Chalmers Napier Greenwood was the mayor of Stratford in 1913 and oversaw one of the most important decisions in the city's history.
With the Grand Trunk Railway long established in the city, the Canadian Pacific Railway was anxious to include Stratford in its system. The CPR proposed a railway along the north bank of the Avon River, and later another on the south side. The CPR line was to come in at the east end of Lower Queens Park, and run along the river below where the Festival Theatre is now. There was also be a spur line to serve factories in the southeast part of the city. The freight shed and sidings were to be in the area now occupied by William Allman Arena. The Waterloo Street bridge and roadway were to be raised 15 feet and Huron Street 14 feet, to allow trains to pass beneath.
A citizens committee worked hard to preserve the people’s parkland, and when the issue was decided on March 10, 1913, the committee won the day, with 1,063 against the CPR proposal, and 936 votes for it. Parkland trumped Pacific.