isn't the only site carrying the torch for London, Ontario history. There
are a growing number of similar sites that you should check out. We've
also enclosed hopelessly opinionated critiques and ratings on each entry.
Feel free to disagree...but don't hate us just because we're witty.
Docs' Web Site Ratings
its own display at the museum
makings of a fine coffee table book
least it's more fun than reading census records
I'll see what's on History Television...
History Sites ... Museum
and Library Sites
Sites ... Guy Lombardo Sites ... Specialized
Talbot Sites ... Historical Site Sites
General History Sites
and Middlesex Historical Society
The community's first historical website still offers up hard-core research
on a variety of topics but is geared more towards historians than the
general public. The web design is also getting a bit tired. ***
of London: Tourism London Canada
As you might expect, this is a sanitized version of London's history.
But it is also a surprisingly broad one prepared with the help of some
top historians. Unfortunately, it is entirely text-based so make sure
your eyes are well-rested before you pull it up. ***
Early Disasters and Hard Times
Buildings collapse, rivers flood and civil servants jump to their deaths.
Middling introduction to London's darker hours could have used better
research and writing, but is still a good place to get some fast facts.
Plaques of Ontario
A listings of the provincial-recognized historical sites of Middlesex
County - which includes London, Ontario. Read about the Founding of London,
Eldon House, the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the British Garrison - then turn
off your computer, get off your keester and go see the actual plaques!
Watchers of London, Ontario
More plaque that your dentist has ever seen!
An almost-up-to-date listing of every federal, provincial and municipal
historical marker in London, complete with photographs. Did I mention
you should get off your keester and visit the actual sites? ***
London-area MP offers up a grab bag of historical items from the area.
A former teacher, O'Brien is one of the few politicians who care about
the history of his constituency, which just might make it worth voting
for him during the next election. ***
Museum and Library Sites
Well-designed site offers you a taste of the holdings of London's premier
historical museum including archival photos, paintings, artifacts and
a virtual tour of Eldon House, the city's oldest residence. There's also
a lot of stuff on modern art which I don't care about... ****
London Public Library
A brief overview of the library's historical archive, a short links page,
a listing of historical buildings and a handful of old postcards. It's
obvious the staff would rather have you visit them than tour their web
site. Maybe they're lonely. **
Lawson Prehistoric Indian Village
Over 11,000 years of Southern Ontario prehistory are contained at this
site. Highlights include artifacts from archaeological digs, depictions
of native life over the centuries and a virtual tour of a reconstructed
Neutral Indian village from 500 years ago. Lots of good, scholarly information
- but the site is tough to navigate. ***
This fine replica of an early London settlement deserves a better web
site than this. Nice design but the content is pathetically skimpy. Updates
aren't a strong point either. Go see the actual village instead. **
In the early hours of October 31, 1920 Frederick Banting conceived of
a treatment for diabetes in this modest brick house. Unfortunately, London's
claim to insulin ends there as the city didn't have adequate research
facilities for Banting's work. Fine museum in east London deserves a proper
web site but this private effort does its best. **1/2
House Historic Site
The official webpage of the
house where insulin was born - or rather the idea for it. It's better
to visit this wonderful tribute to one of Canada's greatest researchers
than rely on an under nourished website that has had its url constantly
shuffled about by the Canadian Diabetes Society. I can't even guarantee
this link is still good! **
Royal Canadian Regiment Museum
They snuffed out Louis Riel's rebellion, showed the Kaiser who was boss
and kicked Mussolini's butt during the Italian campaign. They are the
Royal Canadian Regiment and their rich military legacy is celebrated by
one of London's finest (and least known) museums. The highlight of this
site is a virtual tour of the building but - believe me - you've got to
visit this place in person. ***1/2
Competent overview of Canada's oldest, continually performing playhouse;
from vaudeville, to amateur theatre to the works of Canadian playwrights
like James Reaney, Michael Ondaatje and Orlo Miller. ***
The dynamic past and present of the city's theatre community are featured,
highlighted by a list of plays written by Londoners from 1920 on, plus
contemporary reviews. Easy-to-follow page design and concise research
make this one of the most useful London-based web sites. Historical content
is not its reason to be, but then you've got to stop living in the past
at some point. ***1/2
Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia
Short blurb on London's Grand Theatre, focussing largely on the professional
era of 1971 onwards and featuring links to former artistic directors Martha
Henry and Robin Phillips. An okay introduction. **
Highlights of London's
major amateur theatre troop covers its founding in 1974, its purchase
and restoration of the Palace movie theatre in 1990, and all the dramatic
festivals it has staged over the past quarter century. Should have been
a great page, given the material. **
Small: Case Closed
Proposal for a new television documentary that will blow the lid off the
mysterious disappearance of former Grand Theatre owner Ambrose Small.
Promises more than it delivers. **
Guy Lombardo Sites
Lombardo to Retire
Say it ain't so, Guy! Reprint of a 1957 article by columnist Robert W.
Dana breaks the news that The Royal Canadians will be leaving The Roosevelt
Grill in New York City, their wintertime home for almost 30 years. As
things worked out, Guy didn't leave the place until 1962 and didn't stop
conducting until his death. **
For those of you who want to see the absolute end of the story. Photos
of Guy's grave at Pinelawn Memorial Park, New York. It's also the burial
site of his younger brother Lebert. *1/2
Great American Big Bands
Comprehensive entry on the Lombardo band, focusing on their New Year's
eve broadcasts, presidential galas and the Jones Beach spectaculars. Mediocre
photos - which have to be downloaded separately. ***
Day the Music Died
In-depth report by
journalist Jonathan Sher about the recent legal fiasco surrounding London's
Guy Lombardo Music Centre. More mesmerizing than a car accident - but
just as tragic.
Guy Lombardo Society
Clearing house for
all things Lombardo offers some good links and allows you to share your
obsession with other Royal Canadian fans through the club newsletter.
Unfortunately, the design of the site needs a major overhaul. **
Thomas Talbot Sites
The story of the cranky land baron who was responsible for
the success of modern-day Southern Ontario.
Introduction to the old curmudgeon himself, his career and what possessed
him to settle in a log house in the middle of nowhere. **1/2
Castle - The Past
History and architectural features
of the ancestral home of Colonel Talbot, located in the County of Dublin
in Ireland. Talbot modelled the courthouse in London after his boyhood
home - but it's obvious the contractor couldn't read the blueprints to
save his soul. **
Castle - The Present
I've always dreamed of visiting Ireland to see Malahide Castle. Anyone
want to join me? Anyone want to pay my way? Well, it was worth a try.
I guess I'll just have to console myself with this virtual tour of modern-day
Historical Site Sites
of the Diocese of London
The story of St. Peter's Basilica from the pages of the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Solid stuff, but there are no accompanying photographs of London's most
beautiful church - and that's a sin. **
Peter's Cathedral Archives
Vastly superior to the entry in the Catholic Encyclopedia, this site features
images, old newsletters, artwork descriptions and finely researched stories
about the basilica. An inspiring piece of work...and I'm not even Catholic!
Everything you would ever want to know about London's oldest public park.
The web design is top notch and benefits from a cheeky sense of humour
- and a curious fetish for black squirrels.***
The colourful history of my old alma mater, from its founding in 1878,
to the construction of the new campus in 1923 to the glorious triumph
of my graduation in 1991. Guess which item isn't included on the website.
If you're interested in the history of a London taxi cab company, search
no further. If you actually want a cab then pick the phone. **
Donnelly Home Page
The official site of the most notorious mass-murder in Southern Ontario
history which has spawned books, plays and documentaries. Highly recommended.
History of London, Ontario
Have you been lying awake at nights wondering on what date the London
Street Railway Company was incorporated? I thought so. Interesting site
for buffs. Tough sledding for everyone else. **
London Port Stanley Railway
There are two types of people in this world. Those who are obsessed with
this old passenger route and those who wonder why the first groups exists.
If you're a member of the first group your prayers have been answered
with this site. If you're a member of the second group stop being so judgemental.
Glenn Miller Website
Okay, I admit there were other great big band leaders besides Guy Lombardo.
Extremely specialized site focusses on the two Canadian concerts given
by the Miller orchestra - including his January 1942 performance at the
London Arena. Lombardo did a hometown gig three months later but I suppose
I'm labouring the point. **1/2
A short account of the founding of the London fire department, from the
volunteer bucket brigade of the 1840s to first fully-paid operation in
1873. Recently improved site offers up plenty of dramatic fire fighting
photos plus a detailed chronology of the department's milestones. ***
Emily Chesley Reading Circle
Unique site promoting the reputation of the late Victorian era "speculative
fiction" writer who occasionally graced London, Ontario with her presence.
Biographical details, academic insight, and even unpublished manuscripts
by this forward-thinking (and fictitious) author. A well-researched, impeccably-written,
highly-recommended joke. ***1/2
Petroleum Corporation Limited
Back to the days when a
fill up was a fill up. Photos, memorabilia and chronology of the London-based
chain of gas stations that were eventually swallowed up by British Petroleum
and then by Petro Canada. Photos take a while to download, but they'll
clean your windshield and check your oil while you're waiting. **1/2
Park History - The Good Old Days
Nostalgic overview of Hyde Park's past - back in the days it was a charming
hamlet to the north west of London. Then the city annexed the area and
that was the end of that. Okay web page should have relied on something
other than those Tweedsmuir histories for its primary sources. **
Battle of Longwoods
The closest the War of 1812 came to London - which didn't even exist at
the time. This authentic re-enactment of the Royal Scots 1st Regiment
of Foot's attempt to ward off American invaders is held every May by re-enactors.
I'm not going to be a spoilsport and tell you who won.
Brilliant Web site is a joy to read, from its inspiring home page to the
biography of its handsome, gifted creator. A work of unqualified genius.
Only a moron who hasn't had a bath in a month would find any faults in