Adam Crooks, a lawyer, politician, gentleman
This street was part of the plan that Judge Daniel H. Lizars developed with the coming of the railway in 1856. In that the judge was a Liberal at heart, he chose many of his street names to honour good Liberals, such as Edward Blake and Sir Oliver Mowat.
While the names of Blake and Mowat didn't seem to offend, Crooks stirred some derision when he named a street after himself, specifically the street that connects those named Blake, Mowat and Louise. The residents of Crooks Street were not a happy lot, some of them joking about only crooks living on their street. In 1935, the disenchanted circulated a petition seeking to have the name changed.
Stratford historian Thomas Orr was happy to point out that Judge Lizars had named the street in honour of a distinguished gentleman, Hon. Adam Crooks, a lawyer born in Flamboro in 1827, destined to become a leading Liberal politician and statesman in Ontario. Crooks was educated at Upper Canada College (beginning at age 11) and the University of Toronto. He entered the Ontario legislature and was appointed Ontario's attorney-general. He became the provincial treasurer in 1872, and minister of education in 1876.
After a public airing of the accomplishments of Adam Crooks, nothing further was heard about changing the name of Crooks Street. Source: Streets of Stratford 2004
* For a full bio of Adam Crooks see Dictionary of Canadian Biography