Historical Plaque Properties


Edwin Moore Tout - Merchant
108 Ballantyne Avenue
Stratford, ON

Edwin Moore Tout was born on June 12, 1887 in Hamilton, Ontario. He was the fourth child of William John Tout and Mary Jane Moore. His father, William Tout, was born in Montreal in 1852 and followed in his father’s footsteps when he went to work for the Great Western Railway. His job as an engine fitter took him to Toronto where he married Mary Jane Moore in 1877. The 1881 census shows the family had moved to St. Thomas and six years later to Hamilton where Edwin was born. In 1882, the GWR was purchased by the Grand Trunk. By the time the 1891 census was taken, the family was settled in Stratford and living at 323 Church Street. William remained employed by the GTR as a fitter.


According to the 1901 census, the Tout family had grown to consist of seven children. William Tout had become a machinist for the railway. Fifteen year old Harry was an apprentice for the GTR. Young Edwin at fourteen years old was enumerated as a butcher. It seems very young to be fully trained in a profession and perhaps he too was an apprentice.


In the 1911 census, taken a few months before his wedding, Edwin is noted as living with and working for George Larkworthy and his family at 81 Cobourg Street. George was a butcher who had a shop on Market Place. He was the third George Larkworthy to have a butcher shop in Stratford. His grandfather settled here around 1854 and had a shop in the market located on the main floor of the first town hall and was the original occupant of 81 Cobourg.


Edwin married Violet Branston on June 12, 1911. According to their Wedding Certificate, the couple was married in the “home of the bride”. This was not unusual at the time but in Violet’s case her home was also the Perth County Court House. Violet was the daughter of Frederick Branston and Harriet Thorne. Her father was the caretaker at the court house where the family also resided. Violet Jane and her twin brother, John Henry, were born in the court house on October 26, 1888.


After the wedding, the couple moved into the new house at 8 Ballantyne Street. Today the street address is known as 108 Ballantyne. Edwin continued to work with George Larkworthy and for a while, from 1913 to 1919, he was on his own at 33 Market Place (formerly Othello’s). Edwin moved his business to 41 Market Place.


The couple saw the birth of four of their six daughters by the time the 1921 census was taken. According to the census, Violet also had live-in domestic help. Edwin was recorded as a merchant since his business expanded from a butcher shop to groceries as well and he had formed a partnership with Howard Morrow. The business was known as Tout & Morrow and remained at 41 Market Place.


By 1924 the couple had moved to 285 Ontario Street and the family had grown with the birth of two more daughters. This was the couples’ home until their death. Edwin died in 1966 and Violet in 1975. They are buried in Avondale Cemetery.