In the first half of the twentieth century, Stratford was home to Canada’s largest furniture industry. It employed about a quarter of the city’s workforce, the second largest industry after the railway which employed about a half. During the 1920s almost one-sixth of all the furniture made in Canada was made at Stratford.
The success of the furniture trade can be explained by Stratford’s location as a hub on the railway systems of the CNR which carried the products far and wide in six directions. The most important was the main line northeast to Toronto and Montreal, and southwest to Chicago, although the line to Buffalo was also important. Consequently, Stratford furniture was sold all over North America.