Avon River

Southwestern Ontario

A night view of the Stratford courthouse in Stratford Ontario with the Avon river in the foreground

Getty Images/All Canada Photos

Stratford's swan-filled Avon River (what else were they going to call it?) flows slowly past the town, with plenty of riverbank lawns on which to chill out. On the riverbank just west of the town center, the Shakespearean Gardens occupy the site of an old wool mill. Parterre gardens, manicured box hedges, herbs, roses and a bronze bust of Bill – pick up a brochure at Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Further along the river is Queen's Park, with paths leading from the Festival Theatre along the river past Orr Dam and an 1885 stone bridge to a formal English flower garden.