Maitland Avenue

  • George Maitland, photographer

  • Mary Ann Maitland, poet

Maitland Avenue was named in honour of George Forbes Maitland, photographer

George Forbes Maitland, photographer

George Maitland was born on March 24, 1835, in Belhelvie, a village about eight miles north of the City of Aberdeen, Scotland, In his early 20s, he left Scotland to seek his fortune in Canada. That may have been as late as 1857.

He initially settled in the Hamilton, where he worked as a photographer. It was there he met Mary Ann Davidson a gifted poet (see below), and they married in 1861. One of their six children was George Henry, who became editor of the Stratford Herald in the early 1900s.

The Maitland family lived in Hamilton (1861-1865), St. Catharines (1869-1874), Stratford (1876-1916) and St. Marys (1916-1928). Further details below.

One of the Stratford locations of the Maitland photography studio was at 54 Ontario St, at its intersection with Veterans Drive, where Wade's Flowers was later located. This is a glass negative, of the tupe used in Maitland's days. Diane Newell Batting . . . FB

In the late 1860s, George and Mary Ann moved their young family from Hamilton to St. Catharines, where he established a photography studio. In about 1876, they came to Stratford, where they rented a newly built house at 205 Albert St. They remained in the house for two years, before moving to North Street, then John Street, and then to a house at 151 Norman St.

Maitland developed a reputation of producing fine photographs and experimenting with photographic techniques to advance the art. He established his photographic business on Market Square, and at a number of locations through the years, finally settling at 48 Ontario St. He was an important photographer in Stratford for more than 30 years. Upon his retirement, he and Mary Ann moved to St. Marys. In Stratford, the Maitland photography studio was also in the Myers Block on Downie Street near Market Square.

George Maitland died on Jan. 16, 1928 and is buried with his wife, Mary Ann, in Avondale Cemetery, Stratford. Source: Historic Plaque

Mary Ann Maitland, poet

Mary Ann Maitland was a Scottish-born Canadian author of poems, hymns, and short stories. The Ann character in Maitland's short story, Charity Ann: Founded on Facts (Godey's Lady's Book, January 1892), provided the background for Anne Shirley's history and adoption in Anne of Green Gables.

In a short time, her contributions found their way into the S.S. Times, New York Observer, Christian at Work, Godey's Lady's Book, Gems of Poetry, Woman's Magazine, and other standard American periodicals. A writer in Daughters of America who was familiar with Maitland and her writings, said t she was "one of the sweetest singers of the day," and the Idea said in a sketch of her: "Mrs. Maitland is by nature a poet — one in whom the most natural form of expression is in rhyme and rhythm." Mary Ann Maitland died in February 1919. Source: Wikipedia

Selected Works

  • Autumn Leaves, 1907

  • God Speed the True: a Little Volume of Cheerful Canadian Verse, 1919

Click here to read the following poems Inter Archive

  • Keep a light in the window burning (hymn)

  • Today the saints in Zion are watching (hymn)