Victoria Street

Queen Victoria,

by Bassano 1882

Second longest reigning Queen

Victoria Street was once a through street running south from St. David Street to Cambria Street. Because of bad sight lines at the Canadian National Railways (now VIA) crossing, Victoria was split, and both parts now end at the tracks. Cobourg Lane runs from Victoria Street to Downie Street on the north side of the tracks, and Kent Lane runs from Downie Street to Victoria Street n the south side. Originally called Victoria Road, on a plan developed by John J. E. Linton (see Linton Avenue), one of Stratford's leading pioneers, it was shown on the 1857 map as running right through to Downie Street.

That was changed with the coming of the Grand Trunk Railway shops in 1870-71. Victoria was terminated at St. David Street. Linton's plan was laid out in anticipation of the coming of the GTR in 1856. He named Victoria Road in honor of the Reigning Queen of England, Victoria Regina. Cobourg and Kent lanes were named for her mother and father, respectively.

Born at Kensington Palace on May 24, 1819, the little princess was christened Alexandrina Victoria. Though it was not then foreseen, Victoria was destined to not only become Queen, but to reign longer than any other British Monarch before her. The record for reign now belongs to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen's Platinum Jubilee 2022  

Queen Victoria reigned for 64 years, from 1837 until her death in 1901. During her reign, Britain became "the most powerful industrial nation in the world and centre of the greatest Empire ever known." Canada was an important part of that empire. The extent of Victoria’s influence is strongly reflected in the street names of Stratford. By Stanford Dingman

Note: On the page about Victoria Street, Stanford Dingman named the many streets directly linked to Queen Victoria and royalty. See Streets by Category. He also showed the coins which appear on this site.

The British florin, or two-shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967. The original florins, dated 1849, attracted controversy for omitting a reference to God from Queen Victoria's titles; that type is accordingly known as the Godless florin, and was in 1851 succeeded by the Gothic florin, for its design and style of lettering. 

Silver florin, Victoria 1849

Silver jubilee coronation 1837-1887

One Cent Canadian Coin 1876

Florist Charles F. Guthrie

This greenhouse business was opened in 1896 by florist Charles F. Guthrie. At 18 Victoria St., beside the Guthrie house, the greenhouses featured 10,000 square feet under glass.

They supplied locals with all kinds of plants, flowers and garden produce.

The business was later operated by Ted and Alice Wainwright, and George and Lily Stott. The buildings were dismantled in the 1980s. 

The photo is one of a series of postcards produced from photographs taken by  amateur Stratford photographer, Clara Mitchell, from 1904 to 1906.

Greenhouses on Victoria Street.  Photo: Clara Mitchell in about 1905, from the collection of Vince Gratton

Here is what Vince Gratton has researched about her. 

This card was produced by Clara C. S. (Mrs. Edward) Mitchell, a local amateur photographer. She was employed full time in the office at the local GTR locomotive repair shops. She also did freelance photography work for the local newspaper. In 1904 she started to produce and sell her work on photo postcards to local merchants. This image is one of her products. Source: Vince Gratton