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The high rises don't offer much architectural inspiration. I just hope these towers look better in person:


If I remember correctly, those first few floors of the podium are actually parking.

All in all, London's a pretty lousy town with a decent university a bit too far removed from the downtown. Unless you had to visit someone, there's truly no reason for someone from Toronto to ever go to London.
London may seem bland when compared to Toronto, or other more urban centers. But when compared to other cities its size in Ontario, such as Windsor, or Kitchener - Waterloo, it seems pretty urban and vibrant.
That brualist tower is actually the Middlesex Courthouse. Perhaps making a startment about the rule of law and justice?

I find the standard of architecture now in K-W to be at a higher level now than just about anywhere outside of Toronto and Ottawa. Kitchener's record of heritage preservation was horrible, but is now one of the best, even with the recent demolition of that factory right by the new city hall. Though London does have the better scene, especially Richmond North towards Oxford.

Kingston, I find, punches above its weight for Ontario centres in this regard.
That brualist tower is actually the Middlesex Courthouse. Perhaps making a startment about the rule of law and justice?

I grew up in London, and as stated, it's somewhat better then it's contemporaries in Ontario.

ShonTron, that brutalist tower is sometimes called "Stalingrad on the Thames". And yes, it is meant to make a statement about the power and seriousness of the law. I guess it works, scares the hell out of me.
London,Ontario pics-neat!

Wylie: Good London,Ontario pics-I recall visiting back in September of 1985-it seems there is more of a larger Downtown area today. I remember the VIA station-you pictured the new station constructed since the CN Building was torn down. I noted the LT bus-in my collection I have a 1985 LT map-a decent city street map as well. Another question I have is how far away can the London skyline be seen? LI MIKE
Just decided to meander thru this huge thread and I finally came across London. I know I am commenting on a 2 year old reply but I just had to.
London lousy?..............are you kidding? London is one of Canada's most liveable, likeable, and beautiful cities. How the pic thread could avoid the old couthouse id beyond me as it is one of the most unique structures in the country. It's an old english type castle and the last place in Canada to have a public hanging. The downtown still needs work but they are getting there. The downtown population is growing quite quickly as is the city as a whole.
Richmond all the way from the railway tracks to Oxford is nothing but shops, cafes and restaurants for 10 solid blocks. London has a pretty mean nightlife for a city it's size and in the evenings and weekends you can't get a seat on any of it's many cafes. London has a lot of excellent aand affordable restuarants and getting a lot more especially on Talbot. Much of this is due to the rising population and Labatt centre which has the highest of occupancy rate of any arena in the country. For a city it's size it gets some big names. I remember the old market and it was grimy but great but the new one is still cool with no brand name shops and a lot of outdoor shows. Many of the vacant store fronts are finally being filled up with interesting shops. Considering the pounding mush of Ontario has taken over the last few years, especially in the southwest, the downtown has managed to keep progressing.
Right off downtown {and I only mean 1 to 2 blocks, London has street after endless street of beautiful housing. Old Victorian brown and yellow brick turn of the century houses that seem to be endless. Old South and Wortley village was recently named one of the most unique communities in the country by VIA rail and with good reason. Lovely homes around a true community street with great little shops, cafes and bistros.
Londoner's live for their parks and greenery and they are well served by lots of lovely parks, the Thames river valley and trees, trees, and more tress. Although the city didn't actually get it's nickname "The Forest City" for this reason it is well deserved. Being at the fork of the Thames gives the city more easy going nature where greenery is only a few steps away no matter where you are. Londoners resisted building any freeways and although that has left the city with incredibly horrid traffic it left the city intact.
The city is even beginning to get a decent alternative scene and being a very white collar and university town it has a great array of beautiful civic structures. Wild and crazy? No. Alternative and daring? No. If you were in Toronto then inner city London is like a big Forest Hill and there is nothing wrong with that.
London is the very very rare kind of place where you really wouldn't need or even , to a degree, want to visit but would love to live in.
Also meant to mention that I have been to nearly every major city in this great country and I can honestly say, without hesitation, that no other city has as wonderful a downtown park than London. Just one block north of Dundas is the large and truly beautiful Victoria Park.
ssiguy2 said: "How the pic thread could avoid the old couthouse id beyond me as it is one of the most unique structures in the country. It's an old english type castle and the last place in Canada to have a public hanging."

London's old court house is modeled on Malahide Castle. Colonel Thomas Talbot was a British army vet who organized settlement of the London/South Western Ontario area. He was a Talbot of Malahide. Malahide is in north County Dublin. Thus, the old court house is modelled on an Irish type castle. Small point, but let's strive for accuracy people.

Having lived in London, Ontario for three years in the 1980s, I agree, there are some great old buildings in London. However, there are many architectural errors, the new court house being perhaps the best example.
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My father designed the Covent Garden Market, so nobody is allowed to hate on it :p
Sorry to bump an old thread.

I moved to London 7 months ago and have gotten a good feel for the city in that time. The downtown area is bigger than I expected it to be. In fact if I compare London's downtown to Hamilton's (where I lived before) they feel like the same sized city.

I live just south of the downtown, although getting there by foot is a pain in the ass due to the terrible way the city is laid out. A lack of overpasses or an urban freeway is why this city struggles to grow. There's also a surprisingly high number of homeless people here, much more per capita than I've experienced anywhere else in Ontario.

I often wonder how the city would he today if they invested into proper infrastructure. While I'm against building urban freeways in most cities, London doesn't have any. The reality is that without a freeway it becomes hard for corporations to want to set up an HQ here. All of the large company regional offices that we do have here are located on the southern periphery on the 401, and on the eastern periphery (Veterans Memorial Parkway, a mostly non-built up area). Had Highbury Ave been completed to Fanshawe Parkway it would've done wonders for the economy longterm.

An interesting thing about London is that the sprawl keeps on creeping north, away from the 401, which I don't understand.

Another interesting thing about London is the people themselves and their relation to the rest of Canada. The vast majority of people here are born-and-raised. For the most part they rarely ever venture out of the city. I've actually met a bunch of Londoners around my age (25) who've never been to Toronto. When I tell them about how awesomely big it is, how Hamilton to Oshawa is he same distance as Hamilton to London, etc, they look at me with amazement and disbelief.

The rest of Canada always sarcasticly refers to Toronto as "the center of the universe", but I find people in London know just as little, or less even, about other Canadian cities than Torontonians do. It's truly amazing how unintentionally small most peoples' world is here.
^ No need to apologize, I for one am glad you bumped this thread. Didn't even know it was here!

I, too, was born and raised in London, and was just back there over the holidays where I've been gradually documenting its own Urban Wilderness: River Thames River Creek

Interesting that you should mention how "people in London know just as little, or less even, about other Canadian cities than Torontonians do." That was actualy always my impression of most other Canadians with regards to London. Whenever I'd tell people that I was from London, even around southern Ontario, I'd invariably get some sort of "where's your accent?" comment. I know its not exactly the biggest, or most well known city in the country, but still... I suppose London should share some of the blame, though, for not following the lead of Toronto (aka York), Kitchener (aka Berlin), and others in eventually shedding the unoriginal monikers of our unimaginative ancestors.

And London, as you note, can certainly be a little insular itself. It seems to be just far enough away from everywhere else that it forms its own little cultural island - for better, or for worse. It's interesting to contrast ssiguy2's rather glowing reviews of the city, with your critique of its infrastructure and "surprisingly high number of homeless people." As a native, I can tell you it has pretty well always been thus. One might think of it as sort of a miniture version of Boston in the way its almost evenly split between being a noted centre of wealth, culture, and higher education - and also being a very working class, and (in places) very run-down kind of city. (here are some pictures of "Abandoned London"). Also like Boston, it has somewhat of a reputation for being more than a little racist (just google "London Swastika Crop Circle" for example, or Wayne Simmonds having a banana thrown at him during a hockey game last year). Not long ago, while I was downtown in fact, I recall one of the city's fine citizens getting right in the face of a black woman waiting at a crowded bus stop and giving her the heil Hitler salute while screaming something about immigrants and taxes, or something...

All and all, not a bad town, though. Enjoy your stay!