From time to time, stories of murder, adultery, death and infanticide grip the Stratford newspapers, as locals follow the saga of the Stratford swans. These swans, and the exemplary program by the City of Stratford (in cooperation with Environment Canada) to manage their welfare, have become an important part of the local heritage - and Forest Motel plays a part in all this.
The Avon River in Stratford boasts a healthy and diverse herd of swans which traces its lineage, in part, to a pair of Royal Mute Swans given as a centennial gift to the Prime Minister of Canada in 1967.
Every swan on the Avon is registered with Environment Canada and wears an identifying leg band. Each winter, Stratford's Park Management shelters the swans in their Winter Quarters. In the spring the swans are paraded to the river accompanied by the Perth County Pipe Band and attended by the press and hundreds of onlookers.
On the edge of town, the Forest Motel and Woodland Retreat welcome a pair of nesting swans each spring as part of the program to provide the swans with an adequate territory to raise their young. This year we have had Napolean and Josephine and their young with us. We invite you to discover the story of their ancestry and of Napolean's mother and father, Mickey and Minnie, who were lifelong residents of Forest Motel and Woodland Retreat.
The ongoing saga of the swans, and the colourful skirmishes between them, can be found on the documentary video, Swans on the Avon, and also in the history and information binder, our guests find in each of our rooms upon arrival.