Evolution of Downie Street 

Take a scroll to see how Downie Street evolved.

Downie Street takes its name from Robert Downie,a  director of the Canada Company.  On an 1829 survey map of the Stratford area, Downie Street was show as "Appin."  It was probable that Canada Company founder John Galt chose this name in honour of his friend, "Mr. Downie of Appin." but soon disappeared. Downie is one of the oldest streets in Stratford and was first named Downie Road on the 1839  map.   The first block of Downie, from Ontario to Albert and Wellington, became known as Market Street because it led to the new market. The name stuck until about 1908, when it again became part of Downie Street because of confusion with Market Place.  

1870    Photo: Vince Gratton

Summer view fron the front door of City Hall,  turn of the century  Postcard  Vince Gratton

Winter view from the door of City Hall  circa 1880       Photo: Vince Gratton

1905   Photo: Vince Gratton 

1905    Photo: Vince Gratton 

1906    Photo: Vince Gratton 

1906   Photo: Vince Gratton

 1906  Market Street changed to Downie Street . The Bank of Montreal is shownon the left .  On the corner right is James Pequegnat Jeweler. Their slogan was   "DIAMONDS of the Water direct from Amsterdam Cutters,  Prices Tempting " Next to it is the Canadian Bank of Commerce. The building at the end of the block is the British Mortgage and Loan.    Photo: Nancy Musselman

1910   See in background is the Post Office  Photo: Vince Gratton 

1910  Whyte Packing Co, Northwest corner of Wellington and Downie Street   Photo: Vince Gratton  

1912     City Hall ,  Commercial Hotel  corner of  Brunswick and Downie Street, South side  Photo: Nancy Musselman

1912    West corner, Whyte Packing Co. next the Savoy Club   Photo: Vince Gratton 

1913       Photo: Vince Gratton

1913      The  Sparta Restaurant  and Confectionary can barely be seen here  Their slogan was  "Our Pure Olive Oil is  a  good Spring Tonic, ask your doctor". On the corner is the Griffin's Theatre  that was its name for a short time and then was renamed the Majestic Theatre before it became the Avon Theatre . Photo: Vince Gratton

1913      Corner east side H.M. Myers drugs  Photo: Vince Gratton     

1914   Photo: Vince Gratton

 1929             Kresge under construction. Duggans to the right with square capola       Photo:   Bettie Petrie de Vos

1938   Prout and Garwood clothing East Side  Photo: Vince Gratton

1940    East side: United  Cigar Store next to Bank of Nova Scotia and bearly visable is the  Tamblyn Drug Store ,  on the west side you an see Shapiro's and Steel optomitrist.  Photo: Nancy Musselman

 1952     The corner store on the left is the United Cigar Store and next to it you can make out the  the Bank of Nova Scotia.   Across the street you can see Steele Optical and the glassses above the sign.  Whyte Packing Co. is at the end of the street on the west side. Photo: Nancy Musselman

1952     The A&P store was here from  1939 -1961,  It moved to Erie Street in 1962 then Ontario Street in 1972 to 1987.    Photo: Vince Gratton

1953     The brown building is the Royal Bank established in 1926 .  Woolworths is on the corner   Photo: Doug Jasper

1960          Woolworth Co. was here from  1938-1960s  and S.S. Kresge Co.  from  1935 -1970     Photo: Vince Gratton 

1961    Pirates of Penzance staring Eric House .   Across the street the White Star Barbershop      Photo: Vince Gratton

1964  Next to Kresge , Agnew Surpass Shoes, Walkers Clothes  and Limelight Restaurant          Photo: Vince Gratton 

1987        Photo: Vince Gratton