STREET NAMES: Proctor named for master craftsman

Ottawa contracted George Proctor to build Sarnia’s first federal building. Completed in 1904 at the corner of Front and Davis streets and overlooking the St. Clair River, it was demolished in 1957 to make way for the current post office building. Photo courtesy, Holland Paisley Photographic Collection, Lambton County Library, H112-11.

George Mathewson

Proctor Street was named for George Alfred Proctor: carpenter, preacher, mayor of Sarnia.

His skills as a contractor and builder can still be seen today in beautiful buildings he left across Ontario.

The born the son of pioneer settlers in Moore Township in 1842, Proctor attended school in Corunna and moved to Sarnia in 1876 to open a successful contracting business.

Sadly, some of his projects, including the imposing federal building that stood at Front and Davis streets, have been demolished. But others endure.

The graceful St. George’s Anglican Church on Vidal Street is Durand’s, as is the original section of Devine Street School and much of the VIA Rail Station.

His imprint can also be felt in numerous residential buildings, including the Greek revival heritage home at 197 Maria St. and the 1889 Garvey mansion, which has been incorporated into St. Joseph’s Hospice.

Further abroad, Proctor built post offices in Petrolia, Sandwich, Mount Forest, Harriston and Essex, among others, as well as a fine armoury and drill hall in Peterborough.

He was also a respected preacher and successful politician, serving terms as Warden of Lambton County and as alderman, reeve and deputy reeve of Sarnia. He was mayor in 1906 and 1907.

When Proctor’s first two wives died he married a third, and had 15 children altogether.

George Proctor died in 1930, at the age of 88, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery.


Esser Crescent: Named for John Esser, who owned 10 acres of what’s now a subdivision on Errol Road East. Esser was the “E” is K&E Sand and Gravel, a 60-year-old company that has since moved from Sarnia to Wyoming.

Retlaw Street: Walter spelled backwards, after Walter Herridge, a local builder.


George Proctor

George Proctor