Stratford is a city on the Avon River in Perth County in southwestern Ontario, Canada with a population of 32,000. When the area was first settled by Europeans in 1832, the townsite and the river were named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It is the seat of Perth County. Stratford was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1886. The first mayor was John Corry Wilson Daly and the current mayor is Dan Mathieson. The swan has become a symbol of the city. Each year twenty-four white swans and two black swans are released into the Avon River. The town is famous for being the home of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The town was originally a railway junction. Furniture manufacturing became an important part of the local economy by the twentieth century.