Part of a small survey laid out by Stratford pioneer James J. E. Linton (see Linton Ave.), Inverness Street was probably named in honour of Linton's close friend and associate, John McDonald, who was born near Inverness, Scotland, in 1794.
Both men attended university in Scotland, Linton graduating as a lawyer in Edinburgh, McDonald as a civil engineer. Both were commissioned for different tasks by the Canada Company. Canada Company founder John Galt brought McDonald to Canada to survey the Huron Road, better known today as Hwy 8, stretching from New Hamburg to Goderich.
McDonald had a fine reputation as a surveyor, draughtsman and map maker, and he was much ahead of his time as a skilled town planner. He designed and laid out the plans for Guelph, Goderich and Stratford, all of which are recognized today as fine examples of the town planner's art. The site of Stratford was chosen as the point at which the Huron Road crossed the Little Thames River, now named the Avon River.