Dufferin Street

Vice Regal Visit

Lord Dufferin  Stratford-Perth Archives

Dufferin Street, opened in 1873. was  named after a year in honour of Canada's third governor general, Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin. From the family seat of Clandeboye in County Down, Ireland, the Dufferins came to Stratford for a two-hour visit in July 1874. It is what is believed to have been Stratford's first viceregal visit.


 At 10:20 a.m., as the train carrying their party reached the Stratford station, it passed over numerous fog signals, each of which exploded in cannon-like fashion. After a series of welcoming speeches and replies, the viceregal party was shown to carriages for a procession through town.

Those in the first carriage, which was drawn by four matched horses, included Lord Dufferin, Lady Dufferin and Mayor Thomas Stoney. The remainder of the party were in four carriages, followed by local officials, about 20 carriages in all.

Decorated arches were erected along the route, and their excellencies stopped to visit the main churches throughout the town. A levee was to be held in the town hall, but that building was under repair, so the gathering was moved to the ladies' reception rooms in the Grand Trunk Railway station. About 100 people attended and enjoyed "a sumptuous lunch of fruit." 

Dufferin Street had been named the year before and whether "His Ex," as Lady Dufferin sometimes referred to her husband in her journal,  knew about it or not, he would have been pleased. He would have been especially happy about the naming of Dufferin Park, which came later (1922) at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The Dufferins achieved great popularity in Canada and their name lives on in many ways. One of them is the Dufferin Terrace, an elegant boardwalk by the Chateau Frontenac. It overlooks the beautiful harbour in Quebec City, where the Dufferins first landed in Canada in 1872. In Stratford, Dufferin Street and Dufferin Park share in the heritage of that name. With notes from Stanford Dingman