Heritage Tours

We invite you to tour Perth County celebrating its rich history on themed heritage tours. Indulge in local lore at historic pubs; discover where more than a dozen NHLers got their start; or walk the former Grand Trunk Railway lines in tribute to the county's strong ties to the railway industry.

These and additional additional tours are posted at www.visitstratford.ca/heritage-tours-interactive-map


Epitaphs and Headstones

A cemetery tour featuring the legendary people of Perth County. World renowned actors of the stage, and a legendary rock piano player. Canada's ninth prime minister, and a victim of the Titanic. Discover the diverse individuals that called Stratford and Perth County their home, while enjoying the natural beauty of some of the area's oldest cemeteries.


Riverwalk Personalities Heritage Tour

River walkways with breathtaking views along the historic Thames River, manicured gardens and parks, heritage buildings, and local history unite in Stratford and St. Marys. This interesting blend of architecture, interesting personalities and natural beauty provides an ideal way to spend the day in Perth County.

Stratford's Avon River - Boasting the largest park land per capita, Stratford's main park system contains approximately 115 acres of formal parkland and nearly 60 acres of natural area. Enjoy the parks, the architecture, and the personalities that are a part of one of Canada's best preserved heritage communities.


Stonetown Heritage Town, St Marys

Carved in stone and etched in history, St. Marys is known as the Stonetown. Its magnificent limestone buildings, were crafted by Scottish stone masons and embellished with a European flair. This picturesque town enveloped by river, hills and stone was first settled in the early 1840s on the bank of the Thames River and Trout Creek.


Here is the Church, Here is the Steeple . . . Perth County's Historical Churches

Soaring steeples, lofty towers and stunning stained glass echo the traditions of the European craftsmen who built the churches of Perth County. Enjoy the beauty of the county while admiring the diversity of the twelve churches selected for this tour.

Perth County's lush and rolling fertile land yielded to the hard work of many immigrants seeking their promise of better lives for themselves and their families. Townships in Perth County were planned in the 1820s as part of the tract of land owned by the Canada Company, a British corporation interested in the development and settlement of Upper Canada. As early as 1828, entrepreneurs were establishing inns and communities along the surveyed roads cutting their way through the Huron Tract.


The Ties That Bound a County - Railway Heritage Tour of Perth County

Railway rivalry, expansions and an even an explosion created drama in Stratford and Perth County long before any actor set foot on a stage. Experience the railway heritage of Stratford, St. Marys and Listowel while hiking along former railway lines, learning about the interesting people who helped build the railway's strong hold and viewing some of the last, and best preserved railway buildings in Ontario.

The arrival of the first railways brought not only a revolutionary change in communication with the outside world, but along with the railway-related industry of the shops, the railways also allowed for easy shipments of goods to markets across North America and overseas. Perth County was one of the leading areas in Canada for the dairy industry for well over a century, as well as Stratford, with its ten or more furniture factories, producing approximately one-sixth of all the furniture in the country.


Perth County Stone House Tour

Stone houses are steeped in old world character and nothing showcases the talent of a stonemason like the custom workmanship evident in a century old building. The quality of construction and the strength of the stone are apparent in the fact that there are still so many stone structures still standing. The heritage of Perth County is captured in the stone house, bridges, churches, and walls found in the area.

The use of stone in the construction process was a well-developed response to the resources that were locally available in the mid to late 19th Century. Scottish immigrants, who tended to be skilled in cutting stone, preferred to refashion the stone into regular rectangular blocks. Other immigrants, mainly German, were more likely to be skilling in working with wood. When working with stone, they preferred to split the stones but did not otherwise change the shape of the stone. This required a large amount of mortar.

The variety of stone houses, buildings.and other structures reflects the heritage of Perth County, specifically the large pockets of settlers of German and Scottish descent.


You might also like to Search our database of Heritage sites in Perth County