Not the Queen
Elizabeth, one of the first streets opened north of the Avon River, was laid out by William Frederick McCulloch in 1851. Elizabeth Street runs through the middle of the McCulloch survey and was named in honour of his eldest daughter. Elizabeth McCulloch, born in Ireland in 1840, was 11 years old when the street was named. Her mother's name was also Elizabeth. William McCulloch brought his family to Upper Canada, and to Stratford, in 1842.
What is now Trow Avenue was the private tree-lined drive from Ontario Street to house McCulloch called The Grange. It stood about where the former Perth Insurance building is, at 210 Water St.
While living at The Grange, the McCullochs had six more children, which ran their total offspring to 11. William McCulloch's father was "in affluent circumstances,'' so William received a first-class education in France. It would appear that William Frederick McCulloch was the wealthiest man in Stratford, and it was common knowledge that he brought a large sum of money with him when he came to the settlement.
He invested much of his fortune in Stratford. He bought mills and waded into the mercantile business on a large scale. He became Stratford's dominant landowner and its leader among the pioneer developers. He owned the block along the river on the north side of Ontario Street from Huron Street to Erie Street. He also owned a large tract of land on the north side of the river, some of which donated for the consruction of St. James Church.
McCulloch actively promoted the separation of Perth from the United Counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce, and though Perth had been established legally as a county in 1850, it could not collect taxes by law until a courthouse and jail were erected. McCulloch sold land at bargain prices to assist with those requirements. The first Perth County courthouse, on the north side of the river, facing William Street, was built on land made available by McCulloch. It served from 1853 until 1887, when the present courthhouse was built.
Elizabeth McCulloch must have been impressed by the interest of her father in land development and public affairs, because she married a man of similar interests, namely Alexander Grant, also a large landowner and developer, in several parts of Stratford. In 1879-80 he was mayor of the Town of Stratford. Elizabeth's brother, J. A. McCulloch, and her brother-in-law, William Gordon, were also mayors of Stratford. Elizabeth's husband, Alexander Grant, and her father, W. F. McCulloch, owned land and laid out surveys on both sides of Louise Street in the south end of Stratford. One of Grant's surveys went right to Erie Street and included a number of streets named after native Canadian trees. Elizabeth's husband probably had a hand in the naming of Ash, Cedar, Cherry, Chestnut, Elm, Oak, Pine and Walnut streets. Maple Avenue came later. With note from Stanford Dingman
Bruce Swerdfager, 1956
Bruce Swerdfager, actor
Harry and Charlotte Zurbrigg Colleen Misener
Harry Zurbrigg lived at 62 Elizabeth Str. He owned and operated the TVB Bakery at the corner of William and Huron streets until its closing in 1949. TVB stood for The Very Best, but at one time, he had operated the Thames Valley Bread Co. in St. Marys. The Zurbriggs used motor vehicles for country deliveries, but horses in town until they closed their bakery at 56 Huron St.
Harry married Charlotte McArdle. After he died, she rented out the top floors of their house (see below). Upon her death, the became the Amadeus Haus bed and breakfast operation, which ran for 18 years. Source: Paul Wilker
Residence: 62 Elizabeth St. Paul Wilker
John Vernon, actor
John Vernon rented at 62 Elizabeth St. while acting in festival productions from 1959 to 1962. See his roles at Shakespeare in Performance.
While not an international star, he was well known in Canada for playing a coroner in a TV series called Wojeck , a Canadian drama which aired on CBC Television from 1966 to 1968. It was arguably the first successful drama series on English Canadian television. He made a career in Hollywood after achieving initial television stardom in Canada. He was best known for playing Dean Wormer in Animal House, the mayor in Dirty Harry and Fletcher in The Outlaw Josey Wales. Source: text and picture Wikipedia
Brian Bedford, actor
Brian Bedford (Feb. 16, 1935 -Jan. 13, 2016) lived in a large house at 30 Elizabeth St. On stage and in film, he was well known for both acting in and directing Shakespearean productions. He received seven Tony nominations, the second most for a male actor at the time. In 2009, Bedford starred as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, marking 27 seasons of acting and/or directing at Stratford. He died in 2016. His ashes were sprinkled in Stratford. For his roles in Stratford see Shakespeare in Performance. Source: text and picture Wikipedia
* In 2013 he was honoured by the city with a bronze star, placed near the Avon Theatre.
These actors lived in this house while they worked in Stratford:
Christopher Plummer (see Christopher Plummer Drive)
Bruno Gerrusi (see Romeo Street)
Max Helpmann (1914 - 1987) was born in Adelaide, Australia. He became one of best known and the longest-serving actors in the Stratford Festival, 59 plays from 1956 through 1986. See full list of his roles: Shakespeare in Performance.
Residence: 5 Elizabeth St.
Residence: 12-14-16 Elizabeth St.
The Dufton house
In 1882, looking out his front windows, Edmund Tyndal Dufton could watch smoke rise from the Dufton Woolen Mills, in what are now the Shakespearean Gardens.
The house was built for Dufton, who managed the Dufton Woolen Mills 0n Huron Street (see Huron Street). James L. Killoran, a judge in Perth County, later lived in this house, in 1927.
Architectural Description: two-storey yellow brick with a hip roof and a centre peak; first floor: large rectangular window with a round-headed transom containing stained glass on the left side and an entrance door on the right; the hipped-roof porch is supported by round columns and has a turned balustrade; second floor has three segmentally arched one- over-one paned windows, centre window closed with shutters; there are brackets under eaves and a round window in the peak. The left side has segmentally arched window on each floor at the right side and a three- sided two-storey bay window to the left; each window in each section of the bay window are segmentally arched with one-over-one panes. A frame two-storey enclosed porch was added to the right side of the house. Source: Stratford Designated Properties
Below: Wallpaper peeled off the wall revealed a painted picture, believed to be that of Edmund Tyndal Dufton Source: Instagram Dufton House
Wallpaper coming off
William Ireland Stratford-Perth Archives
William J. Ireland, architect
Residence: 122 Elizabeth St.
Albert Gordon Zurbrigg
Albert Gordon Zurbrigg, Today not tomorrow
Residence: 70 Elizabeth St.
Residence: 55 Elizabeth St.
Alfred Ahrens, dentist and Liberal MP
Cora Bell Ahrens