Queens Park Drive

Queens Park Drive is named in honour of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria 1882. Portrait by Alexander Bassano.

Queens Park Drive refers to the section of roadway known unofficially as Snake Hill, from the eastern section of Richard Monette Way to Lakeside Drive.

Queens Park Drive is named for Queens Park, which in turn was named for Queen Victoria in 1882. It was called Queen Victoria Park at first, but the name Queens Park quickly gained favour.

The beautifully treed Upper Queens Park which we know today with its bandshell, picnic tables and family areas, was once part of the natural forest preserve on the 100-acre estate of Stratford's richest landowner, William Frederick McCulloch (see Water Street). By 1882, when the town became interested in buying this property for a park, much of the estate known as The Grange was then owned by George Gordon McPherson (1850-1943), who sold 45 acres to the town at $100 an acre. To recoup some of their money, the town fathers leased grazing rights and soon the park was overrun with 300 sheep. After the townspeople complained, that plan was soon discarded.

When the Stratford Festival pitched its tent on the brow of Queens Park hill in 1953, Tom Patterson (see Delamere Avenue) acknowledged his debt to the far-sighted founders of the park system (see Lakeside Drive).

Queen Victoria would have been pleased, as well; she liked to go to the theatre. Source: Streets of Stratford, 2004.

Note: Queens Park Drive included the loop in Upper Queens Park until 2021, when that oval was renamed Richard Monette Way (see Richard Monette Way) to honour the man who, from 1994 to 2007 was the artistic director of the Stratford Festival.

Upper Queens Park Drone Photo by Al Hamberg