London, Ontario is currently the 11th largest city in Canada, with a population of 532,000 people in the census metropolitan area (2019). London is now southwestern Ontario’s largest municipality, with a great public transit system. The region has great access via London’s international airport, train, and bus stations as well as access to Highways 401, 402, and 403 to the rest of Ontario.
London area has over 20 golf courses, and outdoor skating rink at the Covent Garden Market, and skiing & snowboarding at Boler Mountain.
London Ontario History
Archaeologists have found that indigenous people have resided in the London area for at least 10,000 years. Just prior to European settlement, the area around London was settled by several Neutral, Odawa, and Ojibwe villages, and finally the Iroquois by the 1650s.
London and the Thames were named in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe (after being stationed here following the American Revolution). He had proposed the site for the capital city of Upper Canada. The first European settlement was by Peter Hagerman just after 1800. Locally, it was part of the Talbot Settlement, named for Colonel Thomas Talbot, the chief colonizer of the area, who oversaw the land surveying and the administration of the western Ontario peninsular region. London became a village in 1826 and was incorporated in 1855. Talbot also built out and maintained the colonial roads to the rest of Ontario. In 1845, a fire destroyed one-fifth of London, including 150 wooden buildings in Ontario’s first million-dollar fire. The residents rebuilt and by 1855 the town grew to 10,000 people.
In the 1860s, a sulphur spring was discovered at the forks of the Thames River (while industrialists were drilling for oil) and became a popular destination for wealthy Ontarians. By 1870 London had several tanneries, oil refineries, foundries, four flour mills, the Labatt Brewing Company, the Carling brewery, three newspapers, other manufacturing, and several insurance companies. Both the Great Western and Grand Trunk railways had stops and stations here.