Canadian Avenue, SE6

Place name

Formerly Berlin Avenue, it changed its name on Armistice Day 1918 following anti-German sentiment. It was originally laid out around 1879. The first five very large houses were built in the early 1880s (all had names, but were later numbered 7 to 15). Most of the other houses in the road were built in 1899. It was renamed in honour of The Canadian Forestry Corps which were based at Catford. The Corps Band paraded “an unflattering effigy of the Kaiser” through the streets before the Canadians personally tore down the old street signs. The trees were planted to commemorate the Canadian service personnel who died in The Great War. In his study on the change of street names following the war, Ross Wilson writes: “This issue of street naming was raised in Parliament in early November 1918. In his response to questions suggesting legislation should be enacted to change all street names with any German associations, the Leader of the House, Andrew Bonar Law pithily replied: ‘We are engaged, I think, in matters more important.'”

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