London, Ontario is known for its festivals, museums and parks. Named after the city in Europe, London was originally intended to be the capital of northern Canada. Instead, it has blossomed into the ‘Forest City,’ and today, it is home to such attractions as Thames Valley Trail, Labatt Brewery, Fanshawe Pioneer Village and the musical festival SunFest.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in London, scroll down or visit the city's tourism website.
Where is London?
Located along the Thames River, London is the largest municipality in southwest Ontario. It is nestled between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.
London, Ontario connects to Toronto, Sarnia and Windsor via Highways 401 and 402. You can also easily travel to London via bus or train, and if you choose to fly, London International Airport (IATA: YXU, ICAO: CYXU) is located directly in the city.
Things to Do in London
From eateries and museums to various nature trails and parks, London has a little bit of everything. If you’re travelling with kids, make sure to stop by Storybook Gardens, an outdoor park with six amusement rides, multiple play areas and a giant splash pad. You can also enjoy the park’s musical events, as well as Pirate’s Island Playground and winter skating trail. Another option for children is the London Ontario Children’s Museum, which includes a variety of unique attractions, including an exhibit devoted to the indigenous peoples of Canada.
For foodies and festival lovers, look no further than Covent Market, which has been around since 1845. The market offers fresh produce, restaurants and specialty stores, as well as biweekly goods straight from local farmers markets. You can also visit Labatt Brewery, which was established only two years after Covent Market. This brewery is the largest in all of Canada, and you can take a tour to learn about its establishment and how it produces Canadian beer. Both the market and brewery offer a unique taste of London.
London takes its status as ‘Forest City’ seriously, which is why you can find your share of beautiful nature trails and parks. One of the most popular is Thames Valley Trail, ideal for hikers and anyone who wants to go outside and enjoy nature. The trail is 110 km long, and it will take you through country roads and conservation areas. You’ll also get to see the Thames River and meet some of Canada’s friendly wildlife. Plus, if you want to spend a night under the stars, the Dalewood Conservation Area and Lake Whittaker Conservation Area are renowned for their beautiful campsites.
History is everywhere in London, from the Eldon House, which is London’s oldest residence, to Banting House, where insulin was created. Check out London’s Victoria Park, which hosts a variety of festivals and music events, and St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, a French Gothic Revival Church built in 1851. There are also multiple museums to catch your interest, from Fanshawe Pioneer Village, which stages historical reenactments, to Museum London, where you can gaze at several of Canada’s most significant and famous art collections. Together, these sites will give you a greater grasp of London’s enticing heritage, community and story.
London Neighbourhoods & Districts
London is a city of unique neighbourhoods, each with something to offer. Here's a look at a few.
Take in culture and entertainment while stepping back in time. Explore the Canadian Forces Base, which is home to the famous Royal Canadian Regiment Museum. This museum is one of the oldest in all of Canada, and it is devoted to archiving and educating others on Canada’s impressive military history.
The majority of London’s neighbourhoods are found here, including historic Broughdale, which is located by Western University, and London’s Downtown entertainment district. Downtown, you’ll have your pick of exciting activities, restaurants and bars to try out. It’s home to Budweiser Gardens, Covent Garden Market, London Music Hall and multiple art galleries. Whether you’re in the mood for a concert, street festival or fine dining experience, downtown has you covered.
Stop by Southeast London to enjoy Pond Mills, Fairmont Park and Argyle Mall.
Best known for Victoria Park, which was designed in 1874 and today serves as a recreational centre. A variety of festivals are also held in the park, including SunFest, which is the second-largest musical festival in all of Canada, attracting nearly a quarter million attendees each year.
Things to Know About Visiting London
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to London, you'll find plenty of gems in what the locals recommend in the Forest City.
Where to snap a great Instagram pic
Old East Village & Richmond Row was designated as an Ontario Heritage Conservation District for its historic architecture, no filter needed to capture an emotive pic in this hip neighbourhood.
Great place to see the fall colours
Where to go for a romantic stroll
Where to see the holiday lights
One of London’s favourite green spaces is downtown Victoria Park, home to special events throughout the year, including the best holiday lights display in winter.
Where to go for a hike
Old South London’s Wortley Village showcases traditional architecture in a close-knit community with popular cafes and great places to shop.