The L’Arche movement began in France in 1964. In French, L’Arche means “the Ark.” 


Recognizing the need for such a community in Stratford, Marjorie Pickersgill along with the Board of Directors started L’Arche Stratford in 1973. With that, the fourth L’Arche Community in the world was born. L’Arche Stratford is among the oldest L’Arche communities in North America.


Thanks to the generosity of many donors and the Sisters of Loretto,  the first property was located at the old St. Joseph convent beside St. Joseph Catholic Church. Over the past 47 years, L'Arche Stratford has moved to several different locations throughout Stratford.  Today, L'Arche Stratford has grown to include four homes, two semi’s and four individual apartments, as well as a very active Day Activities center. We are blessed with a vibrant and diverse community.


L’Arche Stratford is non-denominational and inter-faith. We celebrate the traditions of all faiths with great respect and appreciation.  We also honour community members who do not identify with a faith tradition.  In all that we live, we celebrate our diversity, whether in ability or faith tradition or culture, as these differences weave a beautiful tapestry which reflects our core belief that all people have unique and sacred value.