Visioning Results Overview

As can be seen in the results of the visioning sessions that were held in Shakespeare and Stratford, we yielded many observations and creative ideas regarding the use of the Fryfogel Tavern and Arboretum.  In summary, the following themes were identified:

A more robust marketing strategy and public education campaign is needed.

Numerous uses for the site were suggested. The uniqueness of the Fryfogel/ Arboretum site and its historical significance as an original inn on the Huron Road can be promoted for a variety of indoor and outdoor events and activities.

The site should be event-driven, “alive” and not static.

Be flexible and open to a variety of uses and special events, rather than restricting use to a traditional “museum” model. The sites could be used for family and corporate events, concerts, festivals, markets and theatre performances.

Create and publicize an advance calendar of regular events and ongoing features.

Establish the calendar a year in advance and maintain regular hours for public access.  This will create continuity and an ongoing awareness of the site’s attractions.

Revenue-generating activities can proceed concurrently with restoration projects.

It was felt that many of the suggested activities were not necessarily dependent on the need for permanent utilities such as washrooms and running water.  We can proceed by maintaining the existing portable washrooms already on site, bringing in water, catering in food etc. for dinners and events.

Tell the story.

Share the anecdotes of people who lived, worked, were married, or celebrated special occasions at the Fryfogel.  Good food is always an attraction. Explore interactive culinary events including farmers’ markets, outdoor pioneer cooking demonstrations, wine tasting events, ploughman’s lunches.

Multiple opportunities exist to partner with the arts and culture sector and business enterprises, as well as other heritage organizations.

Create joint events with a common theme. Market one another’s events. Suggestions for potential partnerships include:

  •  Tourist information centres
  •  Museums:  Brocksden County School museum, Stratford Perth Museum
  •  Gallery Stratford and other galleries
  •  YMCA re. day camps, holiday events, outdoor education
  •  The historic village of Shakespeare
  •  Summer Music Festival, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
  •  Local Community Food Centre, Screaming Avocado, Stratford Chef School
  •  Local breweries, distilleries, restaurants
  •  Naturalists, bird watchers
  •  Horticultural societies
  •  Historical re-enactment societies
  •  Schools, universities

Key Learnings – What our Community Wants

  1. The community wants in! They have been driving by for decades but it was always closed.
  2. The community wants to use the building for many different purposes.
  3. The Foundation does not need to do it all. Community organizations and groups are willing to partner with the Stratford-Perth Heritage Foundation to present public events. The Foundation’s role will be to facilitate.
  4. The heritage of the Fryfogel Tavern is very important to the community. They want the building preserved but not operated exclusively as a museum.
  5. The unique heritage character of the Tavern and grounds is part of what is valued by the community. Do not wait for restoration to be complete. Start using the building now and as is. It is the rare experience of being in a building in original 19th century condition that excites many community partners.


Based on feedback from the Community Consultations, the Vision committee recommends that the Fryfogel Tavern become a Community Cultural Centre.