Worsley Street

First general store

John Daly Portrait 

Worsley Street was part of a plan laid out by John Corry Wilson Daly (see Daly Avenue) in 1872. Daly came to Stratford in 1832  and built the first permanent dwelling in 1833 on the site of the present courthouse. As the appointed Canadian land agent at Stratford he became an influential citizen. He was often called "a fussy little potentate," but he ruled affairs in the village.

Worsley Street was named by Daly for George Worsley, who was either a relative or close friend of Daly. 

On the 1848 map of Stratford, the present site of the Stratford Intermediate School flats is marked Daly Mead which meant Daly Meadow. The flats were were probably part of Daly's property at that time. There is another link between the Daly family and George Worsley on the 1848 map. The southeast corner of Cambria and Nelson streets, then the town limit, was marked Mayne Point. Daly's first wife was Margaret Mayne. The adjacent land, south of east Gore Street was marked Worsley Park. Apparently both Daly and Worsley owned property in that area.

George Worsley, one of Stratford's earliest settlers, opened the first general store in the early 1830s. It was in a surveyor's shanty on Huron Street, just across the wooden bridge over the Avon River. He expected the town to grow in that direction. Before long, in 1838, John Monteith opened a general store on the south side of the river, at 1 Ontario St., now the site of the downtown Scotiabank branch.

Competition was keen, and Worsley soon realized he was on the wrong side of the river. In 1849, he moved to 

Bell's Corners where he opened a general store. The name of that village was changed to Shakespeare in 1852, when Alexander Mitchell became reeve of South Easthope Township. In 1854, and again in 1873, George Worsley was appointed auditor of South Easthope Township. With notes from Stanford Dingman   Picture: Daly Archives