Ross Street

Embattled educator and politician

Sir George Ross Stratford-Perth Archives

Ross Street was laid out by the Stratford improvement Co. in 1904 and was named for Sir George William Ross (1841-1914) the Liberal premier of Ontario from 1899 to 1905. Ross Street runs one block between East Gore and Perth streets in the southeast part of the city. By Stanford Dingman

After some years as a teacher, school inspector and journalist, Ross was elected to the House of Commons in 1872 as a Liberal for West Middlesex. Upon his defeat in the federal election of 1883, he entered provincial politics. He joined Sir Oliver Mowat's Ontario cabinet as the minister of education, a post he held for 16 years.

Ross rationalized and improved the public school system, but not easily. He grappled with bitter public controversies over language and religion in Roman Catholic separate schools, and over the financing of the provincial university at Toronto and the denominational colleges. He succeeded Arthur Sturgis Hardy in the premiership in 1899, but his government was defeated in 1905.

After leading the opposition for two years, Ross accepted an appointment to the Senate where he was Liberal leader from 1910 until his death. A noted orator, he also published books and pamphlets, including the autobiographical Getting Into Parliament and After (1913). He was knighted by King George V. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia