Pine Street

The Tree of Great Peace

White pine stamp, 1979

Pine Street was probably named for the eastern white pine tree (pinus strobus) one of the most beautiful trees in Ontario. Named in 1873, Pine Street was originally planned to run east from Railway Avenue to Dufferin Street, between Elm and Walnut streets. However, that street never materialized, and Pine Street was laid out in its present location in 1877. It runs from Erie Street to Railway Avenue in the city's south end.

The developer, Alexander Grant, the mayor of the Town of Stratford in 1879-80) (see Grant Street), named eight of the streets in this survey for native Canadian trees. Pine Street is closest to Cedar and Chestnut, but Ash, Cherry, Elm, Oak, and Walnut streets are nearby. Maple Avenue and Linden Court were named later.

Though the pine family comprises 80 to 90 species in the Northern Hemisphere, only 35 are native to North America. Nine of those trees grow in various parts of Canada. By Stanford Dingman

The white pine is the official tree emblem of Ontario, the first province to have an official tree as its emblem. Found throughout Ontario, the eastern white pine is the tallest tree in the province and can live for more than 250 years. Known as the Tree of Great Peace by the Haudenosaunee First Nations of southern Ontario, the eastern white pine was also an important source of income and trade during the province’s early days. Source: Trees Canada

There is a stand of mature white pine near the Stratford Public Utilities Commission's Water Control Centre at 39 Romeo St. S. Those trees were planted in 1937 by Stratford Boy Scouts to mark the coronation of of King George VI. By white pine standards, this is a young stand; these trees can easily live 200-plus years. Source: Streets of Stratford, 2004.