The Dutch Memorial


The Dutch Memorial Garden, at the intersection of Huron, Mornington and William Streets, commemorates the friendship between Stratford and Dutch Troops stationed here during the Second World War. 


In 1940, the Dutch Royal Family, with many citizens and military personnel, fled Holland to England ahead of Nazi Occupation.  In 1941, the army re-grouped in Canada, and the Dutch Royal Family relocated to Ottawa.


Many Dutch soldiers were billeted in Stratford in a re-purposed furniture factory that became known as Juliana Barracks.   


Photo: Amanda Ryan

Photo: Amanda Ryan

A close connection developed between the soldiers and Stratford residents.  The monument in the Dutch Memorial Garden, depicting The Netherlands as a bird with supporting Canadian hands, was dedicated in 1959.  

Did You Know?

Friendship between the countries continues, and Holland’s Princess Margriet (who was born in Ottawa when the Royal Family lived there during the war) came to Stratford in 2017 to re-dedicate the monument. 

For more information about the friendship between Canada and Holland see the historical

marker near the sculpture installed by Garden Stratford (Stratford and District Horticultural


Tulip planting is a tradition dating from the monument’s installation, when Holland sent Stratford 1,300 tulips to plant at the site. In spring, the garden is a showcase for red and white tulips representing the relationship between Canada and Holland. 

At the close of tulip season, the beds are replanted with other red and white flowers such as begonias.  In the 2017 garden, blue ageratum around the base of the monument complete the red, white and blue colours of the Dutch flag. 

Members of Stratford and District Horticultural Society maintain other beds near the Dutch Memorial.

Photo: Anu MacIntosh-Murray


In the 2017 garden, “Black Lace” elderberry shrubs are particularly striking, as well as very attractive plantings of Hosta near the riverbank.

Photo: Doug Reberg

While visiting the Dutch Memorial Gardens (and particularly if you have found a good parking place), you may wish to follow the path along the Avon River a bit further to visit the Pergola, another public garden just past the dam/bridge leading to York Street.  

Look for other garden beds maintained by members of Garden Stratford (Stratford and

District Horticultural Society).

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