11 Things to Do in London Ontario for New Residents

London, Ontario is a region filled with Canadian history, enjoyable activities, friend-making opportunities, attractions, and so much more. There is so much to see in this large southwestern Ontario city.

Moving to London, Ontario is easy, especially after using local movers to help you settle down. Once you’ve moved into the city, there are many activities for you to enjoy with friends and families. Here are 11 things to do in London, Ontario to familiarize you with the city:

1. Delaware Speedway

As one of Canada’s oldest operating race tracks, the Delaware Speedway was first opened in 1952. It’s still going today, hosting a race every Friday night from April to September. The Speedway’s attracted races both local and international alike, including the ARCA Series, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

2. Victoria Park

Going to Victoria Park is one of the most popular things to do in London, Ontario for tourists and new residents. Arguably London’s largest public gathering space is the 7.3-hectare Victoria Park. Originally a British military base in the 1870s, today it is a recreational space complete with a skate park, historical monuments, and a skating rink in winter. There’s also a large population of Eastern Grey squirrels living in Victoria Park. They are commonly spotted year-round by anyone with the eyes open.

3. Thames Valley Trail

If you prefer nature a little more secluded and environment-driven, the 109-kilometre Thames Valley Trail is the exact place to be. A paved trail, it runs along various London parks – such as Gibbons and Springbank – and also touches upon the Thames and North Thames Rivers. An exquisite hike, it’s the best way to spend a beautiful day in London, Ontario discovering surroundings inner city dwellers don’t often witness.

4. Brewery Tour

Labatt, Canada’s largest brewery, is found in London. Two-hour tours are available year-round, complete with samplings. For those with a love of alcoholic beverages, the Labatt headquarters are worth checking out. There are also other breweries with tours offered regularly, such as Anderson Craft Ales, the Toboggan Brewing Company, and the Booch Organic Kombucha.

5. Local Businesses

For the many things to do, attractions, and historical spaces in London, the local business community is key to the city’s ongoing success. Check out some of the local cafes, local restaurants, and specialty stores to get a real sense of what London’s about. There’s no better way to get to experience the ‘real London’ than eschewing the traditional tourist spots and engage in what everyday Londoners see.

6. Storybook Gardens

Storybook Gardens is a top London, Ontario family-friendly activity. An amusement park, it has rides, games, animals, a vegetable garden, wagon rides, and lots of attractions based on fairy tales. These include installations based around Humpty Dumpty, the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, and Three Men in a Tub. Come winter, the staff at Storybook Gardens turn the place into a large ice skating rink.

7. London Museum

The London Museum is an artist’s paradise with so much exquisite pieces from Canada and around the world to enjoy. Find more than 5,000 works of art and 45,000 artefacts here, a lot of which have been procured from regional artists.

The London Museum isn’t the only museum worth a look. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology, the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame are all here. The London Regional Children’s Museum is a great walk for families. There’s also the much-smaller Banting House, the home of Dr. Frederick Banting, the inventor of insulin.

8. East Park Golf

East Park Golf is a combined golf course and amusement park. A unique assortment of family-friendly activities, you have rock climbing, bumper carts, go karts, a waterpark, and of course London’s best golf course. An 18-hole, Robbie Robinson-designed golf course is a fine place to tune up your game.

9. Summer Festivals

London is a very lively city come spring through fall. Especially during those summer months, festivals are hosted seemingly on every weekend. There’s always something to do. Sunfest, Canada’s second largest world music festival, is held in London every July. There’s also the London Ribfest, the London Fringe Theatre Festival, and plenty of cultural events to enjoy on any given day.

10. Covent Garden Market

The Covent Garden Market is the best place in London for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, raw foods, and with plenty more in bakeries, restaurants, bars, and delis. It’s a hub of skilled small business owners and locals selling their foods. It’s a great opportunity to meet farmers, taste produce grown locally, and entertain some local handicrafts. From May to December, the market’s expanded to outside with an outdoor farmers’ market. All in all, a must-visit for newcomers!

11. St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica

Even if you’re not a church-going type, there’s a lot of beauty to be found in the art and architecture of St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica. A French Gothic Revival church built in the 1850s, browse the stained glass windows, Casavant organ, and the collection of interior paintings. The church is open throughout the day Monday through Friday to be enjoyed by all.

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