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Guy Lombardo's London: The Venues
A tour of the buildings and places that made him famous

Wong's Cafe & Tourists' Haven
Located near the city's main intersection, Wong's was one of London's best-know restaurants, catering to both out-of-town visitors and the theatre crowd. The Lombardo Orchestra was a fixture of their Saturday Afternoon Tea Dances in 1921 and 1922. Despite the restaurant's name and the ethnic heritage of its owners, Wong's did not serve Chinese food. Located at 434 Richmond Street, the building is currently used as a hair salon.

winter gardens dance hall circa 1927The Winter Gardens
This building on Queens Avenue served as a car dealership and a wrestling arena, but it was best known as a dance palace where the Lombardo Orchestra worked. The boys played their final London concert here in November 1923 before heading to the United States. The building was torn down 14 years later.

The Hopkins Casinohopkins casino 1923
In the 1920s Port Stanley was the Coney Island of South Western Ontario. Situated on Lake Erie, it boasted amusement parks, restaurants and dance halls. Lombardo led the house band at the Hopkins Casino during the summer of 1923 - his biggest job to date. The Casino burned down in 1932.

The Port Stanley Pavilion/The Stork Club
stork club 1920sThe dance hall most associated with Lombardo - and undeservedly so. Despite rose-coloured memories of annual homecoming concerts, The Royal Canadians appeared no more than a dozen times at this venue. However, Guy played his first gig here in 1927, just before the band's breakthrough in Chicago, and his last in 1977, a few months before his death. So you could say he began and ended his career at The Stork Club. The building was damanged by fire and demolished in 1979.

The Springbank Pavilion
springbank pavilion 1910Springbank Park, located to the west of city limits, was one of the most popular picnic areas in London, boasting an amusement park, zoo, minerature railroad and this dance venue. In a 1955 interview Guy
claimed he played his first professional engagement here. The remains of Pavilion were torn down in the early 1960s.

The Grand Theatregrand theatre 1920
This photo shows the nucleus of the Lombardo Band on stage at The Grand around 1920. The play is unknown - as are most of the players. Guy is on the far left, holding his violin - an instrument he rarely touched after he achieved fame.

Loew's Theatre
Manager Fred Jackson became one of Guy's earliest supporters and booked the band into his theatre on a regular basis throughout the 1920s. For a 1949 This Is Your Life broadcast, Jackson was flown down to New York and introduced as the man who "discovered" Lombardo. Later divided into a multiplex cinema, only the lavish lobby of the Loew's remains standing today.

Click here to see where Guy trod
Click here to see where Guy lived

Click here for a tourist's map of Guy Lombardo's London