Avon Street renamed Argyle Street 1879

That the street heretofore known as Avon Street in McKenzie’s Survey of Park Lot Number Four Hundred and fifty-one in the Canada Company’s Survey of the said Town shall hereafter be called and known as Argyle Street. City of Stratford -Flashback Friday

2nd Marquis Breadalbane

Breadalbane Expulsion

Argyle Street appeared on the 1857 map of Stratford but was then called Avon Street. There was also an Argle Street on the 1857 map, but was later called Norfolk Street. Because there were two Avon Streets on the map, the Argyle name was moved from Norfolk to the present-day Argyle Street. 

Argyle Street was named for the County of Argll on the west coast of Scotland, bounded partly on the east by Perthshire.  

A number of Scottish immigrants coming to the Perth County area were from Argyll, and the name was Anglicized to Argyle for the purposes of street naming. The street was probably named by Scottish settlers. By Stanford Dingman   Several Scottish families locating in the area came from Breadalbane.


The fifth Earl of Breadalbane put together an estate of almost half a million acres in Perthshire and Argyll, by fair means and foul, and in 1834 the second Marquis could ride 50 miles north and south, and 100 miles east to west, without leaving his land.

But by 1834, the Breadalbane estates had become greatly overpopulated. There were 3,500 people living on the north and south shores of Loch Tay in Perthshire, who among them had between 2,000 head of cattle, 600 horses, 500 unbroken horses, 6,000 sheep and 400 goats. The soil could not support so many and there was much hardship.His son, the second Marquis, listened to the fashionable liberals of the day who said that poverty stricken Highlanders should be removed from their miserable existence, and settled elsewhere. The terrible mistake of the new policy was to remove an entire stock of people and replace them with sheep, which were more profitable. The second Marquis evicted 54 families The farm walls were levelled and the fields between turned into grazing for blackface sheep imported from the Borders.

Next to go was the entire population of Glenquaich where over 500 people lived. The evictions were carried out before the houses were set alight. The people decided to emigrate to Canada, and in particular to an untamed area of Ontario owned by the Canada Land Company. Eight or nine families had arrived here voluntarily in the summer of 1832 after a voyage lasting three months. Amongst these was John Crerar who was older than the average immigrant.

Here he found employment constructing the Twentieth Line Road into an untamed region of 44,000 acres known as the North Easthope Concession, in south Ontario. This was named after Sir John Easthope, a director of the Canada Land Company and had first been surveyed just three years before in 1829.

The population of North Easthope had reached 2000 by 1850 and had 10,605 acres under cultivation. About this time the enormity of the evictions from the Breadalbane estates had dawned on the people of Scotland. The Marquis was condemned in the press and tried in vain to defend his policy. He died a lonely unmourned death in Switzerland in 1862.  Source: Perth County Pioneers by Archie McKerracher

Some of the settlers names from Argyll area may be familiar in Stratford: Crerar, Stewart, Fisher, McTavish, McNaughton, Hay

Flight Ltn. Wesley Erwin 

34 Argyl Street

Wesley Douglas Irwin, RCAF

Wesley  Irwin was the son of William George and Ida Mary Irwin.  They lived on 34 Argyle Street. He went University of West Ontario and started his own business as a paint sprayer specialising in paint and lacquer techniques.

Wesley applied in London early in 1940 to join the RAF although he had no flying or military experience. As he had been turned down, he re-applied in Canada on the 7th October 1940.

In the summer of 1944, Wesley married Eliza Matilda Hazard, and they had a son David. Eliza was born in Stepney London and after she became a widow she lived in Pitsea Essex.

He served as Flight Lieutenant / Navigator J/16115 Royal Canadian Air Force 627 Pathfinder Sqdn. attached to the RAF.

Acting as Navigator, with pilot, Flight Lt. John Alexander Reid 48900 RAF, the crew flying in a Merlin Mosquito Mark IV DZ ,642 from RAF Woodhall,were returning late at night in November 1944 from marking a target in Trondheim Norway. They were heading for Peterhead Scotland, low on fuel and in bad weather, when they had to divert to Sumburg aerodrome at the south end of the Shetland Islands. Doug and his pilot were killed when they crashed into Royal Field Hill, 12 miles north of the aerodrome. An investigation found that both of the crew had been wearing Mae West's and parachutes and there had been no fire either before or after the aircraft had crashed and that death was due to multiple injuries. It was also intimated at the inquiry that there may have been a pilot error involved in the accident although John Reid was an experienced pilot. The main question that arose was why there had been a lack of fuel when the aircraft had been refuelled to the pilot's satisfaction and there should have been more that enough for the journey both ways.

They are both commemorated by a bronze plaque attached to a stone pillar erected close to the crash site.Wesley Douglas Irwin was buried at the City of London Cemetery and is commemorated there with a Private Memorial (PM) War Grave .  He was 34 years of age. Source: Find a Grave

Plaque Reads

This memorial Commemorates de Havilland Mosquito Mx VII Dz642 of the 627 Squadron Royal Airforce:

Pilot F/Lt. John Reid RAF J16115, Navigator -F/O Wesley D. Irwin RCAF  J16115

Returning from target marking an ill-fated raid on U-Boat pens at Trondheim, Norway, short of fuel and bad visabilty the airraft hit Royl Hill on 22nd November 19944 at 23:00 hrs.

Plaque erected by 627 Squadron at Shetland Crash Site.