Scott Street

Always a businessman . . .

Duncan M. Scott Stratford-Perth Archives

Scott Street was named by the city for Duncan M. Scott, a Stratford alderman and businessman. Scott Street was a comparatively recent addition when Stan Dingman was writing his history of the Streets of Stratford in the early 1980s. The street is in the southern industrial section of the city and runs from from Lorne Avenue to Griffith Road.

Duncan McGregor Scott was born in 1876 on land belonging to his grandfather, after whom he was named. The elder Duncan Scott, his wife Janet, and their young family settled on lots 26 and 27 on Concession 7 in South Easthope Township after emigrating from Perthshire, Scotland, in 1843.

The father of the younger Duncan, Peter Scott, was only two years old when the family left Scotland. After marrying Mary Menzies of North Easthope in 1875, he took up farming on his own. Duncan was the oldest of their four children, but still young when their mother, Mary, died. Peter and his four children then moved to East Zorra Township, where he began a new career building houses.

Duncan was educated in Tavistock and later attended the Stratford Business School. As of the 1901 census he is living living with the family of Robert Johnston in Blandford Township, North Oxford. Johnston was a cheesemaker by profession, and Duncan and another young man were working for him.

In 1905, Duncan Scott Jr. married Annie McDermott of New Hamburg. She was the daughter of Michael McDermott, a blacksmith, and Tammy Lake. Unlike many young women of the period, Annie was working as a milliner at the time of her marriage. Two years later the couple bought the newly built house at 198 Albert St. in Stratford. Duncan was still in the cheese business, but now as a buyer for Thomas Ballantyne and Sons. He later became the secretary-treasurer for the company when it became R. M. Ballantyne Co. Ltd., producers of knitted good (see Ballantyne Avenue).

149 Front St.

This newly formed company had a capital stock of $2,000,000 and in 1908 it moved to take over an existing building on Ballantyne Avenue; its location on Waterloo Street was too small. Scott's guidance made all this possible, and they bought the empty building on Ballantyne Avenue. The company promised to employ 100 people within a year, and by 1912, they had doubled their capacity, and had added a knitting and winding building, cutting and finishing sections, and a warehouse. The complex then extended the entire block from North Street to Front Street. By 1925 Scott was on to other pursuits.

The Scotts had no children, and Annie involved herself in charitable work. She was a long-standing member of the YWCA board and when the new YMCA was opened, she and her husband furnished one of the rooms in the building. They also moved from their Albert Street house to 149 Front St.

In 1927, Duncan Scott became an insurance agent for John Brown Co. Ltd., and two years later opened his own insurance, real estate and brokerage firm, Scott-Crane Co. He was a working partner for 17 years. He activity in community affairs included a seat on the health board for many years, and on the city council in 1917 and 1918.

Annie McDermott Scott died of heart disease in 1935 at age 56, after a lengthy illness. Her mother and sister then made their home with Duncan, who died in 1944. He and Annie are buried in Avondale Cemetery, Stratford. By Stanford Dingman and Historical Plaque Properties