The famous battle
Waterloo Street, which runs from Mornington Street to Downie Street, is one of the original streets on the 1834 Canada Company map drawn by John McDonald. The name Waterloo appeared on the 1839 and 1848 maps, but only on that part of the street south of the Avon River. At that time, there was still no bridge over the Avon at that location.
What is now that part of Waterloo Street from the river north to Mornington Street, was originally Mary Street. It was given that name by William Frederick McCulloch in honor of his daughter, Mary Elizabeth. Her father was Stratford's leading aristocrat and owned all the land between the river and Mornington Street. He also owned the land across the river where he built his mansion on property known as the Grange. (see William Street and Water Street).
In the early 1870s, the new wooden bridge provided an important ink in the Northern Gravel Road leading into the rich agricultural lands of Mornington Township, now Highway No. 19. The Waterloo Street bridge also formed a solid bond between Waterloo Street on the south shore and Mary Street on the north. The name Mary eventually disappeared and the name Waterloo was used through to the Mornington Street intersection.
The name Waterloo was chosen by Canada Company officials for the Battle 0f Waterloo on June 18, 1815. Waterloo means “meadow by the water.” By Stanford Dingman
Scotland Forever! the charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo, painted by Elizabeth Thompson.
The Armoury is a recognized federal heritage building, at 80 Waterloo St. S., because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Stratford Armoury was built in 1905. The compact plan follows a standard American armoury model and was designed by the Chief Architects Branch, Department of Public Works, under Thomas W. Fuller.
Thomas Fuller was an English-born Canadian architect. From 1881 to 1896, he was Chief Dominion Architect for the Government of Canada, during which time he played a role in the design and construction of every major federal building. Fuller was born in Bath, Somerset, England, where he trained as an architect.
Alterations include the addition of an air raid siren. The building continues to serve as an armoury. The Department of National Defence is its custodian.
Armoury 80 Waterloo St. S. Photo Fred Gonder
Historical value: This armoury is a good example of a building associated with the pre-First World War armoury building campaign, and the reform and expansion of the volunteer militia. It reflects a government policy to allow the supply of arms to all rural militias, following public debate supporting good local training facilities.
Architectural value: This armoury is a good example of a standard American armoury model. The compact design incorporates medieval military motifs including jutting towers, battlements and a main entrance reminiscent of a fortified gate. The interior layout is also based on the standard armoury model, in which the open drill hall is located on the upper floor. Good craftsmanship and materials are evident in the rough-faced stone that contrasts with the flat red brickwork, detailing typical of the designer, Thomas W. Fuller.
Environmental value: This armoury reinforces the character of its downtown setting and is a conspicuous neighbourhood landmark. Source: Canada's Historic Places
Addendum: For the story of the building that was moved to allow the Armoury to be built, see Albert Street.
The photograph below shows the Armouries C 1910. In the lower right of the photograph, the Stratford Gas and Oil Company can be seen on the north east corner of Waterloo and Albert Streets. . Photo: Nancy Musselman, If you grew up in Stratford...FB
“New” post office, loved or hated right from the start
William Stuart Jenkins, architect Photo: Waterloo Region Generations.
Falstaff Public School is associated with the education of the Stratford youth, but also with prominent local architect James S. Russell. Russell's work is evident throughout Stratford. Some of his notable designs include St. Andrews Church, Zion Lutheran Church, Avon School and the Masonic Temple.
Located atop a small incline, Falstaff Public School is an important landmark for the neighbouring community. The "new” school was constructed in 1929 by Pounder Brothers to replace the “old” Falstaff school. The design features a symmetrical façade with expansive windows, a flat roof and parapet. The projecting frontispiece, wall buttresses, arched entrance with stone detail, and parapet reflect neo-gothic influences that were common in Ontario public school designs in the early part of the 20th century.
In 2000, Stratford resident, singer-songwriter, business woman, Loreena McKennitt (see Wellington Street) bought the recently closed school and transformed it into the Falstaff Family Centre. Responding to concerns identified by the community, the centre focuses on the needs of families and children in Perth County, Ontario. Source: Canada's Historic Places
The original Falstaff school
The "old" Falstaff was built in the 1870s, and served until 1928, when there was a major fire. Audrey Conroy (see Water Street) was a Falstaff student at the time of the fire, after which the new school was built in 1929.
"The original school was a yellow brick, two-storey building with four classrooms and a curved staircase that students loved to slide down when teachers were not around," she recalled. " We lived close to the school, at 192 Mornington St. and I didn't leave home until I ,heard the school bell ring. We lined up in lines and we all went in the front door."
One feature lacking in the old Falstaff school was an indoor privy. Jessie (Galloway) Slichter, who attended that school, joked about that fact. "I acquired some of my education in the outdoor bathrooms!"
Indoor washrooms in the new Falstaff were a welcome addition. Source: Gord Conroy
4 Waterloo St. N., on the Avon River.
William Hutt, actor
In 2000, the Waterloo Street bridge over the Avon River was renamed the William Hutt Bridge in honour of the acclaimed actor whose house was at 4 Waterloo St. N. on the north shore of the Avon River, immediately across the bridge. The house was originally built and lived in by Robert Forbes who lived first at the Forbes family home at 131 Nile Street. He and his brother John also owned livery stables in the earlier days of Stratford. (see Ontario Street and Nile Streets).
Hutt's acting career centered around the Stratford Festival. He was in the original acting company in 1953 and, along with Bruce Swerdfager (see Elizabeth Street), Hutt was a recipient of the first Guthrie Awards.
Hutt earned notice in many roles, including those of King Lear (1988), James Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night (1994–1995) , and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (1975–1979).
In 1969 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada and in 1992 awarded the Order of Ontario. In October 1997, he received an honorary doctorate from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and in 2000 was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. Hutt was a recipient of a Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 1992. He was also awarded the 1996 Sam Wanamaker Prize.
He performed in 63 Stratford plays and directed nine others. See Shakespeare in Performance for a list of roles.
A famous Bill Hutt story. As well as being an actor, Bill had been a soldier, and as this story suggests, he was a patriot, and a reader of his audience. It was September 28, 1972. Hutt was on stage playing King Lear for a student matinee audience in the Stratford Festival Theatre. It was the day of the final game of the Russia-Canada Summit Hockey Series. 1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Series (Summit Series) | The Canadian Encyclopedia
As Hutt left the stage at the end of the famous storm scene with the Fool and Kent, he paused dramatically and announced the final score of the game....Canada 6, Russia 5.
The screams and cheers were deafening. The stage manager, Nora Polley, wondered what to do. And then, with perfect control, she cued the next scene, the actors entered, and the audience was silent.
At the end of the play, the audience gave Hutt an incredible standing ovation. Apparently, the director was not happy but Polley felt it was the right thing to do.
Source: For the complete story and the report in Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine, see Dean Robinson's chapter, "A September to remember with the pucksters and the patriot," in his book, Not the last waltz.
William Hutt Canadian stamp 1999-2000
Bill Hutt is one of the few people in North America to have appeared on a postage stamp while still alive. In February 2000, Canada Post issued this stamp, featuring Hutt and the Stratford Festival stage.
The stamp was part of the millennium collection of stamps that celebrated the people, thinkers, creators and entertainers of Canada.
William Hutt is shown in his role as Prospero in The Tempest. Canada Post made a mistake when it said the image was from the play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Canada Post millennium stamps - Wikipedia He played Prospero four times in his illustrious career on the Stratford Festival stage. Source: Text and Picture Wikipedia
St. John's United Church and Gordon D. Scott
St. John's United Church, at 175 Waterloo St. S. was established in 1926, after the amalgamation of Trinity United Church and First United Church. It was demolished in 2016.
Gordon Scott was choirmaster at St. John's United Church, and he contributed greatly to the music scene in Stratford. He has been overlooked by Stratford for his wonderful contributions. I joined his young singers' choir when I was about 11. Our choir bused to many Kiwanis music festivals around Ontario and we won most of the competitions. Gordon Scott was responsible for training John Boyden (above) and two other singers who became well known: Barbara Collier (see Murray Hill Road) an accomplished opera singer; and briefly, Richard Manual (see Well Street) of the rock band called The Band.
See Gordon Scott singing with his wife Velda below.
St. John's United Church
Note: A submission to the city's Stratford Bronze Star program was made to honour Gordon Scott by people who were influenced by him.
Personal Note: In the 1950 picture below, Gordon Scott is bottom centre. John Boyden is the first person to his right. By Paul Wilker
St. John's church choir in about 1950 Paul Wilker
Alexander F. MacLaren
Alexander F. MacLaren, cheese-maker
40 Waterloo St. S.
Thomas Orr Sr. Stratford-Perth Archives
Frances ( Fanny) Orr Stratford-Perth Archives
Thomas Orr,carpenter and builder
Thomas Orr was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, on Dec. 26, 1833, the son of John Orr and Sarah Hamilton.
42 Waterloo St. S.
Rose McQueen, teacher
Art deco station, 110 Waterloo St., 1938 Photo: Vince Gratton