Your Guide to London's Major Public Parks & Gardens
Considered to be one of the most important designed landscapes of the 19th
century, our 6-hectare park (15-acre) is a rare luxury to enjoy in the heart of
a city's downtown.
A hub of social and recreational activities since 1874, an estimated one million
visitors come to Victoria Park specifically for the festivals and special events
staged within its grounds. Recent enhancements to the park include the
creation of a Veterans Memorial Garden.
Special features include a
Cenotaph and other war memorials,
band shell and stage and public works
of art. There is a free outdoor skating rink during the winter months and skateboarding
from spring through fall
Fork of the Thames
||The link of past and present takes another
recreational turn at the Forks of Thames, the place where our community
began. Redevelopment of this area introduced expanded park and pathway areas,
water play activity for children and displays that provide a stroll-by history
lesson on the city's first settlement.
Located at the very west end of the downtown core, the Forks of the Thames
consists of several, interconnected park areas including the Peace Garden,
Ivey Park and Harris Park. Here you'll find formal gardens - often used
as a setting for wedding photographs - as well as the excitement of events
such as the celebration of Canada Day.
The Forks of the Thames is within walking distance of heritage attractions such
as the City's oldest remaining residence,
Eldon House, and the Middlesex County
Building (Old Courthouse) as well as new cultural and commercial landmarks. The
latter includes the rebuilt Covent Garden Market and the John Labatt Centre, London's
state-of-the art entertainment and sports complex.
J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain
Blackburn name is synonymous with London as the founder of the first daily newspaper in London,
the London Free Press. Josiah Blackburn established the London Free Press more than 150 years ago.
The design of the Walter J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain began in 2005 with construction completed in late 2008.
Modeled after the
world famous Jet d?Eau in Geneva, Switzerland. The Walter J. Blackburn Memorial
Fountain is comprised of one large jet and six smaller jets that frame the
downtown when viewed from the west. Water for the fountain is drawn from
the Thames River into a concrete pump chamber, buried below grade on the
shoreline, and is then propelled through one of seven stainless steel jets some
30 meters into the air towards the south shoreline. The fountain is
equipped with a wind sensor which dials back or shuts off the flow of water if either the wind direction or wind velocity causes an
on-shore spray. At night the fountain is fully lit and provides an
amazing feature that can be viewed from many different vantage points in and around the
The fountain runs daily between 7 a.m. and 11p.m. with the small jets
constantly running and the large jet engaging for 5 minutes every 15 minutes.
The fountain has been designed to run year round. The result is an
impressive addition to London's landscape, which enhances our park system
and our downtown atmosphere.
by the City of London in 1874 to utilize its abundant fresh spring water, Springbank
Park has become one of Canada's best examples of urban parkland. Its 140-hectares
(300 acres) offer everything from natural woodlands to formal garden vistas. Within
its heart is the highly popular family attraction,
re-opened in 2003 following extensive renovations.
The park is also home to
Springbank Gardens located on the site of the former Wonderland Gardens. This new outdoor venue consists
of two main areas. There is a cluster of buildings with beautiful landscaped
gardens - perfect for recreational use such as outdoor weddings, celebrations
and special events. The second
area features scenic trails through natural woodlands with vantage lookout points
and charming picnic spots.
Springbank Park is open from dawn to dusk all year round. Its pathways are part
of the 30 kilometer system used by strollers, cyclists, runners and roller-bladers.
Other features to enjoy include picnic grounds and a playground area, the merry-go-round
outside Storybook Gardens and seasonal flower displays.
||The City of London has been growing its own,
high quality, annual flower displays for nine decades. The original greenhouses
were replaced in 1985 and added on to again in 1996. At the same time the
Samuel R. Manness Conservatory and Civic Garden Complex, 625 Springbank
Drive, was created through a donation from The Garden Club of London
and Federal and Provincial Government grants.
The small tropical oasis of the conservatory is open year round Monday-Friday
from 12 to 3 p.m. Admittance is free. Rental facilities include the Great
Hall which has become a popular spot for meetings, weddings and other special
events. For further rental
information - including a floor plan and listing of approved caterers
- visit the Civic Garden Complex web page or call 519 661-5575.
Annual events taking place at this facility include a spring
and fall plant sale
organized by the Friends
of the London Civic Garden Complex as well as the
Garden Club of London Flower Show.
Elmo W. Curtis Gardens and Rayner Gardens are integrated and often called the Rose
Gardens. At its 1970 opening the Elmo Curtis Rose Garden featured 4,000 roses surrounding
the reflecting pond. The original formal design has been preserved, but some of
the original rose beds are now used to showcase annuals.
Elmo W. Curtis Gardens is named for the City of London Commissioner who was influential
in establishing the rose garden. The Rayner Garden opened in 1983 after Louise Rayner
bequeathed $200,000 to establish a rose garden in memory of her son.
Open from dawn until dusk year round, seasonal highlights of these gardens include early spring bulbs;
roses in June; perennials from May till October; and annuals from June till September.
Located at the corner of Springbank Drive and Wonderland Road, entrance is made
either from Springbank Drive or Wonderland Road.