McFarlane Street was laid out in the William Gordon Survey and is named in honour of Robert McFarlane.
Two years earlier, in 1872, the Town of Stratford and the federal riding of South Perth had been saddened by the sudden death in Ottawa of their young member of Parliament, Robert McFarlane. A Liberal, McFarlane had been re-elected in September, 1867, to represent South Perth in the first parliament of the Dominion of Canada.
He was 37 when he died in office, on June 1, 1872. One of his closest personal friends, Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald, Prime Minister of Canada (1862-64) and the first prime minister of Ontario (1867-71), died on the same day.
Called to the bar in 1857, Robert McFarlane formed a law partnership with Daniel Home Lizars (see Hamilton Street), who became a Perth County judge. His next partner was John Idington, who became a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
He entered Perth County politics as a Reform candidate in 1862. He ran unsuccessfully against Thomas Mayne Daly in a by-election in Perth County. In 1863, he defeated Daly and represented Perth in the 8th Parliament of the Province of Canada. When the county was split into two parts after Confederation, he was elected in the south riding. Source: Wikipedia
Kathleen McFarlane Lizars, co-author with her sister of the social history In the Days of the Canada Company was named for her father-in-law's partner, Robert McFarlane.