Surrounded by lush forests and farmlands, London is home to Canada’s largest brewery, and one of its oldest live professional theaters and largest world music festivals. Like its British namesake, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in this southwestern Ontario city. Here are the top things to do in London, Ontario next time you’re in town.
Dubbed “The Forest City”, London is a city that was literally born out of the forest. Four million trees and countless parks means you can get the most out of nature during your visit. And although it has a surprising number of similarities to its European counterpart, London is a city that is unmistakably unique and Canadian.
Step Back in Time
Fascinated by history? Learn about the discovery of insulin in the former home of its inventor, Dr. Frederick Banting, peruse world-famous paintings by the Group of Seven at the London Museum, or, if you’re a foodie, explore the stalls of the Covent Garden Market, which began in 1845. Stop by the beautiful St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, built in 1834. Observe costumed blacksmiths and farmers in action at the 19th-century open-air museum, the Fanshawe Pioneer Village, or go back even further in time at the Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum, which recreates a 1,000-year- old Iroquois longhouse community.
Events and Activities
No matter the time of year, London always has some sort of event or festival you can check out. During summer, one of the most popular festivals in London is Sunfest. Take in the delicious food, dancing, music, and even a beer garden at this annual cross-cultural celebration. If you prefer to have your adrenaline pumping, there are options for both spectators and participants. Head to the races at Delaware Speedway, one of Canada’s oldest continuously operating tracks. Skiers and mountain bikers will appreciate the range of outdoor activities offered year-round at Boler Mountain. The Covent Garden Market is also host to a number of pop-ups and community events throughout the year, with guaranteed good eats to boot.
London has a deep history when it comes to beer. It’s the birth place of Labatt’s, one of Canada’s largest brewers. You can take a Labatt Brewery Tour to learn about its origins and impact on the beer scene in Canada. If you’re more of a craft beer fan, you’re also in luck. The craft brewery scene has exploded throughout the past decade in London. Visit one of the many local craft brewers for a tour and tasting, or just hit up one of the local bars scattered all around the city.
Things to Do with Kids
If you want to tire out the little ones, head over to The Factory, an indoor adventure park. These trampolines and obstacle courses will keep you and your kids busy for hours on end. And whether you love fairytales or have kids who do, you’ll have a blast at the whimsical Storybook Gardens, located in London’s largest and most picturesque park. You’re guaranteed to get tons of good photos from this one-of-a-kind park to add to your feed. While in London, be sure to drop by one of the many parks with your family. Victoria Park is right in the heart of the city, surrounded by shops, cafes and restaurants. Take a stroll through the park and you’ll probably run into a festival or a free concert on the weekends. If you need to cool down during summer, there’s East Park, a recreational park with water slides, a camp, and even a golf course for the adults who want to step away for a quick game.