we’ve rounded up four of our favourite ways to experience the Avon River.

Art in the Park

In a city known for its rich theatre, music, and visual arts, it’s no surprise that the banks of the Avon River double up as an outdoor exhibit from May through to September. A local fixture since 1968, Stratford Art in the Park is an outdoor art show that features the work of artists across a variety of mediums. Visit to take a walk, browse the art, chat with the artists and discover local talent.

Paddle, Kayak, or Canoe Down the River

The Avon River is the heart of Stratford, and while strolling along its shores is lovely, a far more memorable experience awaits on the water. Companies like Avon Boat Rentals offer one-hour canoe, kayak, and paddleboat rentals that let you enjoy the serene waters and soak up Stratford from a different perspective.

Explore the Parks & Gardens That Surround the River

Many of Stratford’s most popular green spaces wind along the Avon River. Upper Queen’s Park features a hill that overlooks the Avon River and is favoured for its shady picnic spots and summer concerts, while Lower Queen’s Park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the water. Confederation Park features a bee- and butterfly-friendly garden; Arboretum Park is filled with picnic tables and benches that oversee the river, with a spot for boat rentals. And of course, the Shakespearean Gardens — arguably Stratford’s most famous — features a variety of plants named in Shakespeare’s plays. With a heritage that stretches back to 1936, this verdant garden may just inspire you to write a sonnet or two!

Visit Tom Patterson Island

A beautiful park located in the middle of the Avon River, Tom Patterson Island features walking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the river and surrounding landscape. Paddle, kayak or canoe to visit the island, or spend time taking part in a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing or birdwatching.

Want to know more about life in Stratford? Discover 10 reasons why you’ll love living in this amenity-rich city, or visit our Avon Park website to learn more about Stratford’s newest master-planned community.

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