Pleasant Drive

Homes for veterans

All the houses on both sides of Pleasant Drive, and on the east side of Burritt Street (one block west), were part of the Veterans' Land Act (VLA) subdivision opened in Stratford for veterans returning from the Second World War. Though there were many VLA homes and farms in and around Stratford, this was the only VLA subdivision in the city.

The VLA was passed during the war to enable returning veterans to buy land with favorable financial terms. The maximum VLA mortgage loan was $6,000, and the federal government required a down payment on the loan of 10 per cent, or $600. 

There was no interest charged on the first $1,400, which was written off as a grant to the veteran if he or she retained the property for 10 years. The remaining $4,000 was usually mortgaged over 25 years at an interest rate of 3.5 per cent. Payments amounted to $19.90 a month. The first eight houses on the street were built by the VLA (the federal government) in 1946-47.  

The Players, the Evans and Jean Miller lived on Pleasant Drive, though the street was not called that when they moved in. Rather, it was part of North Easthope Township. Bernice (Mrs. Clarence) Player said a meeting was called and the invited were asked for their suggestions for the naming of the street. The meeting was at Ron and Jean Evans' in the winter of 1948. Mrs. Player recalled, "I closed my eyes and pictured  what it was going to be like here in 10 years. I pictured Pleasant Drive. It just suited. Everyone liked it and that was that.


Originally called the Pratt subdivision, there are now 29 VLA homes, on half-acre lots on Pleasant Drive, which was part of the North Easthope land that was annexed by the city in the early 1960s. The Pratt subdivision was named for the family of Francis (Frank) Pratt, who owned the farm (Lot 44, Concession 1) on which Pleasant Drive was developed. He came out from England in 1871 and was soon active in several entrepreneurial pursuits in Stratford. His main business for many years was Pratt Printers, a job-printing shop on Market Place for many years. He also owned a grocery store at 351 Ontario St. He also had a family to raise and his farm to look after. His son, Bert Pratt, inherited 27 acres, part of which was eventually sold to the federal government for the VLA subdivision on both sides of Pleasant Drive, and the east side of Burritt. The first veterans to move in were Clarence Player, Ron Evans, Jack Miller, Walter Love, Claude Monck, Gladys Morrow, Lloyd Spears and Mike Cremin. By Stanford Dingman