James Bruce, eighth Earl of Elgin
Earl Street runs north from Britannia Street to Princess Street. It was laid out in 1855 by one of Stratford's most illustrious pioneers, John Augustus McCarthy Sr. (see McCarthy Road).
It was said that McCarthy was heading for Lake Huron in 1832 when his wagon broke down in Stratford and he spent the night in a log shanty on the present site of the Lions swimming pool. He became one of the settlement's first settlers and later its first police constable. He was also a farmer, and his brick farmhouse as at 170 Mornington St.
He chose high-ranking names for his survey and Earl Street was named in honour of James Bruce, eighth Earl of Elgin. He was also 12th Earl of Kincardine.
Lord Elgin (1811-1863) was Governor-General of British North America from 1847 to 1854. Two months before leaving for Canada, Lord Elgin married his second wife, Lady Mary Louisa Lambton, daughter of the first Earl of Durham. In 1838, he had produced Lord Durham's Report,which recommended the union of Upper and Lower Canada and the introduction of responsible government and municipal government in Canada.
This was a propitious marriage in a political sense, because it fell to Lord Elgin to finish the job of implementing Lord Durham's recommendations. Source: Streets of Stratford 2004