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London, Ontario

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London in Ontario.

 

London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, situated along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. The city has a population of 352,395, and the metropolitan area has a population of 457,720, according to the 2006 Canadian census; the metro population in 2009 was estimated at 489,274. The city is named after London, England. London is the seat of Middlesex County, at the forks of the non-navigable Thames River, approximately halfway between Toronto, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. The City of London is a separated municipality, politically separate from Middlesex County, though it remains the official county seat.

The city is home to many festivals, including the Home County Folk Festival, the London Fringe Theatre Festival, the Expressions in Chalk Street Painting Festival, Rock the Park, Western Fair, the London Ontario Live Arts Festival (LOLA) and The International Food Festival. The London Rib-Fest, where barbecue ribs are cooked and served, is the second largest barbecue rib festival in North America. Pride London Festival is one of the biggest Pride festivals in Ontario. Sunfest, a World music festival, is the second biggest in Canada, after Caribana in Toronto.

Musically, London is home to Orchestra London, the London Youth Symphony, noise music pioneers the Nihilist Spasm Band, and the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada. There are several museums in London, including Museum London, which is located at the Forks of the Thames. Museum London exhibits art by a wide variety of local, regional and national artists. London is also home to the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, owned by the University of Western Ontario (UWO). Its main feature is Canada's only on-going excavation and partial reconstruction of a prehistoric village of the Neutral Nation (Lawson Site). Other museums include the London Regional Children’s Museum, the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, and the Secrets of Radar Museum. The Guy Lombardo museum closed to the public in 2007 but its collection remains in London.

London is also home to the McIntosh Gallery, an art gallery on the UWO campus, and the Grand Theatre, which is a professional theatre. The Open House Arts Collective is involved in promoting cultural activities in London. The London Public Library also hosts art exhibitions and author readings. The Writers Resource Center is the home of the Canadian Poetry Association London Chapter. The Forest City Gallery is one of Canada's first artist run centres.

Eldon House is the former residence of the prominent Harris Family and oldest surviving such building in London. The entire property was donated to the city of London in 1959 and is now a heritage site. An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected by the province to commemorate The Eldon House's role in Ontario's heritage.[62] The Banting House National Historic Site of Canada is the house where Sir Frederick Banting thought of the idea that led to the discovery of insulin. Banting lived and practiced in London for ten months, from July 1920 to May 1921. London is also the site of the Flame of Hope, which is intended to burn until a cure for diabetes is discovered.

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