Inverness Street

John McDonald  Stratford-Perth Archives

First Surveyor

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.

John McDonald was the deputy provincial surveyor of Upper Canada, and it was he who drew the first detailed Plan of the Town of Stratford on Avon in the Huron Tract, in May 1834. All future street plans, and the actual street locations in Stratford today, are based on McDonald's 1834 map. The main streets of Stratford, when projected as straight lines, radiate from a central point at the intersection of Erie and Ontario streets.

Inverness Street commemorates the man responsible for Stratford's original street plan. It was named for Stratford’s original street plan and it was named for Inverness, the largest county in Scotland. Inverness, an ancient Royal Burgh, is the chief town of the Scottish Highlands where, according to legend, Macbeth was said to have his castle. Culloden Moor and Cawdor are nearby.  By Stanford Dingman: 

Inverness, an ancient royal burgh

Inverness Street, circa 1920 Stratford-Perth Archives