Centre Street


Centre Street Garden is at the intersection of Centre Street and T.J. Dolan Drive, east of John Street.  Traveling south on John Street, the garden is the first left turn after crossing the Avon River Bridge.  There is ample parking on T. J. Dolan or Centre Street. 


 Centre Street Garden is just a short walk from the Catharine East and Father Corcoran Iris Gardens. 

The garden is an attractive feature of the nearby residential neighbourhood. 

Photo: Dennis Rawe

Centre Street Garden began as a memorial to Clifford Biggin, who died in 1982. His wife, Lorna, requested memorial donations to Stratford and District Horticultural Society, of which she was a long-standing member.


Architect Terry Marklevitz designed the garden in the late 1980s to simulate two ponds with a rocky stream tumbling between them. The basic design remains, although plantings have changed over the years.  The garden is maintained by members of Garden Stratford (Stratford and District Horticultural Society).

Photo: Doug Reberg

Lorna lived for many years after Clifford’s death.  When she died in 2010, the Biggin family commissioned a memorial bench to them both. 

The garden was a very appropriate memorial, because Clifford and Lorna had a long-standing pattern of nightly walks that nearly always passed the site.

Photo: Doug Reberg


The mid-summer garden resembles a meadow with daisies, yarrow, yucca and poppies.


What can you spot?

Photo: Doug Reberg

The Avon River, just across T. J. Dolan Drive, is an added attraction.  John Street Dam is said to be a good spot to catch bass, perch, and trout (the river is stocked each year for the Optimist Trout Derby).  Opinions vary about eating fish caught from the Avon River1, but fishing here is a pleasant way to spend a summer afternoon.

Avon River fishermen should also expect the occasional catfish.  This one was definitely catch-and-release.

Photo: Doug Reberg


Stay in the loop and learn about upcoming projects and events, and how to join Garden Stratford (Stratford and District Horticultural Society).

The Stratford and District Horticultural Society 
Celebrating our 141st year in 2019

Funding: Destination Animation Partnership Fund, Stratford and District Horticultural Society

Historical Consultants: Lutzen Riedstra, Dean Robinson, Stratford-Perth Archives

Research, Writing: Doug Reberg

Web Design and Construction: Ryan Carruthers, Jamie Park

Photo Credits: Nancy Burnett, Doris Dodd, Fred Gonder, Mike Matthews. Anu Macintosh-Murray, George McDemott, Dennis Rawe, Doug Reberg, Amanda Ryan, Stratford-Perth Archives, Joan Daynard

Thanks also: Brenda Biggin, Sally Hangeveld (Stratford Public Library), Anita Jacobsen (Head Gardener, Stratford Festival), Quin Malott (Manager, Stratford Parks Forestry and Cemetery), Dan Martin (Manager, Stratford Parks and Forestry, Retired), Tom Robinson, (Shakespearean Gardens), Ann Swardfeger, (Publicity Director, Stratford Festival), Krysta Tomasevic and Colleagues (Perth Health Unit), and the Gardeners of Stratford


Gardens of Stratford is a commemorative project of Stratford and District Horticultural Society, celebrating its 140th year in 2018.

© 2017 Gardens of Stratford, Ontario