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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).
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Points of Interest in London
There are lots of parks in downtown London. They include:
- Springbank Park. A charming destination west of downtown complete with green space, picnic areas & facilities, formal gardens, wading pool, playgrounds, small family train track, merry-go-round and Storybook Gardens. Its paved trails are part of a 30-km system for walkers, cyclists, runners and roller-bladers.
- Victoria Park. According to the City's website this 15-acre park is one of the most important designed landscapes of the 19th century and has been a hub of social and recreational activities since 1874. Many festivals and events take place here throughout the year. Bring nuts to feed the squirrels.
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 center, treating patients from up to 200km away. London also has the region's only university (Western University) 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:
- Dundas Street (Downtown) Information Centre, 267 Dundas Street. Hours: M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM.
- London Tourist Information Centre, 696 Wellington Road South. Hours: M-Su 8:30AM-8PM.
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
- Barakat Restaurant, 551 Richmond Street, ☎ 519 850-8080. Middle Eastern food including fantastic shawarma and falafel. Meals $5-15.
- Ben Thanh, 57 York Street, ☎ 519 438-4888. At Ridout. Very popular Vietnamese/Thai restaurant with many vegetarian options and reasonable prices. has recently opened a second location at Wellington Rd and Southdale in the south end of the city.
- Bertoldi's Trattoria, 650 Richmond St, ☎ 519 438-4343. At Pall Mall. Traditional Italian family-run trattoria. Noted for wood-oven pizzas and one of the best Italian wine selections in London. Great service.
- Billy's Deli, downtown on Dundas Street, just west of Richmond. Great for breakfast, Mennonite-inspired food and good portion sizes. Seasonal desserts are not to be missed and sell out quickly, particularly during strawberry season. Closed on Sundays.
- The Black Trumpet, 523 Richmond St, ☎ 519-850-1500. If money is no object, the Black Trumpet is the place to go. Widely considered the top fine dining restaurant in London as of 2010.
- Covent Garden Market, 130 King Street, ☎ 519 439-3921. Great place to get food downtown - over 30 vendors offer food that caters to a wide variety of tastes.
- Armouries Grille, 325 Dundas Street, ☎ 519 679-6111. Hotel restaurant well known for having "London's Best Sunday Brunch," including waffles, omelettes, and a sauteed shrimp station. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and Dinner http://www.armouriesgrille.ca/
- Dragonfly Bistro, 715 Richmond Street (South of Oxford, north of the tracks on Richmond), ☎ 519-432-2191. Open M-Sa for lunch and dinner. Intimate bistro, good food, reasonable prices. Indonesian Cuisine served on Monday evenings.
- Jambalaya, 119 Dundas Street, ☎ 519 858-2000. Cajun, Caribbean and Thai in a cozy atmosphere.
- Joe Kool's, 595 Richmond St, ☎ 519-663-5665. Offical slogan "Minutes from all Major Hospitals" belies the excellent bar and grill-style food. Great value for money. A local institution.
- Manna Grill, 276 Wharncliffe Road North, ☎ 519 439-5770. Authentic Korean Dishes and Japanese Fare.
- Marienbad Restaurant, 122 Carling St, ☎ 519-679-9940. Open since 1974, the Marienbad serves German and Eastern European food in a cozy, old-world atmosphere. Be sure to check out Chaucer's Pub next door as well for London's best selection of beer.
- Michael's on the Thames, 1 York St, ☎ 519-672-0111. Essentially unchanged since the day it opened in 1983, Michael's is a classical fine dining experience popular with an older crowd.
- On the Fork, 421 Ridout Street North (at Museum London). 519 850-FORK. Open for lunch, brunch and dinner, closed Mo-Tu. Casual fine dining with a lovely view overlooking the forks of the Thames. Menu changes seasonally. Dinner mains $12-16.
- The Only on King, 172 King St, ☎ (519) 936-2064. Open 5pm to close and Sunday brunch starting at 11am. A fine dining restaurant focusing on locally produced ingredients.
- Prince Albert's Diner, 565 Richmond St, ☎ (519) 432-2835. Locally famous greasy spoon popular with students and the after-bar crowd. The menu is standard (but good) diner fare, but the milkshakes are terrific.
- Raja Fine Dining, 428 Clarence St. London's best Indian restaurant.
- Si Senor, 394 Waterloo St, ☎ 519-936-3186. The only truly authentic Mexican restaurant in London.
- Spageddy Eddy's, 428 Richmond Street, ☎ 519 645-3002. Inexpensive pasta bar popular with students. The pricing is enabled by bulk quantity with the typical servings in large individual bowls.
- Stobie's Pizza, 484 Richmond Street, ☎ 519 432-2228. A local favourite with great tasting, gigantic slices of pizza. Usually open past 3AM.
- Trü, 45 King St, ☎ 519-672-4333. Pricy, but high quality New American-style cuisine.
- Veg Out, 646 Richmond St, ☎ 519-850-8688. Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 am - 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am - 11:00 pm, Sunday 11:30 am - 4:00 pm (Brunch!)
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.
- Cedar Cafe, 561 Southdale Rd E, ☎ 519-681-5969. Great place for Lebanese cuisine. Excellent Shawarma and Falafel sandwichs starting at $3.50. They also offer plates from $5 to $9. Dine in or take out. They also offer Herbal Shisha/Hookah to customers in a wide variety of flavors for $9. Very affordable for great quality healthy food.
- Shiki Japanese Restaurant, 715 Wellington Road South, ☎ 519 668-7407. Near Southdale. This popular place serves fresh and delicious authentic Japanese fare. A rare find and a perfect place for a friendly lunch meeting or romantic dinner date.
- East Village Coffeehouse, 785 Dundas Street, ☎ 519 266-7584. London's only deco-inspired gallery/cafe selling up-scale locally-made foods, espresso and specialty drinks - an eco-friendly choice just steps west of London's historic Aeolian Hall. Eclectic yet cozy atmosphere reminiscent of Toronto's Queen St. West.
- Vietnam Restaurant, 1074 Dundas St. E, ☎ 519-457-0762. Don't let the dive atmosphere or the industrial neighbourhood fool you - Vietnam Restaurant has authentic and excellent Vietnamese cuisine.
- Crave. And Next Door, 1737 Richmond St. N., 519-645-8886. Wolfgang Puck-esque upscale bar food, Crave and Next Door share a kitchen. Crave is famous for their commitment to local, seasonal food, while Next Door in particular represents excellent value-for-money.
- The Waltzing Weasel, 1324 Adelaide St. N, ☎ 519-663-9194. Authentic English pub food and a wide selection of ales.
- Milestones Bar and Grill, 1680 Richmond St. North, ☎ (519) 850-5116. A warm, cozy atmosphere and homestyle cuisine.
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.
- Barney's, 671 Richmond Street, ☎ (519) 432-1425. A very entertaining bar with good crowds, reasonable drink prices, and pleasant staff. The patio is extremely popular in summer, expect long lines.
- Call the Office, York & Clarence, ☎ 519-432-BAND. Live rock music five nights a week, CTO is the anchor of London's independent music scene. Retro night on Sundays is extremely popular.
- The Ceeps, 671 Richmond St.. Officially the CPR Hotel, the Ceeps has been in existence since 1890 and has never stopped being one of the most popular UWO bars. The local joke is "your grandfather drank here, your father drank here, and your son someday will too".
- Chaucer's Pub, 122 Carling St., ☎ (519) 679-9940. London's largest selection of beer, specializing in Eastern European lagers and ales. The old-world atmosphere is unique in the city, featuring a gigantic stone fireplace, no TV's, and music provided only by a piano.
- The Bungalow, 910 Waterloo St, ☎ 519-434-8797. 11:30 AM - 12:00 AM. Build-Your-Own-Burgers, wine and draught beer in the heart of London's historic Old North neighbourhood. $10 - $15.
- Lavish, 238 Dundas Street. London's only LGBT club. Can be fun but monotonous at times.
According to London Tourism, London has "more shopping per capita than anywhere else in North America."
- CityLights bookstore, 356 Richmond Street (between King and York streets), ☎ 519 679-8420. Is one of the best used bookstores to be found anywhere and a city landmark. A huge selection with a particularly good science fiction section.
- Covent Garden Market, 353 Clarence St., ☎ (519) 439-3921. London's downtown food and crafts market centre. Retail items include fresh produce, baked goods, bulk foods and small crafts along with eating establishments. There is an upper walkway that includes space for special events, retail outlets and services and arts facilities, including the Spriet Family Original Kids Theatre.
- Gift of Art, 575 Richmond St, ☎ 519.642.4095. A small store devoted to locally produced arts and crafts with a significant section in the back devoted to custom soaps and bathroom materials.
- Grooves Records, 130 King Street, ☎ (519)640-6714. London's last downtown independent record store, specializes in new/used vinyl and hard-to-find CDs.
- Heroes Cards and Comics, 186 Dundas Street, ☎ 519-439-4955. A large downtown collectable store devoted to pop culture genre print media and collectables. There is a wide variety of comics and books to suit any age and taste, toys like action figures, trading sports cards and T-shirts with a knowledgeable sales staff to help with any questions. Easily accessible a few doors east of London Transit's primary downtown bus transfer point at Dundas and Richmond.
- Masonville Shopping Centre, Fanshawe Park Road & Richmond St., is one of London's two major malls and anchors the major retail development in the north end. Try also the Hyde Park big-box development, two miles west on Fanshawe Park Road.
- PT Campbell BookDealer, 388 Richmond St (between King and Dundas on the east side), ☎ 519-640-5333. (Closed Holidays and Sundays): Monday - Thurday 10AM - 6:30PM ; Friday 10AM - 8PM ; Saturday 10AM - 6PM. London's family friendly used book store with over 35,000 titles to choose from. Specializing in out-of-print and antique books.
- Speed City Records, 299 Springbank Drive, ☎ 519-858-2680. Specializes in punk and metal, with a gigantic, unorganized dollar vinyl section. Surly clerks are right out of Central Casting.
- White Oaks Mall, 1105 Wellington Road, ☎ 519-681-0434. Over 175 stores and services, anchoring a larger big-box retail development stretching up and down Wellington Road between Southdale Road and just south of the 401.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article London (Ontario) on Wikivoyage.