London | CanadaLondon is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. The city has a population of 383,822 according to the 2016 Canadian census. London is at the confluence of the Thames River, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) from both Toronto, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan; and about 230 kilometres (140 mi) from Buffalo, New York. The City of London is a separated municipality, politically separate from Middlesex County, though it remains the county seat.
London and the Thames were named in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe, who proposed the site for the capital of Upper Canada. The first European settlement was between 1801 and 1804 by Peter Hagerman. The village was founded in 1826 and incorporated in 1855. Since then, London has grown to be the largest Southwestern Ontario municipality and Canada's 11th largest metropolitan area, having annexed many of the smaller communities that surrounded it.
London is a regional centre of health care and education, being home to the University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College, and several hospitals. The city hosts a number of musical and artistic exhibits and festivals, which contribute to its tourism industry, but its economic activity is centred on education, medical research, insurance, and information technology. London's university and hospitals are among its top ten employers. London lies at the junction of Highway 401 and 402, connecting it to Toronto, Windsor (which is directly across the border from Detroit), and Sarnia. It also has an international airport, train, and bus station.
The current location of London was selected as the site of the future capital of Upper Canada in 1793 by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe who also named the village which was founded in 1826. It did not become the capital that Simcoe had envisioned. Rather, it was an administrative seat for the area west of the actual capital, York (now Toronto). Locally, it was part of the Talbot Settlement, named for Colonel Thomas Talbot, the chief coloniser of the area, who oversaw the land surveying and built the first government buildings for the administration of the Western Ontario peninsular region. Together with the rest of Southwestern Ontario, the village benefited from Talbot's provisions, not only for building and maintaining roads but also for assignment of access priorities to main routes to productive land. At the time, Crown and clergy reserves were receiving preference in the rest of Ontario.
In 1814, there was a skirmish during the War of 1812 in what is now southwest London at Reservoir Hill, formerly Hungerford Hill.
In 1832, the new settlement suffered an outbreak of cholera. London proved a centre of strong Tory support during the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, notwithstanding a brief rebellion led by Charles Duncombe. Consequently, the British government located its Ontario peninsular garrison there in 1838, increasing its population with soldiers and their dependents, and the business support populations they required. London was incorporated as a town in 1840.
On 13 April 1845, fire destroyed much of London, which was at the time largely constructed of wooden buildings. One of the first casualties was the town's only fire engine. This fire burned nearly 30 acres of land destroying 150 buildings before burning itself out later the same day. One-fifth of London was destroyed and this was the province's first million dollar fire.
London has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), though due to its downwind location relative to Lake Huron and elevation changes across the city, it is virtually on the Dfa/Dfb (hot summer) boundary favouring the former climate zone to the southwest of the confluence of the South and North Thames Rivers, and the latter zone to the northeast (including the airport). Because of its location in the continent, London experiences large seasonal contrast, tempered to a point by the surrounding Great Lakes. The summers are usually warm to hot and humid, with a July average of 20.8 °C (69.4 °F), and temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) occur on average 10 days per year. In 2016, however, temperatures at or above 30 °C (86 °F) occurred more than 35 times. The city is affected by frequent thunderstorms due to hot, humid summer weather, as well as the convergence of breezes originating from Lake Huron and Lake Erie. The same convergence zone is responsible for spawning funnel clouds and the occasional tornado. London is located in Canada's Tornado Alley. Spring and autumn in between are not long, and winters are cold but witness frequent thaws. Annual precipitation averages 1,011.5 mm (39.82 in). Its winter snowfall totals are heavy, averaging about 194 cm (76 in) per year, although the localized nature of snow squalls means that the total can vary widely from year to year. The majority of snow accumulation comes from lake effect snow and snow squalls originating from Lake Huron, some 60 km (37 mi) to the northwest, which occurs when strong, cold winds blow from that direction. From 5 December 2010, to 9 December 2010, London experienced record snowfall when up to 2 m (79 in) of snow fell in parts of the city. Schools and businesses were closed for three days and bus service was cancelled after the second day of snow.
The highest temperature ever recorded in London was 41.1 °C (106 °F) on 6 August 1918. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −32.2 °C (−26 °F) on 20 January 1892.
McCormick Canada, formerly Club House Foods, was founded in 1883 and currently employs more than 600 Londoners.
London's fledgling city centre mall was first opened in 1960 as Wellington Square with 400,000 sq. ft. of leasable area with Eaton’s and Woolworths as anchors. From 1986-89, Campeau expanded Wellington Square into Galleria London with 1,000,000 sq. ft. of leasable area and 200 stores including The Bay and Eaton’s. However the early 1990s recession, following by the bankruptcy of Eaton's in 1999 and then the departure of The Bay in 2000 resulted in only 20 stores left by 2001. Galleria London then begun seeking non-retail tenants, becoming the home for London's central library branch, and satellite campuses for both Fanshawe College and Western University. The complex was purchased and renamed to Citi Plaza by Citigroup in 2009. Citi Plaza has been redeveloped as a mixed use complex that blends retail, office, businesses, and education providers. Alongside Citi Cards Canada's offices, in November 2016, CBC announced plans to move its expanded operations into the building.
A portion of the city's population work in factories outside of the city limits, including the General Motors automotive plant CAMI, and a Toyota plant in Woodstock. A Ford plant in Talbotville became one of the casualties of the economic crisis in 2011.
11 December 2009, Minister of State Gary Goodyear announced a new $11-million cargo terminal at the London International Airport.
There are also a number of former sports teams that have now either moved or folded. London's four former baseball teams are the London Monarchs (Canadian Baseball League), the London Werewolves (Frontier League), the London Tecumsehs (International Association) and the London Tigers (AA Eastern League). Other former sports teams include the London Lasers (Canadian Soccer League) and the London Nationals (Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League).
In March 2013, London hosted the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships.
The University of Western Ontario's teams play under the name Mustangs. The university's football team plays at TD Waterhouse Stadium. Western's Rowing Team rows out of one of two National Training Centres at Fanshawe Lake. Fanshawe College teams play under the name Falcons. The Women's Cross Country team has won 3 consecutive Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships. In 2010, the program cemented itself as the first CCAA program to win both Men's and Women's National team titles, as well as CCAA Coach of the Year.
The Western Fair Raceway, about 85 acres harness racing track and simulcast centre, operates year-round. The grounds include a coin slot casino, a former IMAX theatre, and Sports and Agri-complex. Labatt Memorial Park the world's oldest continuously used baseball grounds was established as Tecumseh Park in 1877; it was renamed in 1937, because the London field has been flooded and rebuilt twice (1883 and 1937), including a re-orientation of the bases (after the 1883 flood). The Forest City Velodrome, located at the former London Ice House, is the only indoor cycling track in Ontario and the third to be built in North America, opened in 2005.