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.