John Daly    Stratford-Perth Archives

John Corry Wilson Daly

Daly Avenue was called Daly Terrace when it first appeared on the 1872 Brosius "Bird's-eye-view" of Stratford. It was named for John Corry Wilson Daly, widely called "the founder of Stratford."

John Daly (1796-1878), born into “the better class of Irish society,” received a sound education in Ireland before serving in the Royal Navy as a surgeon’s assistant. He then immigrated to Cooperstown, N.Y., and, in 1826, went to Hamilton in Upper Canada. There, he began a 30-year association with the Canada Company. In 1831 he was its land agent in what later became the Huron District. 

In 1833 he moved to Stratford, where the Canada Company had already built some shanties. His house, on land that today features the Perth County courthouse (see picture below). He became Stratford's first postmaster, and opened its first store. By 1841 he had purchased for himself the Canada Company’s mill dam and sawmills in the area. He also became the Bank of Upper Canada's agent in Stratford.

A Conservative, Daly was much involved in public life. He was elected in 1842 to the Huron District Council as the representative for Downie, Blanshard, and Fullarton townships for a term of three years. In 1845 he did not to seek another term. 

Daly was the Town of Stratford’s first mayor, in 1859. As well, he was, at times, the coroner, the magistrate for the London region, and a lieutenant-colonel in the militia. In 1849 he was instrumental in the establishment of Perth County. He also helped to set up the first school district in the county. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Short in stature, Mayor John Cory Wilson Daly was nicknamed "the little potentate" by the Lizars sisters (see Douglas Street), whose father was a Daly contemporary. Source: Nancy Musselman . . . FB

Thomas Mayne DalStratford-Perth Archives

Thomas Mayne Daly Sr. 

Thomas Mayne Daly Sr. ( 1827-1885) was the son of Mayor John C. W. Daly. Thomas was a businessman and political figure in Canada West (later Ontario). He was mayor of Stratford twice and represented the riding of Perth North in the House of Commons of Canada, and Perth North in the Ontario provincial parliament.

He was born in Hamilton, Upper Canada, in 1827, and studied at Upper Canada College. He ran a stage coach company, operated a grain mill and published the Stratford Examiner (see Market Place). He was a contractor who, built roads in Perth County and railroads in Canada and the United States. From 1848 to 1849, he served on the Huron District council and, in 1850 on the council for the united counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce

In 1854, he was elected to the 5th Parliament of the Province of Canada representing Perth County. He originally described himself as an independent Reformer, but tended to support the Liberal-Conservative party once elected. He was re-elected in 1857, but in 1861 defeated by Michael Hamilton Foley. Foley was appointed to the cabinet and ran in Waterloo North. Daly defeated Robert MacFarlane in an 1862 byelection to regain the seat for Perth. In 1863, McFarlane won back the seat.

Daly was mayor of Stratford from 1869 to 1870, and again from 1876 to 1878. In 1872, he was elected to the House of Commons for Perth North. He was elected for Perth North provincially in an 1874 byelection, but was not re-elected in 1875. Because of his connections with the Conservative Party, in 1884 he was appointed deputy collector of customs at Stratford. He died in Stratford in 1885.

His son, Thomas Mayne Daly Jr., one of Thomas M.'s three sons, became a member of parliament and cabinet minister in Manitoba. Source: Thomas Mayne Daly Sr. Biography – Daly, Thomas Mayne (1827-85) – Volume XI (1881-1890) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography 

Thomas Mayne Daly, Jr. 

Like his father, Thomas Mayne Daly Jr. (1852-1911) was a politician. His grandfather, John C. W. Daly, was also a politician whose many roles included the first mayor for the Town of Stratford. (see above).

He was born in Stratford, Canada West (now Ontario), the son of Thomas Mayne Daly (1827–1885) and Helen McLaren (Ferguson) Daly. His father was a member of the House of Commons of Canada for the riding of Perth North.

Thomas M. Daly Jr. was called to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1876, and practised law in Stratford until 1881. In the same time period, he became a town councillor, chaired the public school board, and was mayor of Stratford from 1876-1878. 

In July 1881, Daly left for western Canada and was among the first to settle in Brandon, Man. He was elected Brandon’s first mayor in 1882 and he served again in 1884.  In 1887, running as a Conservative, he was elected to the House of Commons for Selkirk, a seat he held until the general election of 1896. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Thomas Mayne Daly (1852-1911) |

Historic John Daly home 

The house at 55 Daly Ave. is associated with several prominent Stratford residents. The original owner was John Corry Wilson Daly, the area's first Canada Company agent, the first mayor of the Town of Stratford, and the first magistrate of the London region.

Banker William Mowat later lived in this house. He was also the first editor for the Stratford Beacon newspaper and was a justice of the peace for Perth County.

The house here is a good example of the Gothic Revival architectural style. Typical of this style is the steep centre gable on the facade. Much of the residence has been altered, but the tri-coloured glass in the windows, and their wood frames, are original. A distinctive feature of those windows is the hand- painted birds. The original front door features rectangular sidelights and transom. Source: Canada's Historic Places

55 Daly Ave.            Photo: Fred Gonder

Mayor Daly's original home was on the site of the present-day county courthouse. (see Huron Street). It was the first house built in Stratford, in 1833, after John Sebring had his sawmill (the settlement's first) in place. Daly was known to invite guests to dinner and assign their seating in the house: "above the salt, below the salt, and in the barn." Because salt was rare, it was served in salt cellars (small bowls with tiny spoons) and only "special" guests were allowed to use it for flavour. Source: Nancy Musselman . . . FB

100 Daly Ave.

Hugh Nichol, historic place

Hugh Nicol, the Town of Stratford's second governor of the jail (1878-1921), and a prominent citizen (see St. Andrew Street), had this house built in 1896 at 100 Daly Ave.

It was designed by a local architect, R. Banks Barber, and is an excellent example of the Queen Anne style of architecture. Typical of that style are the steeply pitched multiple rooflines and gables. Of particular significance are the detailed stained-glass window in the second-storey gable and the original verandas on the facade and west elevation. Also of note are the large bay windows on the first and second storeys. Source: Historic Places