Churchill Circle


Visitors to Stratford (as well as many residents) are sometimes surprised to discover that John Street North ends with a large traffic circle known as Churchill Circle.  The traffic circle is a very sensible feature. Homes in that neighbourhood were constructed to accommodate service personnel returning from World War Two.


Alderman Harry Palmer was a visionary who saw the traffic circle as a traffic-calming measure to help make streets safer.


If you explore the neighborhood you will discover other safety features advocated by Alderman Palmer, such as the gentle curves of Glastonbury Drive that encourage slower driving speeds. 

Photo: Nancy Burnett

Within Churchill Circle is a large and very lovely public garden.

Ample parking is nearby, and the garden is a very pleasant place for leisurely exploration. 


Large rocks are conveniently placed for visitors to sit, rest and enjoy the surroundings.

Photo: Fred Gonder

Did You Know?

Churchill Circle actually holds four gardens, or quadrants, each tended by a team of Stratford and District Horticultural Society members.


The quadrants alternate with predominately “warm” and “cool” colours, with some common features, such as a serviceberry tree in each quadrant.  

Photo: Fred Gonder

Photo: Fred Gonder


Churchill Circle plantings are maintained by members of Garden Stratford (Stratford and District Horticultural Society), who also installed the four large planters where wisteria and trumpet vines grow on the central rotunda.

Churchill Circle is well known as a pollinator garden with many plant varieties (bee balm, day lily, delphinium to name only a few) chosen to attract butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. Monarch butterflies are among the species that are reliable visitors to Churchill Circle. 


Try to visit Churchill circle several times over the season, because there is always something new and interesting to see.   

Photo: Doug Reberg

One recent warm summer day, as members of Stratford and District Horticultural Society were working their magic to keep the garden beautiful, a young cyclist riding around the circle called out “You’re doing an awesome job with that, folks!” As, indeed, they are.  


If you happen to visit Churchill Circle when they are doing that “awesome job”, please take a moment to follow the young cyclist’s example.  The gardeners will appreciate it, and you will have a role in maintaining the garden’s beauty. 

Photo: Fred Gonder


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