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The European settlement history of London begins in 1793, when Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe selected the Forks of the Thames as his choice for the future site for the capital of the province.

By 1840 London was large enough to become an incorporated town (somewhat equal to a village today). The survey was extended east to include all the land to Adelaide Street, south to Trafalgar Street and north to Huron Street.

The event which crowned London's prosperity was the incorporation of the town as a city, effective January 1, 1855. Murray Anderson, a tinsmith, was elected first mayor, and the council included such leading business figures as Thomas Carling and Elijah Leonard. The coat-of-arms, still the formal ceremonial symbol of the city today, appropriately was topped by a railway engine belching smoke.

Since the end of World War II, London has experienced a growth unprecedented in its history. With the major annexation of 1961, which added 60,000 people to the city, London had grown close to a quarter of a million people in 1976, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its founding. Major physical changes in London's appearance have occurred. In the old city core, many of the landmarks of the past have gone to be replaced by modern developments - the McClary factory was demolished for Wellington Square; the Hotel London was replaced by the City Centre; the Covent Garden Market was enclosed by the Market Garden Parking Building; and a new Court House was finally constructed on a demolished two block site.

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