O’Loane Avenue

A prominent catholic family

Lawrence O'Loane

O’Loane Avenue was not officially named by the city council until 1922. It was so named in honour of a prominent Roman Catholic family whose members played an active role in early public life of Stratford.

Lawrence O’Loane was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1785, and immigrated to Quebec in 1816. He moved to Waterloo County in Ontario in 1824. He brought his family to the Village of Stratford in about 1856 when his three O’Loane sons were young men: Lawrence Jr. (1830-1878), Richard (1834-1876) and James (1836-1917).

As early as 1857, Lawrence O'Loane was the proprietor of a dry goods store on Ontario Street. In 1859, Stratford became a town and he was appointed its postmaster in 1862. Lawrence Jr., who followed in his father's postal footsteps, died in 1878, at age 48, having resigned as postmaster a few weeks earlier. His brother Richard then became the postmaster, a position he held until moving into the insurance business. The youngest of the O’Loane boys, James, was appointed city magistrate in 1873, a post he held for 40 years. He was succeeded by Magistrate John A. Makins (see Makins Street) in 1914. By Stanford Dingman