Back in June, 2017, we put together a video of the downtown core of London, Ontario, Canada. This was an improvement on a previous attempt that just showed driving east to west on Dundas Street (the main drag). Our new video does an excellent job of covering mostly all roads in downtown London.
This article serves as a companion to that video and points out ten landmarks that are seen during the tour. This is not an all-inclusive collection of everything found in downtown London, by any means. But, it does cover, what we believe, are the most important points.
London, Ontario Downtown Video
First, a look at the video taken in June, 2017. The video was taken with a dash mounted GoPro Hero 5 Black – an amazing and affordable camera. If you like what you see, please give it a ‘Thumb’s Up’ in YouTube. If you love what you see, please share with friends and family!
Labatt Park is seen at both the start and end of the video (00:13 on the left and 11:06 on the right). This baseball stadium first opened on May 3, 1877 as Tecumseth Park. The first tenants were the London Tecumseths of the International League. Located at 25 Wilson Avenue, this has been the home of the London Majors in the Intercounty Baseball League since 1925.
The park has been renovated several times over the years. It was designated as a historic site under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1994. Labatt Park has a spot in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest baseball field/diamond.
This building is first seen on the left at 00:34 and later on the left at 10:55. The building started out as the London Regional Art Gallery and in 1989 became Museum London in 1989. The museum was originally established in 1940 at a different location. The structure is located at 421 Rideout Street North, at the forks of the Thames River.
This venue is seen at two or three times during the video. It is seen first at 1:06 on the left and again at 4:35 on the right. Located at 99 Dundas Street, the venue opened on October 11, 2002 as the John Labatt Centre. The name was changed to the Budweiser Gardens in 2012. The seating capacity is 9,000 for hockey and concerts. The structure dominates the once historic Talbot block and some of the original facade was preserved and incorporated in the new building.
Budweiser Gardens replaces the London Gardens (aka London Ice House) as the home to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The Gardens were located at 4380 Wellington Road South, at highway 401. This venue opened in 1963 and was home to the London Nationals/Knights until the end of the 2001-02 season. It still stands and is now an indoor cycling track, known as the Forest City Velodrome.
City Centre Towers
First seen at 2:11, on the right, the City Centre Towers are still dominant in the London skyline and located at 275 Dundas Street. No longer the tallest, the buildings were completed in 1974. The south tower is 96 metres or 315 feet in height with a floor count of 23. The north tower is 89 metres or 292 feet in height with 19 floors. The buildings are currently 64% occupied by the TD Bank.
The location is a bit controversial. Hotel London, a majestic building, stood on the site from 1927 to 1972. The building was demolished to make way for progress, in the way of the City Centre Towers.
One London Place
For now, One London Place is the city’s tallest building and the tallest office tower in southwestern Ontario. Located at 255 Queens Avenue, the glass covered building is seen throughout the video. The first good view is at 2:45 on the left and it is again passed by at 8:21 with the building on the right.
One London Place was competed in 1992. The building consists of 24 stories and stands 113 metres or 372 feet in height.
Middlesex County Court House (historic)
The original Middlesex Country Court House is located at 399 Rideout Street North and is first seen on the right at 00:40, just after crossing the Thames River. It is located across the street from Museum London. This castle-like building as completed in 1829 in the gothic revival style. Way back in 1955, the court house was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
Middlesex County Courthouse (new)
The operating Middlesex County Courthouse is located kitty-corners to the historic court house. It shows up on the video to the left at 00:45 and is prominent again at 10:43 on the left. This building was completed in 1974 and the official address is 80 Dundas Street. The structure stands 77 metres in height and has a floor count of 16 floors.
The buiding was built in the Brutalist Architectural Style. This means it’s a concrete structure with small narrow windows and it’s the favourite style for courthouses. Similar in architectural style is the Buffalo City Court Building in downtown Buffalo, New York.
Dominion Public Building
Seen first at 3:59 on the right, the Dominion Public Building first opened in 1936. Located at 457 Richmond Street, the structure was added the Canadian Register of Historic Places in 2005. Built in the art deco style, the Dominion Public Building went through restorations in 1983. The structure stands 38.1 metres in height and has eight floors.
Huron and Erie Building
Tucked away at the northeast corner of Dundas Street and Clarence Street, at 8:37 on the right, the Huron and Erie Building was opened in 1931. Designed in the art deco style, the building stands nearly 36 metres in height and has a floor count of ten.
VIA Rail Station
The new VIA Rail Station, see at 6:03 on the right, is not as bold and dramatic as the building that stood from 1963 to 2001. The new station was completed in 2001 at 205 York Street. The first passenger train station on the site was opened in 1853 by the Great Western Railway. The structure built that was imploded in 2001 was a ten story office tower with the station incorporated into the main floor.