London (Ontario)

London is a medium-sized city in Ontario, Canada. It is located west of Toronto, between Lake Huron and Lake Erie at the fork of the Thames River (not to be confused with the River Thames in London, England).

Snow in Victoria Park


Thames River near the fork of the Thames, Blackfriars Street Bridge in the distance

London, pop. 378,000, is a major manufacturing centre for southwestern Ontario, founded in 1793. Nicknamed the "Forest City," London has an abundance of urban parks and woodlands. Early in its history it was considered as a potential site for the capital city of Upper Canada, but that title eventually went to York (later Toronto). The city is roughly rectangular in shape, approximately 16 km (10 miles) from east to west, and 13 km (8 miles) from north to south.

Many cities, towns, counties, and rivers in this area of Southwestern Ontario take their names from their counterparts in England, and London is no exception. London features landmarks such as Picadilly Street, the Covent Garden Market and the Thames.

In the 1920s London-born Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians hit the U.S. music scene and went on to achieve legendary fame. London's Wonderland Gardens later became a big-band hotspot in 1935 - being situated on the Thames river where Guy Lombardo developed his love for speedboat racing by racing his father's small motorized boat on the Thames River behind the Labatt Brewing Company.

With 2 major hospitals, London is a regional medical centre, treating patients from up to 200km away. London also has the region's only university (University of Western Ontario) which has all the typical professional schools (business, law, medicine, engineering, education) as well as sciences and the arts. Since the city is also home to Fanshawe College, students comprise a significant percentage of London's population during the school year.

Visitor informations centers are located at:

Get in

By plane

The London International Airport is serviced by a small handful of airlines. Air Canada and Westjet offer service from most major cities in Canada while United Express offers service to Chicago. City bus route 36 (Airport Industrial) connects to the airport. Aboutown AirbusExpress and RobertQ Airbus have regular routes to London from Detroit and Toronto airports and some other Southwestern Ontario cities.

By train

By car

London is most readily accessed from Highway 401 which runs along the southern edge of the city and connects London with Toronto (200 km to the north east) and Windsor (200 km to the Southwest). Highway 402 runs due west from its connection to the 401 in south-west London and ends about 100 km to the west at the Ontario-Michigan border in Sarnia. The speed limit on the 401 in most parts is 100 km/h, but expect most people to be travelling at ~120 km/h in good conditions. The easiest exit off the 401 to London is #186, Wellington Road North. This will put you right into a busy shopping district and pointed in the right direction to get to the downtown core. There are no highways running through the city, so getting around by car necessitates travel on 2 or 4-lane roadways with speed limits ranging from 50 to 70 km/h.

London is fairly easy to navigate, as its streets are based on a grid system. Oxford Street, Dundas Street and Commissioners Road are the main east-west arteries. Fanshawe Park Road runs east-west across the northern part of the city. Southdale and Exeter Roads are the main arteries which run east-west through the southern half of the city. The main north-south arterial roads are Wonderland Road in the west, Wellington Road/Richmond Street and Adelaide Street in the centre, Highbury Ave and Clark roads in the east.

By bus

The Greyhound bus station, , 519 434-3245, is located downtown at 101 York Street. Various other bus terminals are mostly located in downtown London.

Aboutown's NorthLink connects communities from Owen Sound through to London along Highway 21, Bruce County Roads 6 and 1, Huron County Roads 20 and 22 and Highways 86 and 4. Arrival and departure from the Greyhound terminal.

Get around

By transit

The London Transit Commission (LTC) operates within the city at a $2.75 cash fare, ticket strips are available at a reduced price at most convenience stores, and monthly passes are available. Buses vary from every 5 minutes downtown, to every 15 to 60 minutes in various other areas. The LTC doesn't operate past midnight on major routes, so expect to travel by taxi after that time.

By taxi

By bike

The city has an extensive bicycle path network, as well as numerous (but not ubiquitous) bike lanes on the roads. A map can be found here (warning - large PDF)


Museum London

There are lots of parks in downtown London. They include:


Forest City Velodrome



According to London Tourism, London has "more shopping per capita than anywhere else in North America."


Most of the Canadian and North American chain restaurants are represented in London, including The Keg, Kelsey's, Red Lobster, Tony Roma's, Milestones, Swiss Chalet and East Side Mario's. Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain, has about 30 locations within the city.

Prince Albert's Diner in London, Ontario


Closed Monday. Vegan restaurant with a full menu. They emphasize organic, local and fair trade ingredients and have gluten-free and raw options. Comfortable, stylish and homey with indoor and outdoor seating. The food is good enough to take even non-vegans about $40 for two people.





Generally, the locals head to the bars and clubs around 10-11PM and stay until closing time at 2:30AM (last call is at 2AM). Cover charges are minimal ($5-10) or nil, while drink prices are relatively reasonable.





Stay safe

London is a very safe city for the most part. There is urban blight on Dundas Street east of Adelaide and in the surrounding neighbourhood, but the downtown area is generally safe.


Go next

Routes through London

END Sarnia  W  E  St. Marys Kitchener
Windsor Chatham-Kent  W  E  Ingersoll Toronto
Windsor Chatham-Kent  W  E  Ingersoll Toronto
END Sarnia  W  E  Ends at
Clinton Lucan  N  S  St. Thomas Port Stanley

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, December 11, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.