R. Thomas Orr 1870-1957

A life-long member of the Stratford Parks Board, R. Thomas Orr was the driving force behind the Stratford parks system. Orr led the fight to save the riverfront and millpond from railway development and oversaw the transformation of the former industrial area into parkland. In 1936, Orr's plans to link Stratford with the birthplace of the English playwright William Shakespeare led to the creation of the Shakespearean Gardens. These parklands provided an inspirational setting in 1953 for the Stratford Shakespearean Festival. During his life of community service, Orr also helped to establish Stratford's library and the war memorial, to extend Highway 7 to Stratford, and to found the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and the Stratford Historical Society.


At the bandshell on Lakeside Drive, Stratford

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Perth

Municipality: City of Stratford