Queen Street south of Ontario Street was part of the land survey by Toronto developers John Arnold and James Lukin in 1853. It was later extended north of Ontario to the river, and then across the river (where it was eventually renamed Guthrie Avenue). Arnold and Lukin brought all their street names from Toronto and this street was named for Queen Street in Toronto. Queen Street in Toronto was named for Queen Victoria in about 1843. By Stanford Dingman
Addendum: The years 1843 to 1853, which spanned the naming of Queen Street in Toronto and Queen Street in Stratford, were one of the busiest and happiest periods in Queen Victoria's life. It included the birth of seven of her nine children and the opening of the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. It attracted six million visitors to marvel at the great Crystal Palace in Hyde Park . Source: Streets of Stratford, 2004
The Stratford Festival Theatre
The Festival Theatre was founded as the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada by Tom Patterson (see Delamere Avenue). He was a Stratford native and journalist who wanted to revitalize his town's economy by creating a theatre festival dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare, in that the town shares the name of Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
Stratford was a railway centre with a major locomotive repair facility, but it was facing a disastrous downturn with the imminent elimination of steam power. Patterson achieved his goal after gaining encouragement from Mayor David Simpson and the local council, and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival became a legal entity on Oct. 31, 1952.
Already established in Canadian theatre, Dora Mavor Moore helped put Patterson in touch with British actor and director Tyrone Guthrie, first with a transatlantic telephone call. Guthrie then made other notable contacts. On July 13, 1953, actor Alec Guinness spoke the first lines of the first play produced by the festival, a production of Richard III: "Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this son of York." Guinness and Irene Worth were in the cast of Stratford's inaugural performance, working for expenses only.
Fundraising to build a permanent theatre was slow, but was helped significantly by donations from Governor General Vincent Massey and the Perth Mutual Insurance Co. Bob Fairfield designed the the new building. (see Fairfield Drive). The new permanent Festival Theatre building was dedicated on June 30, 1957, with seating for more than 2,200 people, no seats more than 65 feet from the stage. The design was deliberately intended to resemble a huge tent.
The Festival Theatre's thrust stage was designed by British designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch to resemble both a classic Greek amphitheatre and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. It has since become a model for other stages in North America and Great Britain. Source: Wiki
Note: Tom Patterson's book, First Stage, The Making of the Stratford Festival, provides the full history of the founding of the Festival.
The Festival Gardens
Frank Holte, sculptures
This sculpture of Shakespeare was done by Frank Holte.
Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, he served his apprenticeship there at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company. He emigrated to Ontario, Canada, in 1970, where he headed the Stratford Shakespeare Festival prop department for 39 seasons. Holte is especially well-known for his work in stainless steel.
Spirit Photo by Fred Gonder
Memorial Tree Photo Fred Gonder
While I was at the Festival gardens I looked at four distinct sections . "beautiful"
Now for a short walk through Queen's Park over to the bridge to nowhere in the Memorial Peace Garden on Richard Monette Way
Skip Manley: the Toscanini of tents
The Crew. Stratford-Perth Archive
Tent raising Photo Rob Lemon . . . FB
The tent rose 61 feet above the ground and was 150 feet in diameter. Its original cost was $23,000.
The Fanfare announces the play is about to begin. " Click above to hear it ".
From here I went out into the Festival Gardens to see the Toscanini of tents on this same street.
Louis Applebaum, composer
Composed by Louis Applebaum
Harry Showalter, first president of the Festival board
Harry Showalter, Stratford-Perth Archives
OLiver Gaffney, Stratford-Perth Archives
Oliver Gaffney, builder
Anita Gaffney, Stratford-Perth Archives
Anita Gaffney, executive director
The 1959 Royal tour (As You Like It)
Royal Couple at Train Station, Stratford-Perth Archives
Robertson Davies and a Stratford trilogy
Jumping over the Alps
Donald McPherson, world champion figure skater
Donald McPherson lived with his parents first on Ontario Street, then Cobourg Street and finally at 112 Queen St. He attended Falstaff Public School, sang in Gordon Scott's Junior Choir (see Waterloo Street), and learned to skate and honed his skills with the Stratford Skating Club. Donald McPherson was an exceptional athlete who claimed a number of firsts in the history of figure skating. In 1963, he became the first man to claim the Canadian, North American and world senior men's championships in the same year, without having won any of those titles previously. He was the first male in world championships to jump from fourth to first place and, having just turned 18, the youngest man ever to win the world title.
He retired from amateur competition in 1963. After overcoming physical hardships, he returned to skating and starred with "Holiday on Ice" in Europe for 10 years. In 1965, he won the men's world professional championships. He remains the youngest world champion in men's singles. On Nov. 24, 2001, as a result of diabetes, he died at his home in Munich, Germany, at age 56. Source: Skate Canada
* In 2011, he was inducted into the Stratford Sports Wall of Fame. See YouTube Wall of Fame. He was also honoured with a Stratford Bronze Star in 2005. It is located near the entrance to the William Allman Memorial Arena.
Personal note: Don played a choirboy in the Festival's Merry Wives of Windsor, 1956 (see Falstaff Street).
See vidoe below.
John Whyte Sr., Whyte Packing Co.
The founder of the Whyte Packing Co., John Whyte Sr. (see Whyte Avenue) was born in about 1822 in Ardlui, tiny hamlet at the north end of Scotland’s famous Loch Lomond.
He grew to be a strapping big fellow of six foot five. Family lore has it that in his late teens he left Ardlui and walked to Glasgow, where he apprenticed to become a stone cutter and mason. It was in Glasgow that he married Margaret Cooke Miller on Feb. 19, 1843.
He immigrated to Canada in 1849. Census data suggests that he came first and that Margaret followed with their two children and her mother in 1850. They settled on a farm in Hibbert Township, Perth County, where they lived in a single-storey log house. In the next 14 years, the family grew by six more children.
Farming was difficult in those years, but John was able to supplement the family’s income by taking commissions for stone cutting and masonry work. He was particularly in demand for stonework on bridges throughout the county and beyond.
On one commission, he worked in Stratford on the stone Huron Street bridge, which crosses the Avon River. As a result of the Crimean War (1854-1856), prices for agricultural products substantially increased. But White prospered and with his new found capital and expanded his land holdings.
In 1859, he diversified his business to include pork barreling, which was the genesis of the Whyte Packing Co. Within a few years he built a small processing plant in the village of Cromarty (Hibbert Township), but by 1870 had built a larger operation in Mitchell, where there were rail connections and easier access to growing markets.
174 Queen St.
John Jr. managed the business while his father travelled by train and boat to logging camps and sawmills in the Gravenhurst-Muskoka area, which he supplied with his pork products. He also regularly went to the Red River Colony, which required trains from Stratford to Sarnia, Chicago and St. Paul, Minn. From there he went by boat up the Red River to what is now Winnipeg to sell his products.
In the late 1890s, the Whyte Packing Co. was one of the largest such companies in Canada. After John Jr. went to England and established a network for their products there, he convinced his father to move their operations to Stratford, which had better and more diversified rail links. In Stratford, they hired some of the best architects and engineers from Chicago, the hog processing capital of the United States, to design and build the largest and most modern processing plant in Canada.
The plant, which opened on July 1, 1900, was on a 6.5-acre site ust off Erie Street, at 78 Linton Ave., where the city now has a bus garage. The Whytes also built a plant in Brockville and established retail stores in Toronto, Montreal, Mitchell, St. Marys and two in Stratford – one at 42 Downie St., the other at 174 Queen St. to serve the expanding east end of the city.
John Whyte Sr. died on Oct. 13, 1907, and his wife Margaret in 1911. They are buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Cromarty, Hibbert Township.
In 1966, facing bankruptcy, the firm was sold and in the 1970s, the city bought the site and demolished plant. The last vestige of the Whyte Packing Co. in Stratford is the building that once housed its butcher shop, at 174 Queen St. Source: Historic Plaque Properties
Ken Kalmusky, musician
Ken Kalmusky (1945-2005) grew up at 127 Queen St. in Stratford, near Queens Park. His father was a saxophonist, and the house basement was often alive with music, much of it made by Ken and his friends, among them Richard Manuel. He and Ken became members of the Revols (see Richard Monette Way). Ken also worked with the likes of Ronnie Hawkins, Ian and Sylvia, Jerry Reed, Amos Garrett, and Todd Rundgren. Ken Kalmusky toured the world as a musician and played on stages from Massey Hall in Toronto to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.
He grew up beside the Grattons who lived in the former Pequegnat house at 289 Cobourg St. (see Cobourg Street). As kids, Vince Gratton and Ken Kalmusky were good friends, whose adventure land was Queens Park.
About when he turned 16, Ken dropped out of school and began touring with Hawkins, leaving The Revols behind. After a decade, he joined Ian and Sylvia and helped form their band, Great Speckled Bird.
By 1970, Kalmusky was back in Stratford, where his children were born, and started the Stratford-based band Plum Loco with a former bandmate from the Revols, John Till. He also continued to tour, record and play. In 2020, Kalmusky and Till were honoured with Bronze Stars by the City of Stratford.
* Read further career details in the article with pictures here: Ken Kalmusky-Wikipedia
Ken Kalmusky, bass player with the Revols.