Blake Street

Minister of justice

Edward Blake Stratford-Perth Archives

Blake Street was created during the city's railway boom in the 1870s. It was part of the surveys laid out by James McCullock (see McCullock Street). The street was named for Dominick Edward Blake, who went by Edward Blake (1833-1912). He was a lawyer and statesman.

Blake was recruited into politics by George Brown, and became leader of the Ontario Liberal Party in 1868. In 1871 he was elected the province's second premier. He left provincial politics to run in the 1872 federal election, in which he was re-elected. But the "dual mandate" rule that allowed a politician to sit simultaneously in a provincial and federal house had been abolished, so Blake chose to abandon his career in provincial politics.

He played a major role in exposing the government of Sir John A. Macdonald's complicity in the Pacific Scandal, which forced the prime minister to resign. Blake was the offered the prime ministership, but turned it down due to ill health.

Edward Blake, British MP, 1894

When the Liberals won the subsequent 1874 federal election, Blake joined the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie and served as justice minister and president of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

The Liberals were defeated in the 1878 election, and Blake succeeded Mackenzie as party leader in 1880. He failed to defeat Macdonald's Conservatives in the 1882 or 1887 elections. He resigned as Liberal leader in 1887, after recruiting Wilfrid Laurier as his successor, and left the Canadian House of Commons in 1891.

In the 1892 election, Blake entered the British House of Commons as an Irish Nationalist Member of Parliament for the constituency of South Longford in the midlands of Ireland. In 1895, he was appointed to the Royal Commission on the Financial Relations between Great Britain and Ireland, which reported in 1896. He continued to serve as MP until 1907 when he resigned following a stroke and retired to Canada. Source: Wikipedia