St. Vincent Street is one of the original Canada Company streets laid out by the deputy provincial surveyor, John McDonald. It is one of Stratford's longer streets, and now runs from Lorne Avenue in the south to Caledonia Street in the north.
It appeared on the 1834 map unnamed. Shortly thereafter, Canada Company officials chose the name St. Vincent in honor of Admiral Sir John Jervis, who became Earl of St. Vincent for his victory at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1797.
Jervis went to sea as a 10-year-old boy. Another famous admiral who went to sea as a boy, age 12, was Horatio Nelson. Though Nelson was 24 years younger than Jervis, the two were destined to sail together later in their naval careers, and they became good friends.
John Jervis was born at Meaford Hall, Stone, Staffordshire, England, on Jan. 9, 1735. He was accepted into the British Navy in 1749, at age 14. He became a lieutenant in 1755 and served with Gen. James Wolfe at Quebec in 1759, the year after Nelson's birth. Jervis so distinguished himself in the Quebec Expedition, that he was made a commander. He became a vice-admiral in 1793. Almost four decades after Quebec, in 1795, Admiral Sir John Jervis was appointed the British commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet.
He asked Nelson to serve as one of his captains. Nelson's distinguished reputation was now recognized, and he was delighted to be serving under Jervis, a highly skilled commander for whom he had great admiration. Admiral Jervis had a similar respect for Nelson. He ordered Nelson to fly the broad pendant of a commodore, which meant Nelson held senior officer rank, with the status, though not the actual post, of junior admiral.