The unlikely marriage of the Jarvis Block and a service station Compiled by Vince Gratton
Our first all brick commercial building was located on the south west corner of Ontario and Erie Street. Built in 1857 and named the Jarvis Block it was owned by Peter Robinson Jarvis a prominent tea merchant and politician. Two more matching additions added west of the corner unit in the early 1860s completed the block.
In 1920 the original corner unit was opened as an automotive outlet for gasoline, tires, and batteries. By 1927 the original corner unit was removed and replaced with a Tudor style British American company full-service automobile outlet. It would offer this service until 1963 when B-A was sold and the franchise closed.
From 1964 until a few years ago it went through various office usages, real estate, travel agent, bank offices and at times vacant. Sold a few ago it has enjoyed a complete sympathetic renovation. Now ready for multi-use tenants it will soon enjoy a new lease on life. The marriage of the original old Jarvis building and a gas station seemed like an unlikely match. Time has proven it to be good fit and a landmark location. Poised at the very centre of Stratford’s four main intersections it is difficult not to be notice by all who live and visit here.
1906 Painters and Plumbers
1910 National Mfg. Co. - Stoves1910
1916 - 1919 - 41 Ontario St. vacant
1920 to 1932 McKellar and Mitchell-Tires, Battery, Gas.
1927 British-American gasoline in new Tudor building operated by McKellar and Mitchell
1933-1936 - Clifford Atkinson – name change to B-A only
1941-1949 - B-A Front door at 41 Ontario St. – Joseph Dastie
1953-1963 Wm. (Bill) Woodward
1954 B-A sells the new 88 and 98 octane gasoline
1964 -1968 BM&T and V&G Real Estate office
1977 – 1989 now known as 14 Erie Street - Victoria and Grey Regional office - photo by Greig Stott.
2023 The newly renovated former gas station ready for another century - photo by Al Hamberg