Charles John Brydges made the decision to bring the Grand Trunk Railway locomotive repair shops to Stratford in 1870.
He gained his apprenticeship in railway management in England, and in 1852 came to Canada as manager of the Great Western Railway. From 1861 to 1874, he was general manager of the Grand Trunk Railway. The GTR shops were in Brantford, but Brydges decided to pull them out of there when Brantford citizens defied GTR management and organized a competing railway. They were irked that Brantford was on only a branch line of the GTR.
Brydges intended to move the shops to Toronto, but negotiations with the Toronto mayor soured. So to Stratford they came, and made this city an important railway centre for nearly a century. Brydges Street carries the name of a man who greatly influenced Stratford’s development. Source: Streets of Stratford 2004
* For a detailed biography of John Brydges, see Dictionary of Canadian Biography