Corcoran Drive

Corcoran Drive is named after James Corcoran

James Corcoran Stratford-Perth Archives

James Corcoran was a prominent Stratford businessman (see Church Street) who is notable for having served as a director, vice president and president of British Mortgage Loan Company. (see Early History below). He was born in Londonderry County, Northern Ireland in 1863 and died in Stratford in 1915. In 1878, he is listed in the Stratford Directory as an importer and jobber of groceries and liquors with premises at 54 Ontario.  (see Ontario Street). At that time he lived at 189 Church Street.  His son, James Lewis Corcoran, (1863-1923), took over the business from his father. 

208 Church St. Built 1889.

 James Lewis Corcoran ran the Corcoran Tea Company, located at 8 Market (later Downie) Street as mentioned in the Stratford Directory for 1900-1902.  In 1916, the company is listed at 15 Market Street. Another child, Sister M. Francis, was Mother Superior at Loretto Academy for many years. (See Grange Street) See also Additional Family History just below. 

The house is a fine representative of late Victorian houses in Stratford. Some defining elements of the Victorian style of architecture include the irregular design, multiple rooflines decorated with bargeboards, decorative brickwork and sandstone headers and sills. Front doors added to the house in 1900 remain with intact bevelled glass. Of note is the circular shaped porch and veranda. Also of note is the decorative stained glass over the exterior doors and front bay windows. Source: 208-Church-St.-Stratford.pdf 

Additional Family History:  Sister M. Francis was born in Toronto, Ontario on September 15, 1858. Her parents were James Corcoran, Ireland and Catherine Stock. She had two brothers, James Lewis and Francis and one sister, Josephine. She died at Loretto convent, Stratford on March 1, 1941 and was buried in Avondale Cemetery.

Sister Francis was the first postulant from Stratford. She entered Loretto Abbey Novitiate, Toronto on September 8, 1882, was received on April 4, 1883 and professed on July 2, 1885. She taught at Loretto Abbey and was superior at Loretto Convent, Stratford.

Over one hundred years ago, when the Loretto Sisters first went to Stratford, her father, James Corcoran, was one of the men who accompanied the late Dr. E.B. Kilroy, then pastor of St. Joseph's Church, to Berlin (now Kitchener) to escort the Sisters to their new home. Mr. and Mrs. Corcoran gave hospitality to the small community for several weeks while the old "Brunswick Place" to become the Loretto Convent, was made ready for the new establishment. The Corcoran family became loyal friends and benefactors of the community, to which Sister Francis gave her most devoted service for over fifty years.  Source: Sr Mary Grace “Francis” Corcoran (1857-1941) - Find a Grave Memorial 

Early History of the British Mortgage Loan Company.  The British Mortgage Loan Co. is another monetary institution creditable to the city. This Company was organized in London during 1877, re-organized and removed to Stratford in 1878. This Company transacts a banking business, in so far that it receives money on deposit, lending on mortgage for a term of years. Since re-organization and removal to Stratford, under the management of Mr. William Buckingham, it has met with marked success. It is most creditable to those who guide its interests that no case of hardship has ever occurred with their patrons, as frequently happens to institutions loaning on mortgage. It must be remembered, however, that along with Mr. Buckingham has always been associated in its management one or other of Perth's great men, who, as president, has afforded valuable advice and assistance in disposing of its affairs. Mr. James Corcoran was first president, and was succeeded by Mr. Andrew Monteith, and he again by Mr. James Trow. This position is at present held by Hon. Thomas Ballantyne. Source: History of Perth County 1825-1902 by William Johnston, published in 1903.