That the road on the southerly boundary of the Town shall be called and known as Lorne Avenue. 1879 City of Stratford -Flashback Friday

 Marquis of Lorne

Princess Louise

A handsome pair

Lorne Avenue is shown unnamed on the 1879 map of Stratford. Though it had existed for some time before that, it was not officially named until later in 1879.

It was named for John Douglas Sutherland Campbell Lorne, Marquis (1845-1914), the eldest son of the 8th Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell of Scotland. He was born at Stafford House, the London (England) residence of his maternal grandfather, the Duke of Sutherland.


He was a handsome child, observed by Queen Victoria to be "a dear, white, fat, fair little fellow with reddish hair, but very delicate features, like both his father and mother; he is such a merry, independent little child." He was described by his sister as having a "fair complexion, with straight regular features, and the brightest of blue eyes, the whole crowned, as it was to the end of his days, by a wealth of yellow gold hair. A cricket ball slightly destroyed the perfect outline of his nose."

The Marquis was a handsome charmer. Though the gossips of London never considered him a suitable suitor for Queen Victoria's daughters (German bridegrooms being the traditional husbands for British Princesses), it had long been decided that Princess Louise would not marry a foreigner

The Marquis first caught the attention of Queen Victoria as a child, and now that he had grown into manhood, he was often at Buckingham Palace where his ideal Victorian blend of nobility and dreaminess further endeared him to the Queen.  Princess Louise was the first member of the Royal family in many years to marry a commoner. She married the Marquis of Lorne in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 1871.


It is now difficult to imagine the wave of excitement that swept through Canada with the announcement in 1878 that a member of the British Royal Family was coming to live in Canada."For the first time in Canada's history a lady of the Royal Family was approaching her shores." 

The Marquis of Lorne had been appointed to succeed Lord Dufferin as Governor-General of Canada and, though Queen Victoria at first had been opposed to Louise going so far away from home, she finally consented and gave her blessing to the viceregal appointment that had been urged upon her by her prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield).

It was late in 1887 when the Royal couple arrived at Halifax, where they were welcomed by Sir John A. Macdonald. The Marquis was 33 and the princess 30 when they began viceregal duties. By Stanford Dingman

* Louise Street was named in honour of Princess Louise, who was an accomplished artist (see Louise Street).

ANAF  151 Lorne Ave. East

Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Stratford was chartered May 30, 1922 with twenty-two members. Stratford was club number 1197 in the 17-year old Rotary International organization. The first president was D.M. Wright (1922-1924), followed by Dr. David Smith (1924-25).  The Club’s first project was to purchase memberships in the Young Men’s Christian Association for a pair of young, needy brothers. The second was to establish a fund for assisting the poor. They decided also to help the YMCA by purchasing a movie projector for use by the program staff. 

By its 25th anniversary in 1947, the Club had grown to 88 members.  At its golden anniversary in 1972, the district governor in attendance was Oliver Gaffney. The last surviving charter member, Morgan Riddell, was also present.

Over the years, membership grew to as many as 140 members and the variety of projects supported has shifted from the original focus on crippled children and boys’ work to constructing local recreational and healthcare facilities and supporting international community development and clean water projects. The Club met for many years at the YMCA before moving to the Kiwanis Centre in 1982, and then to its current location, the ANAF building, in 2018.  Women began joining the Club in 1996.  Source: Rotary Club

A Century of Service The Rotary Club of Stratford 1922 -2022. 

This book by Dean Robinson celebrates the legacy of  Rotary members who have invested in their community and communities around the world. From the work with Respite House and worldwide Polio vaccination to the Dragon Boat Festival and the ever-popular Evening of Scotch Mist 

Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans Association, Unit 261

The Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans Association was formed in 1840 by an act of Parliament.  

In Stratford, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Association was chartered on May 26, 1937, with 25 members who had served in the Great War (First World War) 1914-1918. The early ANAF meetings were in the board room in the city hall. Ultimately, the association sought a permanent home.

In time, the members raised enough money to buy a house on the corner of St. Andrew Street. After it was destroyed by fire on March 13, 1948, they were given temporary quarters by the city Optimist Club, on Water Street

They launched another fundraising effort and were able to buy the former stables of the Hagarty Commercial Hotel, at 33-35 Brunswick St. With a lot of volunteer labour, they quickly put the building into operating condition and it was the permanent home of Unit 261 until New Year’s Eve 1980, when a fire once again destroyed its club rooms.  

This time, the unit rebuilt on the same site, and was there for about 20 years. When the Stratford Festival, whose Avon Theatre, was around he corner on Downie Street, wanted to expand, the ANAF sold its building to the Festival and in turn, on Aug. 28, 2000, bought the former Knights of Columbus Community Centre at 151 Loren Ave. E. 

The ANAF motto is Shoulder to Shoulder and its welcomes veterans, ex-service personnel and the public to visit its facility. Unit 261 is active in the community, sponsoring minor hockey and baseball, youth soccer and rugby, Special Olympics Ontario, Positive Youth Development, and varied other projects and charities. Source: About Us - ANAF Unit 261