It was a sunny day of 1977. Jim Morris stood on the mammoth vacant green grass patch in Stratford, Ontario overlooking Lake Victoria. Spellbound, he wondered how to compliment and perpetuate the serenity and beauty surrounding him. This led the visionary in him to construct a 4,500 square feet restaurant at the place; not only a gastronomic delight to its patrons but also an epitome of modern Canadian architecture and design across the lake. Morris named it Rundles, an old English word for stream.
Adjoining the restaurant also proudly stands the unique Rundles Morris House, a magnificent three storey 1,800 square feet villa; truly a designer's dream. Both establishments call 9 and 7 Cobourg Street in Stratford, Ontario their home and they're just a step away from the city's downtown, famous for its Stratford Festival attracting and entertaining scores of visitors from Canada as well as overseas.
Jim Morris felt the connection to the small town and decided to build something for himself there:
It was actually the sheer love for the festival that drew me to Stratford, while the tranquillity of this beautiful city confirmed my decision to stay. The restaurant came first and then the house that was built in 1988-99 and renovated twice since then. In all it took me about 25 years to finally achieve something that matched my taste and liking.
The Rundles Morris House | 7 Cobourg Street
See the full listing for more info here.
Morris was inspired by the works of the Japanese architect, Tadao Ando and he wanted to inculcate a similar design for the house. Toronto-based architects Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe worked hard to transform Morris’ dream to reality.
The two-bedroom suite has a panoramic view of the lake and the parkland. The living room boasts a charming wood burning fireplace. Every room has modern furniture and light fixtures carefully sourced from Europe and North America. Topping it all, both the bedrooms have bathroom ensuite.
Check the virtual tour of the house.
Morris credits intelligent designing that makes the house look much larger than it is in originality.
The master bedroom faces East while the living room is towards West. This makes you view and admire the sunrise lying comfortably in your bedroom and also enjoy an unobstructed view of the sunset from the living room. When sitting in the living room, it would feel that you are much closer to the lake than you actually are. That brings you a feeling of proximity to nature and surroundings. In addition, a suspended stair from the foyer to the dining room, and a hutch that doubles as the door to the utility room.
Rundles Restaurant | 9 Cobourg Street
See the full listing for more info here.
The Rundles restaurant is a fully detached facility with indoor seating of 100 people. The patio can accommodate 20 people who while relishing the culinary extravaganza can enjoy and admire the lakeside view.
It has always been our aim to provide our patrons with unique culinary experience contributing to rank Stratford among the best food destinations in Canada.
For additional income, there is an upper level residential apartment with breathtaking views of Lake Victoria.
This year, both the Rundles Morris House that has too often served as the vacation home for visitors to the town during the festival and the restaurant will be celebrating their final season. Both the properties are looking for new owners who would keep the good times moving.
The Rundles House is being sold at $995,000 and the restaurant at $1,200,000.
If you are looking for a quiet getaway, Stratford is among the best small towns in Canada. It is apt for those seeking a retreat and is also a walkers' paradise. Though a small country town, it has culinary and theatrical offerings one can expect to find only in far larger places.
For people new to the place, Stratford is a small town in Southern Ontario on the Avon River about two hours from Toronto. It is known for its Stratford Festival where modern and Shakespearean plays are staged in multiple theaters. During the festival visitors can also stay in theater-themed B&Bs.
The City is also known for its Victorian style buildings including Stratford City Hall and the Perth County Courthouse. There are many parks and gardens including Shakespearean Gardens. The plants in the garden are also mentioned in the playwrights’ works.