Place:London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada

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NameLondon
TypeCity
Coordinates42.967°N 81.25°W
Located inMiddlesex, Ontario, Canada     (1826 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. The city had a population of 383,822 according to the 2016 Canadian census. London is at the confluence of the Thames River, approximately from both Toronto, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan; and about 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 city 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 healthcare and education, being home to the University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College, and several hospitals (including a University Hospital). 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.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prior to European contact in the 18th century, the present site of London was occupied by several Neutral, Odawa, and Ojibwe villages. Archaeological investigations in the region show aboriginal people have resided in the area for at least the past 10,000 years.

Settlement

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 Simcoe 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.[1] London was incorporated as a town in 1840.[2]

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. The 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.

Development

Sir John Carling, Tory MP for London, gave three events to explain the development of London in a 1901 speech. They were: the location of the court and administration in London in 1826; the arrival of the military garrison in 1838; and the arrival of the railway in 1853.

The population in 1846 was 3,500. Brick buildings included a jail and court house, and large barracks. London had a fire company, a theatre, a large Gothic church, nine other churches or chapels, and two market buildings. In 1845, a fire destroyed 150 buildings but most had been rebuilt by 1846. Connection with other communities was by road using mainly stages that ran daily. Also, a weekly newspaper was published and mail was received daily by the post office.

On 1 January 1855, London was incorporated as a "city" (10,000 or more residents).[1] In the 1860s, a sulphur spring was discovered at the forks of the Thames River while industrialists were drilling for oil. The springs became a popular destination for wealthy Ontarians, until the turn of the 20th century when a textile factory was built at the site, replacing the spa.

Records from 1869 indicate a population of about 18,000 served by three newspapers, churches of all major denominations and offices of all the major banks. Industry included several tanneries, oil refineries and foundries, four flour mills, the Labatt Brewing Company and the Carling brewery in addition to other manufacturing. Both the Great Western and Grand Trunk railways had stops here. Several insurance companies also had offices in the city.

The Crystal Palace Barracks, built in 1861, an octagonal brick building with eight doors and forty-eight windows, was used for events such the Provincial Agricultural Fair of Canada West held in London that year. It was visited by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Governor-General John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar and Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald. .

Long before the Royal Military College of Canada was established in 1876, there were proposals for military colleges in Canada. Staffed by British Regulars, adult male students underwent a 3 month long military courses from 1865 at the School of Military Instruction in London. Established by Militia General Order in 1865, the school enabled Officers of Militia or Candidates for Commission or promotion in the Militia to learn Military duties, drill and discipline, to command a Company at Battalion Drill, to Drill a Company at Company Drill, the internal economy of a Company and the duties of a Company's Officer. The school was not retained at Confederation, in 1867.

In 1875, London's first iron bridge, the Blackfriars Street Bridge, was constructed.[3] It replaced a succession of flood-failed wooden structures that had provided the city's only northern road crossing of the river. A rare example of a bowstring truss bridge, the Blackfriars remains open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, though it is currently closed indefinitely to vehicular traffic due to various structural problems. The Blackfriars, amidst the river-distance between the Carling Brewery and the historic Tecumseh Park (including a major mill), linked London with its western suburb of Petersville, named for Squire Peters of Grosvenor Lodge. That community joined with the southern subdivision of Kensington in 1874, formally incorporating as the municipality of Petersville. Although it changed its name in 1880 to the more inclusive "London West", it remained a separate municipality until ratepayers voted for amalgamation with London in 1897,[1] largely due to repeated flooding. The most serious flood was in July 1883, which resulted in serious loss of life and property devaluation. This area retains much original and attractively maintained 19th-century tradespeople's and workers' housing, including Georgian cottages as well as larger houses, and a distinct sense of place.



London's eastern suburb, London East, was (and remains) an industrial centre, which also incorporated in 1874.[1] Attaining the status of town in 1881, it continued as a separate municipality until concerns over expensive waterworks and other fiscal problems led to amalgamation in 1885. The southern suburb of London, including Wortley Village, was collectively known as "London South". Never incorporated, the South was annexed to the city in 1890,[1] although Wortley Village still retains a distinct sense of place. By contrast, the settlement at Broughdale on the city's north end had a clear identity, adjoined the university, and was not annexed until 1961.

Ivor F. Goodson and Ian R. Dowbiggin have explored the battle over vocational education in London Ontario, in the 1900-1930 era. The London Technical and Commercial High School came under heavy attack from the city's social and business elite, which saw the school as a threat to the budget of the city's only academic high school, London Collegiate Institute.

London's role as a military centre continued into the 20th century during the two World Wars, serving as the administrative centre for the Western Ontario district. In 1905, the London Armoury was built and housed the First Hussars until 1975. A private investor purchased the historic site and built a new hotel (Delta London Armouries, 1996) in its place preserving the shell of the historic building. In the 1950s, two reserve battalions amalgamated and became London and Oxford Rifles (3rd Battalion), The Royal Canadian Regiment. This unit continues to serve today as 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. The Regimental Headquarters of The Royal Canadian Regiment remains in London at Wolseley Barracks on Oxford Street. The barracks are home to the First Hussars militia regiment as well.[4]

Annexation to present

London annexed many of the surrounding communities in 1961, including Byron and Masonville, adding 60,000 people and more than doubling its area.[1] After this amalgamation, suburban growth accelerated as London grew outward in all directions, creating expansive new subdivisions such as Westmount, Oakridge, Whitehills, Pond Mills, White Oaks and Stoneybrook.[1]

On 1 January 1993, London annexed nearly the entire township of Westminster, a large, primarily rural municipality directly south of the city, including the police village of Lambeth. With this massive annexation, London almost doubled in area again, adding several thousand more residents. In modern day, London stretches south to the boundary with Elgin County, north and east to Fanshawe Lake, north and west to the township of Middlesex Centre (the nearest developed areas of it being Arva to the north and Komoka to the west) and east to Nilestown and Dorchester.

The 1993 annexation made London one of the largest urban municipalities in Ontario. Intense commercial and residential development is presently occurring in the southwest and northwest areas of the city. Opponents of this development cite urban sprawl, destruction of rare Carolinian zone forest and farm lands, replacement of distinctive regions by generic malls, and standard transportation and pollution concerns as major issues facing London. The City of London is currently the eleventh-largest urban area in Canada, eleventh-largest census metropolitan area in Canada, and the sixth-largest city in Ontario.

Disasters

On Victoria Day, 24 May 1881, the stern-wheeler ferry SS Victoria capsized in the Thames River close to Cove Bridge in West London. Approximately 200 passengers drowned in the shallow river, making it one of the worst disasters in London's history, and is now dubbed 'The Victoria Day Disaster'. At the time, London's population was relatively low, therefore it was hard to find a person in the city who did not have a family member affected by the tragedy.

Two years later, on 12 July 1883,[3] the first of the two most devastating floods in London's history killed 17 people. The second major flood, on 26 April 1937, destroyed more than a thousand houses across London, and caused over $50 million in damages, particularly in West London.

After repeated floods, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority in 1953 built Fanshawe Dam on the North Thames to control the downstream rivers. Financing for this project came from the federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Other natural disasters include a 1984 tornado that led to damage on several streets in the White Oaks area of South London.

This is a summary of the annexations the City of London has made during the late 19th and 20th centuries:

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1915 are now available [October 2014]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.
In September 2014 Ancestry.ca announced that its paid website has been subjected to a "houseclean" of its Ontario BMD database, adding data that had been omitted and making many corrections. Its provision now includes

  • Births, with 2,172,124 records covering 1869-1913.
  • Marriages, with 3,393,369 records for 1801-1928 including Ontario county, district and Roman Catholic origins as well as province-wide civil registration.
  • Deaths, with 2,190,030 records comprising Ontario civil registrations of deaths, 1869-1938 and registrations of Ontario overseas deaths for 1939-1947.

Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.

Censuses

The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1921. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can also view censuses on microfilm at the LAC, at the Archives of Ontario (see address above), or at large libraries throughout Canada.

Hard-to-Find Places

E-books, Books and Newspapers

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.
  • The Ancestor Hunt is a blog listing old Ontario newspapers that are available online, both free and pay websites. This is a very extensive list.

Websites with more local information on Middlesex County

  • Middlesex GenWeb has short "biographies" of each of the townships and a database of all the cemeteries in Middlesex, complete with street addresses for all and GPS co-ordinates for some. This is part of a province-wide project to provide cemetery information. There is also a link to completed and incomplete census transcriptions on a township by township basis.
  • London & Middlesex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society
source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at London, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.