Duke of Wellington
The blocks, in 1898 from the left: Worth Block, (not visible), Brandenberger Block, Cabinet Hotel, Royal Hotel (Easson Block), Shakespeare Block and Mowat Block on the corner of Market ( Downie) Street. Stratford-Perth Archives
Wellington Street benefitted from being near the city hall and the railway stations, yards and shops. Three blocks of buildings were named for their owners: the Easson Block (1872), the Brandenberger Block ( 1873) and the Worth Block (1889). All were hotels at one time, an indication of the importance of Stratford's commercial base and the impact of the railways. Picture: Nancy Musselman
The Easson Block, 28‐30 Wellington St.
32-34 Wellington St. Fred Gonder
Photo: Fred Gonder
In July 1953, Stratford citizens lined up by the hundreds to purchase tickets for the new Stratford Shakespearean Festival at Stan Blowes Book and Gift Shop. Tickets ranged in price from $1.00 to $6.00. A single copy of Maclean's magazine that year cost 15 cents; a year's subscription was $3.00. Photo: Stratford Beacon-Herald.
The Blowes Family Business at 32-34 Wellington
Photo: Fred Gonder
John Luke Poett, Vet in the Saddle
Further History of Poett and the NWMP. The North West Mounted Police Veterinary Service was separate from the RCAVC, but in a para-military copy of the British military model, Canada had the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), the precursor to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The NWMP employed John Luke Poett as their first veterinary surgeon and who was possibly the first qualified veterinarian in the Northwest. Here too the British influence can be seen, as he was a graduate of the Class of 1860, Edinburgh Veterinary College (popularly known as the “Royal Dick”). After a brief engagement with the British Army and private practice in both London and Stratford Ontario, he was appointed to the NWMP on 29 April 1874. As a mounted para-military organization, it travelled great distances, relying on Poett and subsequent veterinarians to care for the horses that were fundamental to the NWMP’s duties. As we all know, the horse is still an iconic image of the RCMP, as honoured in the Musical Ride. Source: Stratford and District Historical Society FB.
Part of the Easson Block, on Wellington St. The building housed the office of Dr. John Luke Poett, veterinary surgeon., whose story is told in Vet in the Saddle.
From the left: The Brandenbergers' German Shop, the owner was a sausage maker from Germany. Their Son Albert Brandenberger built the Albert Theatre, now the Avon. Mrs. Brandenberger's hotel directly beside it was a very successful venture and later they built a three story building beside it. The Great Western Railroad office is next and then the Cabinet Hotel.
Vince Gratton added a connection to today. The building to the right of the German House is today the home of Blowes Travel. Number 28 Wellington has not had extensive changes and is still today quite recognizable. The Easson Block still stands today although its face was re-bricked in a red veneer years ago (c.1930) The Mansard roof was altered to a matching third floor front which is now a part of the re-bricked face. The outer buttresses are still recognizable. On the left of the centre door is today the Butcher, the Baker number 24. and to its right number 22.
Vince Gratton. Source Stratford and District Historical Society FB.
Wellinton Street from Market Square showing the Blocks in the 1930s. Photo: Stratford-Perth Archives
The Worth Block
42 Wellington Fred Gonder
City Hall, 1 Wellington St. Art by Rick Thistle
Queen of the Square auditorium
City Hall, the Queen of the Square
Stratford City Hall is a late 19th-century picturesque municipal building, representative of an era when growing cities sought to express their civic pride and ambition in impressive civic buildings.
The first town hall was destroyed by fire in November 1897. It had been built in 1858 and held its first council meeting that year. The meetings and offices to run the town were on the second floor. However, it was not just a town hall. It was also a Market House. Businesses and the market occupied the first floor. As well, the building housed a large concert hall and the town's first library. The police and fire departments also operated from there.. It was a multi-use structure. (see Market Place). When Stratford graduated from town to city in 1885, the town hall became the first city hall.
The cornerstone for a new city hall was laid in November 1898 and the building was opened in 1900. (see Market Place). The new city hall, on the site of Stratford's former town hall, marked a notable addition to the streetscape. Under threat of demolition in the 1960s, and again in the early 1970s, the building was saved by a citizens group.
Here is a brief summary of the key events.
In 1967, Mayor C. H Meier put forward a proposal to demolish the building and replace it with a ten-storey hotel surmounted by a revolving restaurant. In 1969, city council agreed to demolish the building but received a petition from the newly formed "Save the City Hall League" to retain it. By 1972, the plans for the hotel were withdrawn. Some members of "Save the City Hall League" would go on to form Heritage Stratford, the city's heritage committee.
Dean Robinson in his book, Not the last waltz, and other Stratford stories, recounts the whole controversy and the ultimate saving of the building in dramatic detail in a major chapter entitled, "The saving of city hall, a 10-year odyssey."
In 1974, Stratford City Hall was renovated and remains in municipal use today.
The building was designated a National Historic Site in 1976 and in 1982, the City of Stratford designated its city hall under the Ontario Heritage Act. The city hall is considered one of the finest examples of Queen Anne Revival architecture in Canada. It was nicknamed Queen of the Square soon after it opened.
Designed by prominent Toronto architect George King and local architect John Wilson Sidall to a neo-Jacobean design, and built by contractors John Lant Young and Edmund Cawsey, this red-brick building with sandstone trim and a St. Mary's limestone plinth was fitted to an irregular triangular site. It was reputed that sandstone was used because local brick makers were unable to supply a consistent colour of white brick.The two side and apex façades are similar in design using a variety of round- and square-headed windows with decorated gables that pierce the line of the eaves at regular intervals. Decorative features include tin brackets and finials. The apex façade contains the main entrance to the building and is approached by a substantial flight of steps. The entrance comprises a double door under a semi-circular arch with banded voussoirs, flanked by pilasters supporting decorative strap work. The building is distinguished by a hexagonal clock tower. Sources: Ontario Heritage Trust; Stratford City Hall - Wikipedia; Dean Robinson, "The saving of city hall, a 10-year odyssey," Not the last waltz, and other Stratford stories.
Dan Mathieson, five terms as mayor
Kiwanis Music Festival was held in the city hall auditorium for many years.
The Kiwanis Festival
In 1926, William B. Rothwell, the music master at the Stratford Normal School, joined with Cora B. Ahrens (see Hibernia Street) and Margaret Stevenson, later Margaret Stevenson Grant, who were key members of the Perth County Music Teachers Federation to establish the Stratford Musical Festival as a way to encourage interest in music. Rothwell served as president and director of competitions from the first festival, in 1927, to 1930, and then returned to those positions from 1940 to 1957.
Jim and Josephine Allen in front of their fruit market in 1915. Stratford-Perth Archives
Click on "Slides" below to view art Click on Musical History to Enlarge
"Hu, there is lot of talent here but no Bill" I think there is another alley called O'Higgins on Downie Street. Worth a try. If Bill's picture there I will need to click on it to entre a draw for a prize.
Dayna Manning, singer
88 Wellington St.
Olin Brown Candies
Historic metal building on Wellington
Lloyd Robertson Garden at 1 Wellington St.
Lloyd Robertson speaks after being honoured in Stratford, Ont. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Photo: Lloyd Day
Lloyd Robertson Garden
James Alexander Macdonald
James Alexander Macdonald
8 Wellington Street then
and as it is in 2022
* Click below to watch YouTube video of the Sinclairs