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The Best Dance Studios in London

Whether you move like Elaine from that episode of Seinfeld or can dance the Nutcracker ballet in your sleep, dancing is an important part of everyone’s life. While some take a more homespun approach to dance, others seek out professional training to hone their movements and develop their dancing skills. In the latter case, you’ll be looking for a dance studio. The city of London has many studios offering dance training in a variety of styles for children as young as age two and up through adulthood. Whether it’s a lifelong passion for the child or something to burn off some excess energy, it’s important to find a good studio that will offer more than just training, but also support and positivity. When done right, dance encourages physical and mental health, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle as well as allowing children to come into their own and discover themselves through expressive movement. The dance studios on this list are the best of the best. They offer incredible training from experienced and qualified instructors, creating a fantastic supportive community for all of their dancers.

Dance London

Neighbourhood: Old South 2 Langarth Rd. W (map) https://dancelondonstudio.com/

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Dance London Dance London is a non-competitive dance studio based in the south side of London. With 18 teachers on staff, each highly trained and passionate, they are ready to get your child moving, jumping, and dancing! Dance London offers a variety of styles for all ages, offering classes for children as young as 2 years, and as old as 17. Ballet and pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, and so many more. Classes are divided by age and skill level, making sure that everyone in a class is on the same page – no one will struggle to keep up and no one will be bored by the simplicity of the training in any given class. Parents don’t have to feel left out though; Dance London also offers classes for adults! Later in the evenings, there are adult classes in the styles of ballet and hip hop. They also offer classes focused on stretching and conditioning. There is absolutely no previous dance experience required, just sign up, toss on some dancing shoes and you’re off to the races! There are also classes for mom and baby, offering moms an awesome way to connect with other moms as well as get some exercise without having to find a sitter! Their belief is that dance is an art before it is a sport, and no one should be forced to compete or be put through physically and mentally stressful exams. Dance London’s philosophy is to focus on technical training and the love of dance, as opposed to striving for prizes, or medals. This promotes a more supportive environment for all, rather than a competitive one. Despite having over 400 dance students, no one will get lost in the crowd. Class sizes are capped, so that each student will receive the one-on-one attention that they need from the instructors in order to excel and succeed. Dance London offers a wonderful, supportive environment for children and adults to learn and grow their passion for dance in any style. Check out our Business of the Week feature we did with Dance London for more information!

North London Dance Centre

Neighbourhood: Hyde Park 1055 Sarnia Rd. (map) http://www.northlondondancecentre.ca/
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North London Dance Centre North London Dance Centre can be found, unsurprisingly, in the north of London on the west side in the Hyde Park neighbourhood. Between their two studio rooms, there are over 85 classes each week in many different styles, ranging from fitness & flexibility to classical ballet to acro-dance. The philosophy of North London Dance Centre is all about balance. There should be a balance between fun and hard work in order to maintain motivation and progression of ability to reach one’s individual potential. It should be fun and exciting to attend classes, but it still requires confidence, poise, and discipline. North London Dance Centre operates under the standards of the Royal Academy of Dance for ballet, and the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association for tap and jazz. These high standards ensure that classes are structured and progressing at a proper pace without over-pressuring your child. There are two RAD-certified instructors and three full teaching members at the CDTA. Classes at North London Dance Centre have a maximum of twelve dancers, meaning each will get plenty of personal attention from the instructor. This one-on-one instruction can mean all the difference when it comes to progressing as a dancer. Dancers perform twice per year at professional venues, once in the winter, called Winterlude, and a recital at the end of the session in June. Recitals provide a goal for students to strive for, as well as given them the experience of performing for an audience, a skill that will come in handy both in and out of the dance world. North London Dance Centre offers the opportunity for kids to find themselves through dance, developing self-confidence, discipline, and coordination as well as the ability to move gracefully.

Dance Essence

Neighbourhood: White Oaks 820 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map) http://www.danceessence.ca/
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Dance Essence Dance Essence offers exciting, energetic, and fun dance classes in a variety of styles in the south end of London. Their fifth season has begun this fall, and it promises to be their best yet! No matter if your child is interested in classical ballet, modern dance, musical theatre, or hip hop and breakdance, Dance Essence has a class for them. Determining the class you want is based on your child’s age and the dance style (or styles) they want to pursue. The size of classes are kept small, allowing for a more personalized touch for each student. Instructors can spend more time with each young dancer, helping them with their struggles in a constructive manner. This means more dancing and less waiting, and therefore faster learning. Instructors at Dance Essence have been trained and recognized by the Royal Academy of Dance, the largest governing body of dance in the world, and Acrobatic Arts, a certification program to ensure safe and effective progression in the art of dance. The team of instructors are experienced, qualified, and invested in the education of your children, propelling them towards dancing success! Exams are not mandatory at Dance Essence. The instructors will determine whether an examination is beneficial to the student, based on age, natural ability, and mastery of the level being studied. Dance Essence has created a wonderful community in their five years of operation as a performance company. Their supportive staff promote positivity and safety alongside a top tier education that should not be missed!

Victoria Carter London Dance Centre

Neighbourhood: Old North 160 Sydenham St. (map) https://victoriacarterldc.wordpress.com/
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Victoria Carter London Dance Centre Victoria Carter London Dance Centre has a long and storied history that has brought them to be on this list today. Victoria Carter is the artistic director of the school and a local dance legend. She has devoted her life to the dancers of London, having shaped an entire generation from the studio on 160 Sydenham Street for many decades. The school was started by her mother, Dorothy, in 1956, and has been in that Old North location since 1960. Victoria joined Dorothy in 1970 after graduating from the National Ballet School. In the following years, dozens of successful dancers and performers began their career dancing with Victoria, and she keeps that same passion going to this very day. The slogan for Victoria Carter LDC is “the school where the amateur is as important as the professional.” Their philosophy being that as long as you’re passionate, you’re welcome at the school. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first dance class or you’ve been dancing for years – as long as you love dance, you’ll be treated the same. The Victoria Carter LDC offers many styles of dance, including jazz, tap, and modern. They teach ballet in the Vaganova Russian method, the method currently used by a number of the world’s top ballet schools to teach their professional students. Classes are available for students as young as 3 years, either in ballet or tap. There are also adult classes, teaching you basic ballet techniques and dance appreciation. The school feels that performance is a key aspect to dance, both a joy and a responsibility. As such, the whole school participates in a yearly recital to expose students, both amateur and professional, to the demands and rewards of striving for a polished production. There is a reason that the Victoria Carter London Dance Centre has been running for so long: care and joy are infused into every class, even after over 60 years.

Belle Pointe Dance & Movement Company

Neighbourhood: White Oaks 4056 Meadowbrook Dr. (map) http://www.bellepointedance.ca/
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Belle Pointe Dance & Movement Company
The winner of the 2018 London Free Press award for Best Dance Studio in London, Belle Pointe Dance & Movement Company is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the Forest City dancing community. The mission statement of Belle Pointe is to encourage children through performing arts to gain confidence and become empowered as they grow. The training they provide builds up their students to reach their full potential as dancers, performers, and as well-rounded people. The classes offered at Belle Point are split into a variety of levels and genres. Programs for children as young as three years of age include ballet, tap, and creative movement. As the age increases, more options become available, including jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, and even Irish dance. For adults there are ballet, tap, and jazz classes at both a beginner and an intermediate level, as well as yoga classes. Belle Pointe also offers the Little Theatre Company, a one-of-a-kind program integrating dance, drama, and music for children. Offered to children ten and up, the program includes at least two weekly dance classes, a group vocal lesson, and weekly rehearsals for their production performances. Previous productions have included Shrek The Musical Jr., Annie, and Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. The Little Theatre Company offers children the ability to explore performance in a variety of ways, allowing them to discover their passions earlier than most! Belle Pointe’s full season is 35 weeks of dance classes beginning and September and capped off by an end-of-season recital in June. They are always accepting new applications, however, so inquire about class availability at any point! When registering for multiple classes, there’s even a 50% discount! For some classes, including Irish Dance and adult programs, the sessions are ten weeks long with specific start dates, so find the next upcoming one on their website if you’re interested in signing up!

The Dance Alliance

Neighbourhood: Fanshawe Ridge 1570 Highbury Ave. N (map) https://www.thedancealliance.ca/
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The Dance Alliance The Dance Alliance is a newer face in the London dance scene, opening their north-east London location just three years ago. The company may not have a long history, but the staff all have many years of dancing and instructing experience and they’re excited to pass that knowledge on to your young ones. There’s no limit to the styles of dance offered at the Dance Alliance. They have classes for everything from ballet to tap, modern to musical theatre, and even a style where you dance in heels. Along with regular classes, The Dance Alliance also offers summer camps and PA Day Camps for working parents that cannot take random Fridays off of work when schools are not in session. The PA Day Camps are only $45 (or $50 if you aren’t already a member at the Dance Alliance) and your child will get a full day of dance! Drop them off between 8:45 and 9:00AM, and then you can head to work safe in the knowledge that your child will be happy and active through the day. The Dance Alliance offers drop-in classes for adults. Since they know schedules can get hectic, they don’t keep you to a tight schedule – you come when you can and pay for what you attend. Classes are 75 minutes and $10 each (or purchase a card offering 8 classes for $60). They offer hip hop classes in two difficulties – beginner and intermediate – as well as body conditioning classes. These classes get you moving and grooving without worrying about looking silly!

Grand
Theatre

Grand Theatre The Grand Theatre in London Ontario opened on September 9, 1901. Located at 471 Richmond Street just south of Dufferin Avenue in the heart of downtown, the theatre’s main auditorium has a seating capacity of 839 with a regular season running from September to May. It was originally constructed to accommodate the public’s need for a suitable performance space after the Grand Opera House burned down in 1900. It was acoustically designed to project music and sound from the stage to the very rear of the audience.

History

The theatre was run by Ambrose Small, a Toronto area businessman, until his mysterious disappearance in 1919, In fact, the theatre is said to be haunted by his ghost to this day. On December 2, 1919 Mr. Small deposited one million dollars in a Toronto bank account, ate a meal with his wife and was never seen again. Some weeks later, the theatre’s security guard testified that he saw Mr. Small entering The Grand Theatre. This building was investigated in the first episode of ‘The Girly Ghosthunters’ show in 2005.The venue was originally designed to seat 1850 patrons, with a large proscenium stage and ornate arch to showcase its size. With box seats and two balconies, it was considered to be most prestigious and opulent for its day. Grand Theatre - History The Grand also features the McManus Studio Theatre in the basement which is geared towards hosting smaller productions. More recently, Artistic Director Susan Ferley launched the annual performance and rehearsal calendar for The Grand Theatre High School Project, giving students the challenge of producing both a major musical on the Main Stage and a Shakespeare play in the McManus Studio below. Together, the Grand and these students combine for form The Theatre for Young Audiences and is committed to putting on two shows every season. As cinema took over, the theatre was equipped for film presentation when it was sold to Famous Players in 1924. After a brief ownership stint with Famous Players in 1945, the theatre chain sold the building to the London Little Theatre company for a small price and the theatre built a reputation as a superior amateur stage venue, arguably becoming Canada’s most active and successful amateur theatre company. In 1975, the theatre’s board of governors recognized the structure’s need for upkeep and responded with a major reconstruction costing five million dollars and was not completed until 1978. The reconstruction included reinforcement of the proscenium arch as the sole major component of the building’s original design and the addition of the McManus Studio as a secondary venue. The architectural firm that was awarded the bid for the renovations and necessary planning was subsequently also awarded a Governor General’s award for their re-design of TGT. Grand Theatre - History Among the more noteworthy actors who have performed under the Grand’s proscenium arch are: W.C. Fields, Sarah Bernhardt, Michael Redgrave, Donald O’Connor, Sidney Poitier, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Maggie Smith, Michael Burgess, William Hutt, Martha Henry, Karen Kain, Victor Garber, Sandra Oh, and Leonard Nimoy.

Changing Roles

“World Curious. London Proud.” That is the mantra that governs TGT’s direction in the new millennium. Under the leadership of newly appointed Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Deb Harvey, the Grand is building a bold future with visionary leadership at the helm, bringing the passion to take on courageous new projects, new programming, and a renewed sense of relevance, both internationally and here in the London community. As one of the leading cultural and entertainment venues in the city, the Grand is proudly located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario and stands as a place for for everyone, to gather, celebrate, and be inspired by unique and unforgettable theatre experiences. For many, this is the reason they seek the Grand when booking special events – the theatre presents itself as an ideal and historic backdrop for people’s fondest memories. The venue ties past to present, and provides fertile ground for the future. It’s history, iconography, and design are a very manifest of the theatre’s new mandate. Grand Theatre - Changing Roles The Grand puts London on the international stage with original concepts, stories, and sounds from around the world, and works on collaborations with exceptional national and international performing arts groups. The theatre prides itself in its ongoing commitment to developing, producing, and premiering new, original homegrown stories through COMPASS, a new stage play development program. The Artistic Direction team works tirelessly to bring communities together in a spirit of shared experiences, utilizing TGT as a channel for its voices. COMPASS New Play Development Program is dedicated to creating and premiering new work on TGT stages. TGT remains world-curious and London-proud and this program reflects their belief that in order to be a relevant theatre company, they must develop and premiere their own stories on their own stages. The Grand will commission, write, produce, and premiere original plays that are relevant to the city of London, the province of Ontario, and Canada in general. And while these homegrown plays will begin here, our stories will be shared with theatres and stages around the world. COMPASS is dedicated to igniting imaginations by bringing a modern, unconventional, and brand new sense of theatre engagement to London, as has been seen in contemporary productions like Vigilante – a modernized, post-apocalypticized visualization of The Black Donnellys of area folklore.

Features

Spriet Stage

Grand Theatre - Spriet Stage The newly named Spriet Stage is widely considered one of the most beautiful theatres in Canada. This stage dates back to the New Grand Opera House built in 1901, complete with the original proscenium arch, one of the last remaining in Canada, featuring original artwork by muralist Frederick S. Challener.

Poster Lounge

Grand Theatre - Poster Lounge This visually captivating space with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks Richmond Street and is a perfect spot to book for swanky occasions, or small-scale entertainment.

McManus Lounge

Grand Theatre - McManus Lounge This space is perfect for more intimate gatherings, small events, and private cocktail receptions. For more information about venue rentals, click here. For more information about reserving a pre-show or post-show reception for your group, click here.

The High School Project

Grand Theatre - High School Project The Grand’s commitment to educational programming and the mentorship of the next generation of writers and actors through The High School Project – in fact the only project of its kind in North America. A partnership with the Sheridan College Music Theatre Program is already playing a key role in shaping the theatre’s new identity. Their new community outreach initiative named 100 Schools also furthers the theatre’s not-for-profit community mandate by bringing professional theatre to London area schools, and at zero cost! A not-for-profit regional theatre, the Grand produces and presents professional theatre on two stages: the Spriet Stage (839 seats) and the McManus Stage (144 seats). The Grand season runs from September to May with a subscription series on both stages. What makes The Grand Theatre’s High School Project so unique is that it gives high school students from London and surrounding area the chance to work with professional directors, choreographers, musical directors, and stage managers. Grand Theatre - High School Project In 2006, the High School Project added a Shakespearean production, to be performed in the spring in the McManus Studio, leaving the main stage open for their musical scheduled to be performed in the fall on the MainStage. The following is a list of High School Project stage productions that have been performed on the Grand Theatre’s main stage post-renovation in the 1970s:
  • West Side Story (1998)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)
  • Guys and Dolls (2000)
  • Hello, Dolly! (2001)
  • Oliver! (2002)
  • The Music Man (2003)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (2004)
  • Oklahoma! (2005)
  • The Sound of Music (Fall 2005)
  • Twelfth Night (Spring 2006, McManus Studio)
  • West Side Story (Fall 2006)
  • Romeo and Juliet (Spring 2007; McManus Studio)
  • Les Misérables: School Edition (Fall 2007)
  • Listen to the Wind (Spring 2008; McManus Studio)
  • The Pirates of Penzance (Fall 2008)
  • As You Like It (Spring 2009; McManus Studio)
  • Grease (Fall 2009)
  • Macbeth (Spring 2010; McManus Studio)
  • Anything Goes (Fall 2010)
  • The Odyssey (Spring 2011; McManus Studio)
  • Footloose” (Fall 2011)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Spring 2012)
  • My Fair Lady (Fall 2012)
  • Taming of the Shrew (Spring 2013)
  • Legally Blonde” (Fall 2013)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (Spring 2014)
  • The Addams Family: A New Musical (Fall 2014)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Spring 2015)
  • Hello Dolly! (Fall 2015)
  • Les Misérables: School Edition (Fall 2016)
  • Evita (Fall 2017)
  • Prom Queen (Fall 2018)
Grand Theatre - High School Project Since 1998, full casts and musical pits of area students have regularly performed on the main stage featuring a full cast of high school students. Originally, the program had intended for productions to be annually cycled between a Broadway musical, a Shakespeare piece, and a Canadian piece. However, due to the overwhelming success of West Side Story in 1998, the High School Project remained a Broadway musical since the year 2000. Students also assist in stage management, set creation, and the creation of wardrobes, props, and every other aspect of production.

Making Waves

Particularly in recent years, The Grand has taken a very forward approach on the productions that it brings to stage for the public’s enjoyment.

Once

Grand Theatre - Once A musical story about the belief in the power of his music and his love for the woman who inspired his songs. Together they record a demo album with a motley crew of bar friends, and their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated love story.

Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell

Grand Theatre - Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell Though the story is most definitely complicated by the inclusion of the iconic man as a main character, this is essentially a love story celebrating the wonders of life and accepting of the inevitability of death.

What a Young Wife Ought to Know

Grand Theatre - What a Young Wife Ought to Know An unflinching look at love, sex, and fertility, inspired by real stories of young mothers during the Canadian birth control movement of the early 20th century, Crow’s presents a new production of this important play from one of Canada’s most celebrated theatre makers.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Grand Theatre - A Thousand Splendid Suns A vivid stage adaptation of the novel by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. The story focuses on two women and how their lives become intertwined after a series of drastic events. This is the story of their subsequent friendship and support for each other in the backdrop of Kabul in the 20th and 21st century.

The Glass Menagerie

Grand Theatre - The Glass Menagerie In this classic drama, one of the greatest American plays of the 20th century, Tennessee Williams  looks at the Wingfield family as they deal with emotions and revelations that change their lives forever. As characters come to terms with the inexorable changing ot the times, and their related fates, a fundamental piece of Americana storytelling unfolds to move and captivate the audience.

Joni Mitchell: River

Grand Theatre - Joni Mitchell: River A series of singers – including Forest Ontario’s Emm Gryner – lead an accomplished pit of noteworthy local performers in beautiful rearrangements of this classic Joni Mitchell must-have album.

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Grand Theatre - The Colony of Unrequited Dreams This play is based on the novel by Wayne Johnston, a Canadian bestseller, and shortlisted for the 1998 Giller Prize and the 1998 Governor General’s Award for English fiction.

Colours in the Storm

Grand Theatre - Colours in the Storm A music-driven play – and not specifically a musical – about the life and mysterious death of iconic Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Grand Theatre - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Board the Nautilus with the mysterious Captain Nemo as he explores the depths of the ocean, the heights of technology and the edge of madness. Rediscover a sense of wonder at human ingenuity in this eye-popping, multi-media experience. A commission of the TORONTO 2015 arts and cultural festival PANAMANIA.

The Addams Family

Grand Theatre - The Addams Family The show is based upon The Addams Family characters – infamous from film and television – depicting a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre.

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash

Grand Theatre - Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash Ring of Fire was conceived by William Meade and created and directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. The musical contains 38 of Johnny Cash’s songs, such as “Country Boy,” “A Thing Called Love,” “Five Feet High and Rising,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “Ring of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “The Man in Black” and “Hurt.”

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Grand Theatre - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee A musical comedy that centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. An unusual aspect of the show is that four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young characters.

Legally Blonde

Grand Theatre - Legally Blonde: The Musical While the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner – needs no introduction after a blockbuster film starring Reese Witherspoon, this charming musical continues to enthrall onstage. Throughout the show, no one has faith in Elle Woods, but she manages to surprise them when she defies expectations while staying true to herself.

The Great Gatsby

Grand Theatre - The Great Gatsby Scott Fitzgerald’s celebrated masterpiece come to life on an historical stage worthy of the classic’s vintage.

Footloose

Grand Theatre - Footloose C’mon… You know the story. How would this not be fun?

Ways to Get Involved

1000 Seats

Grand Theatre - Ways to get Involved - 1000 Seats A new project launched as part of the Grand’s London Proud initiative, 1000 Seats will offer ten seats for every performance in the Spriet Stage Series to first-time theatre goers. All Londoners who have never been to the Grand are welcome to access this program and can access further information here.

Cultural Access Pass

Grand Theatre - Ways to get involved - Cultural Access Pass The Grand offers a wonderful opportunity to all new Canadians! A gift to each new Canadian and new Canadian citizen during their first year of citizenship, the Cultural Access Pass provides complimentary admission to the Grand Theatre to the pass holder and up to 4 dependent children (18 years or younger) for select Grand Theatre productions. This unique program creates opportunities for Canada’s newest citizens to discover our rich cultural history and exceptional theatre. Tickets become available two weeks prior to the start of the production. To obtain tickets present your Cultural Access Pass in person only at the box office at 471 Richmond Street.

Tickets in Support of your Charitable Event

Each season, the Grand donates over $50,000 in ticket value to more than 800 charities in the London area. For more information or to request a ticket donation for your charitable event, please email Suzanne Lanthier, Director of Development at slanthier@grandtheatre.com or call 519-672-9030 x251.

Beyond the Stage

The Grand provides and intimate experience for enthusiasts both onstage and off, there’s more to experience than ever before! Check out our post-show events and pre-show talks, Clubs, backstage tours, and more

Pre-show talks with James Stewart Reaney

Join host James Stewart Reaney at select Wednesday matinees, as he sparks creative conversations about the production. Grand Theatre

Upcoming Talks

  • Timothy Findley’s The Wars – November 7
  • Barber Shop Chronicles – November 21
  • Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad – January 30
  • Vigilante – March 6
  • August Wilson’s Fences – April 3
  • Mamma Mia! – May 8

James Stewart Reaney

Grand Theatre - James Stewart Reaney LondonFuse contributor James Stewart Reaney, recently retired from The London Free Press after a career of more than 30 years, has covered everything from the 1986 World Series to operas at the Grand to Neil Young concerts and spent almost a decade hosting videos starring such icons as London pop punkers The Alcohollys and Canadian opera star Ben Heppner.

Backstage Tours

See the real historic Grand Theatre, behind the scenes, where the audience can’t see. Get an inside look at how the theatre manages productions on both the Spriet and McManus stages. Learn about how the ghost of Ambrose Small is said to haunt the theatre, and more. Tour groups hear all the best stories first-hand from staff members and artists at work on their lines, music, set designs, costumes, and props. Complimentary backstage tours are available for groups pre-show or post-show, and on request based on availability. Tours range from 30-60 minutes (depending on your group and activities in the building). To get an up close look at the The Grand with a virtual tour, click here. For information, schedules, availability, and reservations please contact Monica Hodgson, Sales and Partnerships Manager, at 519-672-9030 ext. 291 or groups@grandtheatre.com

Wednesday Speakeasy

Grand Theatre - Wednesday Speakeasy Extend your theatre experience on Wednesday evenings and get closer to the artists after the performance with exclusive talks, casual conversations, and spontaneous happenings in the relaxed atmosphere of the Poster Lounge or McManus Stage. Pull up a chair – the bar will be open!
  • Timothy Findley’s The Wars – October 24 & 31, November 7
  • Barber Shop Chronicles – November 21
  • The Boy in the Moon – November 21 & 28
  • Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad – January 23 & 30, February 6
  • Maggie & Pierre – February 13
  • Vigilante – February 20 & 27, March 6
  • August Wilson’s Fences – March 20 & 27, April 3
  • Cabaret – April 10, 17, 24
  • Mamma Mia! – April 24, May 1, 8, 15

What Not to Miss This Year

The Wars

Grand Theatre - The Wars The Wars is a critically acclaimed 1977 novel by Timothy Findley that is English studies curriculum in many boards across Canada. The story follows Robert Ross, a nineteen-year-old Canadian who enlists in World War I after the death of his beloved older sister in an attempt to escape both his grief and the social norms of oppressive Victorian society. Drawn into the madness of war, Ross commits “a last desperate act to declare his commitment to life in the midst of death.” Ross’ narrative is depicted as flashback or rather shattered memoir, as a historian tries to piece together how overwhelming and abnormal circumstances can irreparably transform even the strongest of us, interviewing the various characters whose lives Ross touched on his journey. This fall TGT acknowledges the 100th anniversary of the end of WWII as honour the sacrifices of our soldiers past and present with this Governor General Award-winning story,

Don’t Miss Out on London’s Rich Theatre Nightlife

Grand Theatre - Nightlife London’t downtown core offers literally dozens of options for dinner reservations before your show – several only steps from the theatre doors which makes planning your evening ideal. Numerous cocktail lounges and late night music bars also fill the area if you decide to stay out late. But undeniably, London’s The Grand Theatre represents a landmark that is both historical and cultural in terms of playing a major role in weaving our area and national cultural tapestry. With inclusive programming that incorporates the efforts of passionate young people, is inclusive of international performance traditions, and promotes a superior standard of live dramatic performance not on smaller stages, London theatre-goers are absolutely spoiled with the calibre of live stage performance that they have access to. Shows are a family affair, with something to offer everyone. The theatre does not shy away from projects requiring bold visual effects and stage combat training, as seen in this reel from The Grand Theatre’s production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea:   To check the performance schedule for The Grand Theatre, click here. For their box office, call 519-672-9030 Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm ET Saturday and Sunday – closed

What the Interest Rate Increase Means to You

On October 24th, the Bank of Canada, BoC, raised its interest rates from 1. 5 percent to 1.75 percent. While this latest increase was expected, it has still left financial experts feeling anxious about the current and future state of the housing market. This increase is the highest rate jump since December 2008 and the fifth increase in the last 15 months.   Policy makers continue to defend the increasing interest rates saying that the hikes are necessary in order to keep inflation close and the economy strong but that is of little comfort to those working in the real estate market. Many realtors are worried that the higher interest rates will have severe and long lasting effects on the current housing market. They are even more apprehensive about the effects these continued rate hikes will have on first time home buyers. Along with the ongoing increases, financial and realty experts are also leery about the wording that the BoC has been using, or rather, not using in their latest statements. In previous releases, the BoC has stated that interest must be raised gradually in order to keep the borrowing rates close. However, they have recently removed the word “gradual” from their statements, leaving many to believe that the increases are going to happen at a much faster rate than initially expected. While the increases might seem small to the average borrower, the fact is that even the smallest increase can quickly add almost $400.00 more to your monthly household bills. Currently, more than half of all Canadians are living with excessively high debt levels. Raising bank rates could put many mortgage holders in a debt bracket that far exceeds their income. For those who are already struggling each month to pay their bills, these continued increases are likely to cause severe and long lasting financial damage that many might never recover from. For new home buyers, the outlook is even bleaker.  As the rates continue to climb, it is only going to become even more difficult to buy a home. Every time the rates increase by even a mere one percent, the affordability rates for first time home buyers decreases by a staggering six percent. That is six times faster than the interest rate increases. With stricter changes being enforced by legislation in relation to down payments and mortgage calculation policies for new home owners, the rising interest rates will soon squeeze most first time house hunters out of the real estate market completely.  So, if you are considering buying your first home in the next few years, you need to consider your options sooner rather than later if you hope to own real estate. For many first time shoppers, if they do not act now, their chance of owning a home will soon become the impossible dream. First time house buyers today must have a large down payment of at least five percent or more of the value of the home saved first before they will even be considered for a loan. That means that for a $300,000.00 home, a first time buyer must have a minimum of $15,000.00 saved for a minimal down payment. This does not include all the other legal and personal expenses that are part of buying a house. Because most Canadians today are living with excessively high debt, saving money has become more challenging. As the interest rates continue to spike, the prospects of buying a first house will become  even less unlikely for most Canadian hopefuls. How will the interest rate increase impact first time home buyers? To put this into perspective, using a purchase price of $400,000 and 5% down payment, the mortgage amount would be $395,200, including the Default Insurance Premium with a fixed five year fixed rate of 3.49%. At 25 year amortization, the payment would be $1.973.00 per month. As the BoC’s interest rates continue to increase, the monthly and term increases over the next two years would be: 2019: 4.5% – $2,187.00/ month = $214.00 monthly increase and $12,840.00 term increase 2020: 5.5% – $2,412.00/ month = $225.00 monthly increase and $13,500.00 term increase With most Canadians living with high levels of personal and household debt, these steadily increasing bank rates are starting to worry many homeowners. Since June of this year, the BoC has raised their rates by a total of six percent. That means that nearly one third of all Canadian home owners are now living with the very real fear that further increases will push them to the brink of bankruptcy. These increases are even more perilous for first time home buyers because their higher debt loads are making it almost impossible to save the money for a down payment while soaring housing markets are keeping prices higher than most first timers can realistically afford. As the interest rates continue to rise, the gap between dream and reality will grow even wider for novice house hunters.   The BoC will be releasing their next quarterly report in December and their full report in January 2019. Experts are predicting that the BoC will raise their interest rates by another two percent before the end of the year. For new home owners, and those already struggling to pay their monthly debt, this hike will have catastrophic effects. Serious first time home hunters must act fast if they hope to own their own property. They must establish a clear and viable financial plan to ensure that they will be able to afford their first home now and in the long term. The instability of the market during the first half of 2018 has added to the concerns of many financial experts and institutions. Stalled trade negotiations between Mexico, the US, and Canada spiked prices and put some industries on very shaky grounds. While the USMCA has finally been signed, stabilizing trade between the three North American countries, ongoing tensions between China, and European countries with the US is affecting prices here as well. Add other global instabilities and economic uncertainties and most Canadians are walking a very fine line when it comes to their home buying options. As the prices for products and services continue to skyrocket, so too do the prices for homes in most major cities. For first time shoppers, the prospects are even more treacherous because most people new to the real estate market do not have enough savings or assets to take on a huge financial obligation. Already, nearly one third of home buying hopefuls are being priced out of the inflated housing market. Bank of Canada Interest Increase For the last 15 months, the BoC has been steadily increasing their lending rates and all predictions indicate that the rates will continue to escalate more quickly than most experts initially predicted. The recent omission of the word “gradual” in the BoC reports has many experts worried that the increases are going to happen much faster than initially believed. For debt heavy Canadians, these rate increases are putting almost half of all homeowners into a financially perilous position. For first time home buyers, the risks are even higher. Most debt riddled prospects are already struggling to save the five percent down payment. Adding escalating interest rates will only make it more difficult for house hunters to buy their first home. Knowing that this trend will be continuing in the long term, those wanting to buy their first house need to act now if they want to see their dream of home ownership become a reality.

The Best Cocktails in London

Londoners love to drink, there’s no doubt about that. Whether you’re a college kid or a parent, going for a drink is a favourite pastime in the Forest City. While there’s definitely a time for beer and wine, sometimes a mixed drink is what you’re craving. Cocktails are endlessly versatile, each with their own flavour profile as you mix liquor, liqueurs, and various other ingredients. Sure, anyone can pour rum and coke into a glass with some accuracy and make a decent drink, but that’s just the first step into mixed drinks. Cocktails can be elevated with quality ingredients and professional crafting, just like with any fine dining. The restaurants and bars on this list employ bartenders that are masters of their craft, giving the world some of the best cocktails that you’ve ever tasted!

Craft Farmacy

Neighbourhood: Southcrest 449 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map)
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Cocktails at Craft Farmacy Craft Farmacy is one of London’s latest and greatest additions to the food industry. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking with the owners, Jess Jazey Spoelstra and Andrew Wolwowicz, in our Business of the Week series, so we can say with total assurance that these guys are the real deal. Craft Farmacy is currently London’s only Feast On certified restaurant, meaning that at least 80% of the products they serve are sourced locally, and that includes the spirits mixed into your cocktails. With 28 different brands of craft liquor available, over three quarters are distilled in Ontario, and the rest in Canada except for one – Black Cow Pure Milk Spirit, a vodka distilled from fresh whole milk. One of their biggest liquor suppliers is Dillon’s, a distillery in Beamsville, Ontario. Craft Farmacy carries eight different Dillon’s products, including five different gins, vodka, whisky, and absinthe. Craft Farmacy’s drink menu shifts with the seasons, as they use local ingredients. For instance, in the summer, you’ll find drinks like the “new fashion,” a modern take on the old fashioned, made of Dillon’s whisky, wild cherry vanilla bitters, and locally grown berries. With the fall comes drinks like the “strawberry sour,” a delicate and delicious blend of Dillon’s strawberry gin, Cointreau, and grapefruit soda – an excellent way to stay in the summer vibe even without the weather. Craft Farmacy also carries a plethora of craft beers and local wines to go along with your incredible meal if mixed drinks aren’t exactly your thing. As we said in our Business of the Week, Craft Farmacy is doing everything right. They take fantastic, local, and artisanal ingredients and somehow manage to elevate them even more when they’re put together at the expert hands of head chef/owner Andrew. Craft Farmacy should definitely be on the top of your list if you’re looking to grab a great drink alongside some great food.

Wolfe of Wortley

Neighbourhood: Old South 147 Wortley Rd. (map) https://www.wolfeofwortley.com/

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Cocktails at the Wolfe of Wortley The Wolfe of Wortley is a restaurant and bar in the heart of Wortley Village that has made a big splash since its opening in 2016. Its appearance boosted the modern and trendy feel of the quaint neighbourhood, pulling ever more Londoners to the stretch of Wortley Road. Wolfe of Wortley offers small plates and craft cocktails, priding themselves on quality and originality in everything they serve. Their menus, both food and drink, change with some regularity, always offering something fresh and delicious to its patrons. Cleverly named and just as cleverly designed, their signature cocktails range in price from #13-16, and for the quality you’re receiving in your beverage, it’s a steal. Their drinks are crafted to balance the strength of the liquor with sweet and acidic flavours to make the perfect cocktail. The menu consists of a mix of cocktails everyone knows and loves, like the bee’s knees and the Manhattan – although their Manhattan adds the extra element of smoke to give it extra depth of flavour, however there are also drinks that only a seasoned cocktail veteran would be familiar with. For instance, the “goombay smash,” a cocktail originating in the Bahamas, gives you a tropical feel while you’re sitting in southwestern Ontario, blending spiced and coconut rums with pineapple, orange, lime, and apricot brandy. Or perhaps you would enjoy a “mountain jam,” which includes two types of whisky – both scotch and bourbon – alongside yellow chartreuse (a French herbal liqueur), lemon, chamomile, and peach. And that’s only two of their cocktails! There are so many more to choose from. Or if you’re leaning away from mixed drinks and towards straight liquor, the Wolfe offers three different flights of whisky. For $20, you can sample three whiskies, totaling 2.25 ounces of liquor between the three glasses. It’s technically not a “cocktail” per se since there’s no mixing involved, but it’s definitely worth a mention. If you’re going to Wolfe of Wortley, the only issue will be picking one drink off the menu. It can’t be recommended to try all of them in one sitting as that would be incredibly irresponsible, but that just means you’ll have to make a few trips down to the Wolfe, which isn’t the worst way to spend your time.

NiteOwl Cocktail Lounge

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 580 Talbot St. (map)
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Cocktails at NiteOwl You may not have heard of the NiteOwl before, or maybe you thought it closed a while ago and was replaced by Rock Au Taco on Talbot Street (which was then replaced by an expansion of the Early Bird). You aren’t wrong in that case, but it didn’t disappear – it’s only hidden. Like the speakeasies of yesteryear, the entrance to NiteOwl hides down an alley, in this case, off of Albert Street, around the back of Los Lobos. If you see the glowing owl, you know you’re in the right spot. Do be warned, the owl is only lit on Fridays and Saturdays, meaning they are closed the other five days of the week. Once you’ve managed to find your way into NiteOwl, you’ll be treated with a large menu of cocktails, ranging from classic to unique, each handcrafted with the finest of ingredients. NiteOwl has all the cocktails you know and love. The old fashioned, the undeniable combination of whiskey and bitters. The bee’s knees, a floral and sweet concoction. Of course, no bar is complete without a martini, both gin and vodka, you can pick your poison. Their menu isn’t just the old familiars though, there are some incredible flavours that you’ll find at the NiteOwl that are likely unfamiliar and maybe even impossible to find elsewhere. The “ashes to ashes” balances sweet, tart, and smoke with a mixture of mezcal, lemon, and maple. Or take a chance with the “violet gentleman” a drink comprised of single malt scotch, lemon, honey, and crème de violet. You may notice some similarities with the Wolfe of Wortley menu, in which case you have a keen eye. Both the Wolfe and NiteOwl are part of the “Wolfe Pack,” a series of restaurants run by the Wolfe brothers, Justin and Gregg, who both have a serious passion for great food, awesome drinks, and stellar music. The bartender will be able to help with your choice if you need it, as their menu is large and most of the cocktails are potentially unfamiliar. The drinks at NiteOwl are refreshing, delicious, and strong (none are poured with less than two ounces of liquor). If you can find your way there, it’s definitely worth the adventure.

Hunter & Co.

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 349 Talbot St. (map) https://www.hunterco.ca/
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Cocktails at Hunter and Co Hunter & Co. is yet another newer restaurant that has popped into the London scene with an emphasis on great drinks to accompany equally delicious food. This downtown bar and restaurant offers small plates, oysters, and craft cocktails that will absolutely blow your mind. Whether it’s a classic cocktail you’re after or something with a modern twist, there’s absolutely no way to go wrong at Hunter & Co. With their dedication to fresh and local ingredients, their food and drink menu is constantly changing to keep with the harvesting seasons in surrounding areas. Your repeat trips to Hunter & Co. will never be dull as there’s almost always going to be something new on the menus for you to try out and definitely enjoy. One of the favourites at Hunter & Co. is the classic “dark and stormy,” a gorgeous blend of spiced rum and spicy ginger beer with a squeeze of lime juice just for good measure. The drink may be served over ice, but the ginger will warm your core so it’s great even on the chilly days of autumn. Hunter & Co. even has their own cocktail invented by their head bartender, Derek Estabro, called the “coups velo,” a red, foamy cocktail served in a coupe glass. The secrets of this mysterious drink are kept with its inventor, but he’s happy to share its story and ingredients if you ask, so we will leave it up to you to investigate for yourself on your next visit! If you host a private event at Hunter & Co., you can even have them create a custom cocktail for it! Give them as much input as you want and the expert bartenders will craft you something truly spectacular that hasn’t ever been on the menu. Whether it’s a personal twist on a classic cocktail or something entirely new, you and your guests are bound to be satisfied with the result.

Gnosh Dining + Cocktails

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 125 Dundas St. (map) https://www.gnoshdining.com/
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Cocktails at Gnosh
Gnosh Dining + Cocktails is the reinvention of the downtown London classic Blu Duby. Run by Joe Duby, the namesake of the former iteration of the restaurant, Gnosh promises the best in food and drink that you’ll be able to find downtown. Their new menu, an altered and updated version of Blu Duby’s, is a perfect balance of classy and casual. Their premium cocktail menu is tantalizing, offering a variety of delicious drinks that will definitely require a few trips to taste each and every one of them. With twists on classic cocktails, they breathe new life into the recipes you know and love. For instance, the cinnamon boulevardier adds the spice of cinnamon to the classic whisky, vermouth, and Campari cocktail. Another classic is the New York sour, which is a whiskey sour with a floater of red wine laid atop, creating a gradient the colours of sunset that is appealing to both the taste buds and the eyes. Gnosh may have a brand new face, but the team behind it has plenty of experience. When you put cocktail in the name, they’re staking their claim on having impeccable mixed drinks, and they don’t disappoint. Trust Gnosh with your dinner and drinks and you’re guaranteed to be satisfied by the end of your meal.

The Church Key Bistro-Pub

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 476 Richmond St. (map) https://thechurchkey.ca/
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Cocktails at the Church Key The Church Key is your destination if you’re in the mood for some premium pub grub and a great cocktail or a craft beer. The combination of great food and great drinks is undeniable, elevating both to an incredible degree. The Church Key’s casual style and top-quality food and drink make it perfect for any occasion as it feels both high class and relaxed simultaneously. The Church Key’s drink menu offers two twists on the Tom Collins, a classic gin beverage. Their Blueberry Collins switches out the gin for blueberry vodka, a splash of lime mix, soda, and a blueberry garnish. Meanwhile, the Lavender Collins is closer to the original, with the addition of a lavender syrup in lieu of sugar to add the sweetness element as well as a floral note to complement the gin. They’ve even got a winter sangria in the cold months, a drink typically relegated to the summer months. Their winter version uses autumnal flavours like star anise, apple, and cranberry with some usual sangria ingredients in a base of white wine. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a cocktail menu that accompanies their Sunday brunch. Accompany your duck confit or steak and eggs with your choice of five “breakfast bevies” as their menu calls them. The usual brunch drinks are present, like the mimosa, sangria and the Caesar, which are all excellent choices to be sure. They also offer the Pimm’s cup, an ounce of Pimm’s No. 1, ginger ale, lemon juice, and a slice of cucumber, and the “key royale,” a mixture of Spanish sparkling wine and Chambord, a raspberry liqueur. Your brunch will never be dull with any one of these drinks in your hand as you eat.

Huron
College

Huron College, also known as Huron University College, is one of the three affiliate university colleges to the Western University in the city of London, Ontario. In addition, it is also practically the founding college of the University of Western Ontario upon its inception (the name change to Western University has come in recent years). While its original purpose was toward the study of theology, Huron College has branched out from the training of priests to being a watchword in liberal arts education, with a dedication toward small class sizes, highly rated faculty, and a more individual sense of attention than students receive on the main Western campus. Huron College

History

Huron College’s history begins in 1857. The growth of both population and industry in southwestern Ontario had led the Anglican Church of Canada to create a new diocese, the Diocese of Huron. Since 1839, the area on the Ontario peninsula between Lake Huron and Lake Erie had been part of the Diocese of Toronto, but times were changing and the creation of the Diocese of Huron in 1857 generated new needs. Among these needs were trained, qualified clergymen to fulfill the various positions in churches throughout the Diocese. Bishop Benjamin Cronyn, the founding Bishop for the Diocese of Huron, would go on to open over 100 churches during his reign and the need for trained men of God never ceased. There existed in the city of Toronto a school of theology at Trinity College, but Bishop Cronyn was deeply unhappy with the quality of clergymen that school produced. He felt that Trinity College produced men who were too steeped in the “high church” tradition that in a sense combined Anglican and Catholic doctrine. Bishop Cronyn wanted men trained in a much more populist, “low church” tradition – men of God and of the people, as it were – and this led him to explore opening his own school of theology to train men as he saw fit. In 1861, the Privy Council of the U.K. (then the highest court of appeal for the colonies, including Canada) reached a decision in the case Long v. Gray. Without going over the gory details, Long v. Grey (and a similar case, Colenso v. Gray (1866)), established that Anglican churches and church organizations in self-governing colonies of the British Empire were themselves self-governing colonies, and were thus free of the influence of both he Church of England and the British Crown. The Anglican Church of Canada, and the individual Dioceses, thus found themselves in the position where they could implement new programs and projects without having to go at length to seek the approval of both Church and State in far-off England. Bishop Cronyn, seizing the opportunity, presented his case before the Synod (the church’s legislative body) in 1862. Of course, founding a new school requires money and other resources, which in the latter days of the 19th Century meant reaching out to Britain to find backers. To this end, Bishop Cronyn enlisted the help of Dr. Isaac Hellmuth, recently of the Colonial and Continental Church Society, to track down the necessary money and resources from his contacts across the Atlantic. Named Principal of the yet-unestablished Huron College in September of 1862, Dr. Hellmuth got to work. In Alfred Peache he found a wealthy clergyman who was willing to put up 5000 Pounds as an endowment for the Peache Chair in Divinity; the gift paid Dr. Hellmuth’s salary for many years. The condition attached to this endowment was that Huron College was to be “avowedly for the training of students in the Protestant and Evangelical principles of the Articles of the Church.” For a long period of time the Huron College Principal was also required to be the Peache Chair; that restriction was lifted after the Second World War but the Peache Chair can still be found, now the Peache Professor of Divinity, in Huron College’s Faculty of Theology. With the money and the purpose in place, the path was forged for Bishop Cronyn and Dr. Hellmuth to get their college founded. On May 5th, 1863, legislation titled An Act To Incorporate Huron College was given Royal Assent and became the founding document of Huron College. The Corporation of Huron College would consist of the Bishop of Huron, and a council of at least three; the first council was appointed by Bishop Cronyn. Months later, on December 2nd, 1863, Huron College was officially opened; 400 people attended the opening ceremonies and the two-hour inaugural address was delivered by C.P. McIlvaine, the Bishop of Ohio. Classes began a month later, on January 9th, 1864. In order to qualify for admission into Huron College, prospective students were tested on Greek and Latin grammar, as well as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Once students passed their qualifying exams, they were required to sign a document stating that they would study with due diligence and follow all the laws of the College. Tuition, at the time of Huron College’s foundation, was $40 for the year; one would be hard-pressed to find parking there for that price today. That $40 covered classes, as well as room, winter fuel, and admission to the library. Food, furniture, and the uniform (a black cap and gown) were extra. The original home for Huron College was at Rough Park, an area bordered by St. George Street, St. James Street, Grosvenor Street, and the Thames River. The 14 acres that originally comprised Huron College were purchased from the estate of local hardware magnate Lionel Ridout for $12,130; in addition, the Principal’s residence was named the Ridout House. Additions were made for student residences, lecture rooms, and spaces for housekeeping staff. This home for Huron College would last until 1951, when the new Huron College grounds were dedicated. Once they’d gotten the knack of running a college, the administration of Huron College wanted to try their hand at running a University. In February of 1877, the faculty and alumni of Huron College met to hammer out some plans, and in March of 1878 the province of Ontario formally granted a University charter to The Western University of London, Ontario. As a founding college of The Western University, Huron College merged their finances with the University and moved everything down to Dufferin College, which had been until then Hellmuth Boy’s College. Their incorporation into being a University expanded the program offered to students from being strictly that of theology to including a liberal arts education. Classes at The Western University began in October of 1881. The beginning of Huron College’s affiliation was rocky. When the University ran out of money to maintain the Faculty of Arts in 1885, Huron stopped being affiliated and considered affiliating with the University of Toronto instead. In 1895, though, the Faculty of Arts was revived and Huron was once again affiliated with the University. Even still, Huron College bore the greatest part of the financial burden for the University; Huron offered its spaces for the arts program and shared its faculty, often free of charge. In 1908, however, the administration of the University passed from the Anglican Church to an administrative board without religious affiliation. This allowed it to qualify for funding from several different levels of government, freeing Huron from the need to spend its operating capital funding two separate enterprises. During this period of financial trouble Huron College continued to try to expand their operations. Huron College Principal Miller opened Huron College School, a preparatory school for students of good character. It opened in the autumn of 1893 with a great deal of excited buzz; the reality was less extraordinary, though. The prep school only attracted half of the students that they needed to sustain the place, making it an unacceptable burden when Huron College was more or less paying to keep The Western University open. At the same time, the conduct of the prep school’s students came into question, with complaints about them tying up the telephone and interrupting studies to shoot at birds. You can find similar complaints about students on social media today, of course, but it added to the burden that the prep school placed on Huron College. After the end of classes in 1895 Huron paid out the prep school’s headmaster and closed the school.

Into The 20th Century

The transfer of the cost of the University’s administration from the Anglican Church and Huron College to the provincial and municipal government freed up the College to pursue growth and expansion. Having decided that affiliation with the University meant the need to relocate to a position closer to the actual grounds of the University, a major search for adequate new lands was undertaken. The College Council formally heard these wishes in March of 1932 and approved. By Christmas of 1932 that new land had been found. The Huron College Council purchased 41 acres along Western Road that had been until then known as the Magee Property. This property, facing the existing Western University buildings, brought Huron College into the close proximity befitting its affiliation. The Council’s purchase of the property set them to work to design a new, contemporary campus for Huron College. In May of 1934, O. Roy Moore’s design was shown off to the public with a great deal of hoopla. As it turned out, however, the design was perhaps a bit more over-the-top than Huron could manage at that time. It was the middle of the Great Depression, after all, and $250,000 in 1934 (approximately $4.7 million today) was nothing to sneeze at. Where did all the cost come from? Moore’s design was ambitious, to say the least. It was planned to be three stories tall, with a complete basement, a tower constructed from reinforced concrete, and a Gothic brick façade. Unfortunately, being a religious institution, the provincial and municipal governments of the day were unwilling to fund the expansion, and without a ready source of funding for the design it never saw the light of day. Moore’s second design, released in 1938, was more modest and in line with the times, and is the design that Huron College bears to this day. Construction of Huron College’s new space began around the time the Second World War broke out and continued sporadically throughout the war years. After 1945 efforts ramped up, and by the middle of 1951 the construction of the campus had been completed. On November 8th, 1951, the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist – still a beautiful sight on the west side of Western Road – was dedicated. The following day, November 9th, Huron College’s new campus was officially opened in an ceremony led by John Lyons, Archbishop of Ontario, which was broadcast across the country. It was reported at the time that 3,000 people attended Archbishop Lyons’ opening ceremonies, with another 2,000 gathered outside because they could not fit into the building.

Education and the Post-War World

Before the Second World War, Ontario had been mired in the Great Depression; education was at a premium and was only really for those who could afford it through family grants or through other independent means of wealth. The end of the Second World War, and the flood of young men returning from war with ideas and expectations, led to a boom in the demand for education in the West. Ontario was certainly no exception. The clamour for new educational programs led to the creation of the Bachelor of Arts degree program at Huron College in 1956. Previous to this, degree programs at Huron were offered in English, French, History, and Philosophy, as well as theological training. The Bachelor of Arts program was highly successful; in 1974 the Faculty of Arts that oversaw the degree program became the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, which today offers a plethora of degree options within the umbrella of Arts and Social Science. Shortly thereafter, Huron College received a new legislative purpose. On March 27th, 1958, The Huron College Act of 1958 received Royal Assent. This act laid out Huron College as a formal Arts and Theological College and reworked the governing structure into the framework that it operates under today. Out went the old Huron College Council. Replacing it were three institutional governing bodies: the Corporation, the Executive Board, and the Academic Council. Of these, the Executive Board had full power to appoint and dismiss the Huron College Principal and was no longer bound to the decisions of the Peache Trust, which had devolved to Dr. Hellmuth’s old Colonial and Continental Church Society. Even as the College’s new official mandate changed the operation of the institution, society was waiting to change its daily life as well. On August 27th, 1957 the London Free Press reported that Marianne Chalk of Toronto was the first student to register at Huron College’s brand new women’s residence. Ms. Chalk had been a student at the University of Toronto before transferring to Huron College to complete her arts degree; she was in a class of 12 women, the first such class to ever attend Huron College. The official opening of the women’s residence happened on October 19th, 1963; this was Hellmuth Hall. Helmuth Hall provided on-campus housing for 82 women, plus a full apartment for the Women’s Warden. The inclusion of women into campus life at Huron College was not entirely smooth; this, in retrospect, was to be expected, given the upheaval of the time and the religious nature of the institution. Two places were especially contentious for this changeover: eating areas and (naturally) sleeping areas. The campus snack bar was, when women first came to Huron College in the late 1950s, entirely run by the students. While this was a shining example of Huron students’ can-do spirit and sense of entrepreneurship, it ran into problems when it was decreed that women could only come into the Snack Bar between 9 and 9:30 PM on weeknights. Furthermore, when this restriction inevitably caused upheaval, the initial idea was to construct a completely separate snack bar just for women. By the early 1960s, mindful of public relations issues and issues of inherent fairness, the administration of Huron College took control of the snack bar and loosened the restrictions on it. That place – called Mary’s Snack Bar – was a Huron College fixture until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by the current Dining Hall. As an aside, when Western’s parking lots are full and you have to park at Huron College instead, Huron’s Dining Hall makes an excellent and convenient place to grab a snack. In addition to dining issues, the temper of the times led to wrangling over residence issues. Curfews and visiting hours were a major area of concerns for staff and students. Generally speaking, members of the opposite sex were not allowed in a residence unless it was what was termed, for the 1950s and 1960s, Open House. Open House was a designated time when men and women were allowed to visit each other in-residence. Even then, the disparity of experience between men and women was marked. For the first few years Open House at Hellmuth Hall was only held on three Sundays per year, from 12:30 to 5:30 PM. In addition to this, women in the beginning were not allowed to eat meals with men in the Refectory. For the first several years a trolley brought meals to their own dining room, which was located in the basement of Hellmuth Hall. Even as the general liberalization of social mores occurred over the course of the next few decades, the religious origins of Huron College lingered. Huron residences did not become co-ed until 1998.

Huron College In The 21st Century

Huron College - 21st Century Classes The growth of Huron College has followed suit alongside that of Western University. The name Huron College was officially expanded to Huron University College in 2000, to better represent their perceived position with regard to the University system as a whole. Today they offer classes to 1300 students, embedded into the overall system of Western University. Most of those students are enrolled in a degree program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, but Huron still maintains the Faculty of Theology, fulfilling its original mandate to provide a well-rounded theological education to the future clergy of the Anglican Church. Every degree program offered at Huron is interesting in its own right, but there are three that should be highlighted in order to demonstrate the academic achievements inherent in a Huron College education. In 2008 the Macleans University Student issue found Huron College ranked at the very top for supportive campus environment, as well as overall student experience. That experience is based on their involvement and engagement with the specialized degree offerings Huron has, of which the following are arguably the most interesting.

Cutting Edge Learning

The Centre For Global Studies is really an umbrella heading for five separate degree streams: Globalization Studies, Global Development Studies, Global Culture Studies, Global Gender Studies, and Global Health Studies. These are designed to be five entry points for studies of global relations: “those that lead to understanding and addressing global inequalities; those that explore the global interrelations and conflicts of communities and their respective interests; those that reflect on the ideas and cultural expressions that structure the global; those that investigate the establishment and experience of gender within the global; and those that generate a broad perspective on issues relating to global health.” The Centre For Global Studies shies away from being a typical academic department such that you would find at any other University. The emphasis for the Centre is on being a site for interdisciplinary studies and critical engagement. Its philosophy is that there’s one world, and the way in which we approach out understanding of that world will colour our perceptions of it, and affect the data that we gather from it. So it’s not just an amalgamation of politics, economics, history, society, culture, religion, ethnicity, and geography (although it is that), but it’s also a program that aims to get students to critically understand why they gather the data and form the ideas that they do. Learning about the globe is here both macro and micro: it involves learning about the globe, yes, but it also involves learning about the self, and, importantly, how the two interact. The Centre provides this through rigorous application of personally relevant material, strong training in academic research methods, and learning opportunities that reach outside the University and across the disciplinary aisle. Huron College’s new major in Governance, Leadership, and Ethics is also a highly interesting, cutting-edge new degree program. An offshoot of the Political Science department of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, the program in Governance, Leadership, and Ethics is meant to allow students to understand the full scope of issues and challenges that are inherent in modern global governance. Part of this is learning to develop the sort of knowledge and skills to provide global-level leadership in a way that is inclusive, accountable, and effective. Like the Centre for Global Studies, the degree in Governance, Leadership, and Ethics is an interdisciplinary program that combines aspects of Political Science, Management & Organizational Studies, History, and Philosophy. Students are introduced to theories and models of governance in the modern global environment, and get a chance to view how those theories are practically implemented in both public and private settings in a variety of settings. Students are also shown theories behind principled leadership; this involves the process flow of making decisions and evaluating the effect of those decisions, including aspects of power, influence, the roles of followers, and the mitigating influences of citizenship. The degree program is finished with a final-year project that involves a major research component, which could take the form of a reading course, thesis, or even a community engagement project finalized with a written report. Huron’s department of Management And Organizational Studies is somewhat similar to programs offered at other Universities (including at the main Western University campus itself). The Huron difference, though, is the combination of focused degree paths with a push toward experiential and community-based learning opportunities. So while students will organize into typical degree paths (Accounting, Finance and Administration, Organizational Studies, Policy and Ethics, and Management and Organizational Studies), their classroom studies are embedded into a real-life learning system that prepares them for real-world scenarios. Included in this is a requirement to understand the statistics that underlie decision-making paths and organizations, as well as an understanding of how business and government interact and interrelate from a policy perspective. Besides the cutting-edge 21st Century course design in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, of course, there is the Faculty of Theology, still going as strongly today as it was when the College was first founded. One difference, though, is that the Faculty of Theology is no longer solely for the training of clergypersons. The Faculty itself states that “even if you’re not religious yourself, studying religion can help you understand the complex world we live in – since only 16% of the global population is religiously unaffiliated.” To this end, the Faculty of Theology has a major in Religion & Theology with focused paths that move beyond the Anglican Protestant roots of the College into the various popular religions of the world. For those wishing to go further and integrate their skills and knowledge with religious administration, Huron College offers a Masters degree in Theological Studies, with concentrations in Biblical Studies, Ethics, Comparative Religion, Congregational Ministry, Pastoral Advising, and Public Service. For those who wish to follow the original path laid out by the College’s founders, Huron College still offers the Master of Divinity degree path. This program prepares the enrolled student for life as a minister, specifically in the Anglican Church, although they will accept students from any denominational background looking to be educated in the details of the Anglican faith. In keeping with this inclusive ideal, and with the global focus from the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, one of the requirements of the Master of Divinity program is a Transcultural Learning Experience. This out-in-the-community educational experience has taken students all over the globe, and Huron College makes a point of mentioning that there is funding available for travel and accommodation, where it may be necessary for the individual student. The Transcultural Learning Experience gives the student of theology access to the lived experience of the community they wish to integrate in, it exposes them to different expressions of faith, community, and worship than their own, and it gives the student some global context to bring into their own ministry with regard to themselves and their congregation. In addition to undergraduate and graduate level degree programs in the Faculty of Theology, the faculty also operate the Centre For Public Theology, a university research centre established through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for small universities. The Centre For Public Theology aims to “promote research and reflection,” and to connect the philosophy and spiritual thinking inherent in the Faculty of Theology to public life in the Canadian community. It is in a sense a foundation dedicated to applied theology. Huron College Huron College is the oldest post-secondary institution in London, Ontario, beating out the formation of Western University by several years. Beginning as an institution dedicated specifically to the study of Anglican theology, the addition of a Faculty of Arts led to a period of strength and sustained growth. That growth led the administration of Huron College to try their hand at opening a university, paving the way for the University of Western Ontario (now known as Western University). Today the College offers spaces for 1200 students, priding themselves on providing a small instructor-to-student ratio for a more enriched educational experience. In addition to the Faculty of Theology, operating under a similar mandate to the original vision of the College, the Faculty of Arts and Social Science offers a well-rounded liberal arts education. With an emphasis on applying real-world knowledge to the global environment, Huron College focuses on cutting-edge educational delivery to combine the latest theories with practical applications.

Western
University

Western University Has Been Positively Impacting Our World’s Future Since 1878

Western University People come from all over the world to attend the University of Western Ontario, and London is incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic educational institution in our city. Western brings a vibrant and booming culture to our great city, and of course it’s also great for our economy. Students fill up our downtown nightlife, and rental properties overflow with studying people who will be the next leaders of our world cramming for the next exam. Cafes get clogged with stressed out university students as exam time approaches and then the city seems to stand still during the dead quiet of exams. Malls, restaurants, and entertainment places burst at the seams during the breaks as students let loose and get away from the stress. London Ontario is proud to be home to a top ranking University. It’s ranked in the top 10 of Canada, top 100 of North America, and top 200 in the world, which is incredible when you think that there are over 2800,000 to compare it to. It hosts 4,300 International students from 127 different countries, and is an incredibly diverse and inclusive school. The University of Western Ontario has helped establish an identity for London, as a university city, and we embrace it with both arms. Western has so many options available for those who want to receive higher education. Whether you’re looking for a big, loud, fully loaded university experience, or are looking for smaller class sizes and more focused education, the University of Western Ontario has something for you. It’s a place that is full of students, staff, and faculty with so many different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles that you’re sure to find a place where you belong within the beautiful and large campus. Western is located in the Masonville neighborhood of London, Ontario. It brings in people from all over the world who want to study at a university that believes in providing the best experience possible for their students and creating a learning environment that is respectful and focused on success. Western has a rich history and is truly an incredible school when you dive deep and take a look at the past, the present, and the future of Western University. Everything that Western stands for, its rich history, the things that it has contributed to the world and to London, Ontario, and everything that it provides for its students makes it an incredible educational institution that is setting our future up for success.

Beliefs

Western University - Beliefs The University of Western Ontario states this as their mission: Western creates, disseminates and applies knowledge for the benefit of society through excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Our graduates will be global citizens whose education and leadership will serve the public good. The Vision for the University of Western Ontario is as follows: Western will be a destination of choice for the world’s brightest minds seeking the best learning experience at a leading Canadian research university. Western has been and always will be a leader in research, as they are constantly pushing the boundaries and transforming learning.

History

Western University - History The University of Western Ontario has been part of London’s rich history since March 7th, 1878 when it was founded by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth. In 1881 The Western University of London Ontario (which is what it was named at the time) opened up to students. At that time it only had four faculties: Arts, Divinity, Law, and Medicine. The first class graduated in 1883. Ever since then the University has been a booming learning center for people who wish to pursue higher education. The Kingsmill family purchased the current campus in 1916. The Western University of London Ontario was renamed to The University of Western Ontario in 1923, and is still known by that name today, although most people just refer to it as “Western”. Interestingly, in 1920 Sir Frederick Banting was sleeping at Western University when he woke up and wrote down the 25 words that led to the discovery of insulin. Dr. Helen Battle joined Western’s Zoology department as an Assistant Professor in 1928. She was the first woman in Canada to earn a PhD in marine biology. She went on to become an award-winning teacher and researcher in her 40-year career. The first French Immersion program in Canada, which still continues today, was established at Western in 1932. Ivan Smith continued on the tradition of incredible discoveries happening at Western University when, in 1951, he developed the very first ‘cobalt bomb’ in the world, which helps to treat cancer. This discovery meant that the cure rate for cervical cancer went from 25 percent up to 75 per cent. The University of Western Ontario has been a leader in wind engineering since 1965. Western opened the WindEEE Dome research facility and tests incredible structures, such as the World Trade Center, Sears Tower, and Jakara Tower. Western University pushed innovation recently wehn Dr. Chil-Yong Kang received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration to start human clinical trials from an HIV vaccine that the Dr developed at Western in 2012. These trails were the first of their kind, proving that Western is a leader in medical advancement. Today, The University of Western Ontario has over 36,000 students, three affiliated university colleges, 12 faculties (Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Information & Media Studies, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Music, Science, and Social Science), and over 400 specializations, majors and minors.

Initiatives

The University of Western Ontario is committed to being an educational institution that gives back to its community, its staff, its faculty and its students. The university is committed to giving everyone who wants higher education the chance to have a positive learning experience. Because of this, the university has five main initiatives that it has committed to. Western University - Initiatives

Mental Wellbeing

As an innovator and leader in the medical field, Western University understands the importance of mental wellness. It offers a wide variety of counselling services, such as grief counselling, group counselling and individual counselling. Western also offers their students, faculty, and staff multiple mental health resources.

Accessibility

Western University believes in being accessible and barrier free to any and everyone who wants to pursue an education, visit, or career at the University of Western Ontario. Because of that, there are services, groups, and committees dedicated to ensuring that all people have equal access to any and all services and facilities that they need. Student Accessibility Services are there to ensure that all academic programs are accessible for all students, both graduate and undergraduate. They will help to make arrangement for class,  internship and exam accommodations. The Student Accessibility Services will also provide things like digital textbooks, Braille textbooks, campus transportation and learning strategy instructions for any students with disabilities that need it. Western also has computer labs with assistive technology. For employees at Western University, Rehabilitation Services has three consultants to help minimize the impact that disability can have throughout the organization and promote health and wellness. Those consultants consist of an Ergonomic and Return to Work Consultant, an Ergonomics Consultant and a Wellness Coordinator. They can help facilitate with sick leave, long-term disability, and can help with the transition back into work, when the time comes.

Safe Campus

One of Western’s main initiatives is to create a learning environment that is safe and respectful. The Safe Campus Community is made up campus partners who offer resources and services to all members, both students, staff and faculty of the University in order to keep the campus safe. Promoting and maintaining a safe and respectful working and learning environment at Western is a shared responsibility. The Safe Campus Community is an initiative of campus partners offering services and resources to members of the University community focused on keeping our campus safe. Western looks at creating a safe campus by tackling these 5 issues: Environmental Safety, Physical Safety, Emotional Safety, Cyber Safety, and Sexual Violence Safety.

Environmental

Western has members on campus that are equipped with the resources needed to create a culture of safe and healthy environment. They help everyone to understand how to prevent accidents on campus, and keep the campus safe for all to work and learn.

Cyber

Western has resources and services available to to ensure that online information and resources are kept safe. Some of those services includes information about known phishing attempts on campus, CyberSmart information to help you learn how to keep your computer safe and your valuable information is protected, Information Security Reference Tool that helps everyone understand information security awareness and protections, and the Information Technology Services, which supports that campus community.

Physical

Western is dedicated to having a campus is free of violence for all. The Campus Community Police Service go on patrols, respond to incidents, have crime prevention, fire safety, and emergency management services for everyone on campus. Being Aware is a resource that has tips for personal and community safety. Crime Alerts are used by Campus Police to inform  members of the campus community about issues and situations that could affect personal safety. The Work Safe Program is a great program for anyone who is studying or working late on campus. The program is totally free, and anyone can register. Once you register you can establish check in times. If within five minutes after the check in time you have not called to check in, police will be sent to check on your welfare. Western Foot Patrol is another great program for physical safety on the campus. They have co-ed teams made up of one male and one female. Any time someone wishes to be escorted to their car, or the bus stop, or to wait for a ride, they can connect with Western Foot Patrol and request an escort team. This is really great for those late night study sessions. They also patrol the campus for safety. The Student Emergency Response Team can provide first-aid response to anyone on campus that needs it.

Emotional

Western promotes a campus that is free of harassment and discrimination by providing services, tools, and resources that help to make a campus that thrives on a culture of respect. These services and resources include: Mental Health @ Western, Equity & Human Rights Services, Student Development Centres, Student Health Services, Indigenous Services, Office of the Ombudsperson, and the Affiliate Colleges Harassment & Discrimination Services.

Sexual Violence

Western University will not stand for sexual violence and will certainly not tolerate it. The University of Western Ontario has a Policy on Sexual Violence, as well as procedures on how to respond to sexual violence, how to support victims and members of the campus community, and are committed to those things, no matter where the incident of sexual violence has occurred.

Sustainability

The University of Western Ontario has woven sustainability into multiple facets of everyday life on campus. Promoting and educating on sustainability is an integral part to their main initiatives. They do this by incorporating responsible practices in all areas of the University. They believe in minimizing their impact on the environment and being a helpful part of the London Community. The next global leaders are sitting in University classes today, and as an educational institution, Western wants to give students the knowledge, tools, and habits that are so essential to making sure that we’re creating a sustainable future. Since Western is an incredible research facility, they’re also committed to researching and discovering solutions for the most pressing issues that is impacting our world environmentally. Western wants to make sure that our great earth is healthy and stays healthy for its citizens to enjoy for years and years to come.

Accountability

Openness and transparency in all operations is one of Western’s biggest foundations. As an institution of education, they feel that they are accountable to the people of Ontario and Canada. They take tremendous efforts to ensure that they are providing information and insights into the practices and activities. They monitor their performances in all areas that they serve. Western makes their Strategic Plans, which outline the University’s vision, mission, and goals, public knowledge and is one tool that they use to stay accountable to the public. Their annual publication, Performance and Activities Indicators Report, is another tool that they use to stay accountable.

Campus Life

The student experience is more than just what you learn in the classroom. At the University of Western Ontario, students get the opportunity to enjoy a rich and fulfilling student experience. There are many benefits to being a Western student. From clubs and organizations to the amenities offered on campus, there are a lot of great reasons to feel Western Mustang Pride. Western University - Campus Life

Arts & Culture

Western University is steeped in Arts and Culture. From galleries, theatres, auditoriums, and performance centers, Western has so many places for students to connect with and interact with art.

Galleries

Artlab Gallery is such an integral component of the Department of Visual Arts. It’s a visually intriguing gallery that focuses on pieces and projects that are responses to social and cultural issues. The gallery includes visual art in a wide range of mediums. The McIntosh Gallery is a university-based public art gallery, whose purpose is to present and dive into the more advanced research and practices in both art history and visual art. It’s a gallery that is meant for teaching and research nad is meant to serve the students, the faculty, as well as the London community. They use exhibitions, educational programs and special events to promote innovative projects and engagement with visual art and artists.

Performance Centres

The Paul Davenport Theatre (which used to be called the Talbot Theatre) has more than 200 performances each year. These performances range from instrumental concerts and opera to renowned guest artist performances and the lively routines of local dance troops. More than 32,000 people attend the performances in this 400-seat theatre. The von Kuster Hall was named to honor the very first dean of the Faculty of Music, Clifford von Kuster. This hall is mostly used for chamber music and small ensembles. It’s also often used for undergraduate and graduate credit recitals. The hall has also been praised for its use as a recording venue. The Spoke and The Wave host incredible musical events throughout the year. From country nights, to Battle of the Bands, students are able to catch live musical performances at their favorite hangouts.

Auditoriums and Theatres

McKellar Room, UCC is the University’s movie theatre. They have a fully operational snack bar, including fresh and daily made popcorn, nachos, and ice cold slushies, with prices that won’t empty out your bank account, unlike regular theatres, and have cheap ticket prices as well. Althouse Auditorium functions throughout the academic year as an instructional space, but is also used for dance troops, theatrical performances, concerts, and variety shows when it’s not needed for learning. Western University - Campus Life - Auditoriums and Theatres

Athletics & Recreation

Wellness, athletics, and physical recreation is an integral part of campus life. Because of this, Western University is fully equipped with many ways for students to stay healthy, get fit, de-stress, and relax and unwind from the pressures of student life. The Student Recreation Centre is a state-of-the-art facility to give the best student experience possible. It has an aquatic facility, which includes a 50-meter pool, which has 8 swimming lanes and a diving board. There is an accessibility lift into the pool so that no students are excluded. The Recreation Centre also has a fitness center which has cardio equipments, stretching space, and a weight area as well. There are over 200 pieces of equipment in this 19,000 square-foot space. There are also five gymnasia within the Recreation Centre, three of which have sprung hardwood flooring, whereas the other two have poured athletic resilient flooring. These gyms are multi-purpose use. The lounge space within the Recreation Centre is a place for students to relax and unwind. It has wifi and table tennis. The multi-purpose studios are great for dancing, as they have sprung hardwood flooring, dance barres, mirrors, and millwork benches. The Recreation Centre also has five squash courts and a wellness suite. The wellness suite is a private area that has massage tables, hand sinks, and a small reception space. Of course you cannot talk about Athletics at Western without talking about the Western Mustangs. The games are a great way for students to show their Western Pride and enjoy  much-needed breaks from studying. The Mustangs make the University proud by winning trophies and awards and have been since 1878.

Career Services

The University of Western Ontario wants all of their students to succeed in life beyond the university walls. Because of this, there are so many opportunities, support services, and information that students are given access to. One of the amazing support services offered to Western students is the Student Success Centre, which helps to facilitate and develop personal and career growth. They offer career counseling, career exploration, events and workshops, career fairs, daily drop-in resume centers, interview preparation, and even networking help. They’ll help you figure out what career path is the best fit for you, and then help you develop the tools needed to get there. Western also has the Career Central, which is an online career portal that gives students the resources and tools that they’ll need when searching for and developing skills for their future careers. They also have their HireWesternU campaign where they work hard to show potential employers the benefits of hiring a Western graduate. Lastly, there are a lot of options and opportunities for students to find jobs and careers working at Western University.

Clubs & Associations

Western Ontario offers students a large variety of different clubs and associations. In fact, there are over 180 different clubs, which means that there is something for everyone to belong to.

Computer Support

Western Technology Services makes getting online and getting help for any kind of technology issue fast and easy. There are resources available for those who need to learn how to keep their identity and information safe. There is also a drop in counter, and help by phone for students having technical issues. Western University - Computer Support

Diversity

Western believes that any and all people should have access to higher education, if they wish to pursue it. Not only that, but any student should have the right to an inclusive and and respectful campus and learning experience. Because of this, there are multiple clubs, organizations, policies and services were specifically created to support a rich and diverse student body. Everyone is welcomed at Western, period.

Food & Dining

Students need to be well fueled in order to survive the stressful and busy university lifestyle. Because of that, there are over 28 different eateries on campus, scattered throughout 12 different buildings. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a quick, fresh bite to grab on the run or if you’re looking for a place to relax and eat while you decompress from your day, or if you’re looking for a more formal atmosphere for a business lunch, you’re going to find what you need right on campus. And, of course, Western has high standards for the quality of food that they serve their students, so you’re going to be eating well at Western. The Green Leaf Cafe in the Somerville House at Western is an amazing dining option. They provide incredible food in a sustainable manner. They support local farmers and growers, so you know that you’re going to get the freshest and best ingredients there. They even have eight honey bee hives right there on campus, so you can buy local and unpasteurized honey in the cafe. The Grad Club is known for it’s amazing lager beer, and for new graduates drinking from “the goblet”, which is a long-standing tradition. It has amazing meals, and fun social nights, such as Trivia Tuesdays, and Wednesday night Board Game Nights and Paint Nite. Of course no Western experience is complete without grabbing a bite to eat at both The Spoke and The Wave, which are quintessential dining experiences for students. For residence dining, you’re going to get delicious food on a six week menu rotation, so you’re not going to get bored of the same old food all the time. Also, there is something for everyone, including vegan and gluten-free options.

Health & Wellness

The health and wellness of students is a very important part of campus life. Student Health Services provides medical care, counselling and psychiatry, birth control information, allergy injections and immunizations, and sexually transmitted disease testing. The medical care includes assessment and treatment for urgent issues as well as booking for non-urgent issues. Students are welcomed to ask for a specific gender in their doctor if that would make them feel more comfortable. There is a pharmacy on site as well. Health and Wellness goes beyond physical care, so Western also offers counselling services, as well as multiple mental health resources and tools. They also offer crisis contact information for those who need help right away. Western University - Academics

Family Support

Western is a University that believes in higher education for anyone who wants that, which includes those with children. There are breastfeeding station and baby change tables throughout the campus for those who need it. There is University Childcare available, both full  and part time, for those who need it. UCC Flexible Childcare is another option for those with children. Western knows that those with kids need the ability to relax and unwind just as much as those without, so there are different events year-round that are family friendly, including the Western Mustang Kids Club, summer and March break camp, concerts, and stargazing in the observatory.

Safety & Police

Safety is of the utmost importance at the University of Western Ontario. They have the Campus Police to keep staff, faculty, and students safe. There is also Fire Safety and Emergency Management to keep the campus and everyone on it safe and sound. The Student Emergency Response Team are responders that provide event coverage and are First Aid Certified. They’re able to respond in emergency situations as well.

Shopping & Retail

Everything from Western swag to books for your courses are available on Campus in the different shops. The Bookstore, Campus Computer Store, Books Plus, The Purple Store, and Graphic Services is there for students to find what they need throughout their time on campus.

Transportation & Parking

With such a large campus and multiple building, Western has plenty of parking lots available for its staff, faculty and students. Not only that, but there are multiple LTC buses that go throughout the campus, making public transportation an easy choice for students. There are shuttle buses that is completely free to students that can take you around campus and to the sister university colleges.

Academics

Western University - Academics The University of Western Ontario is a renowned and large university that is dedicated to providing students with the best learning experience possible. They have more than 400 combinations of majors, minors, and specializations, which gives students an incredible array of options for where they want their studies to take them, and where they want their careers to go. Western is committed to hiring the best faculty to give their students an incredible experience. In terms of programs, they offer more than 90 undergraduate, 70 master’s, and 50 docrotal. They also offer continuing studies programs, distance studies programs, and exchange programs so that students can get the best choice for their learning experience. Western has three affiliated university colleges: Brescia, Huron, and Kings. These affiliated colleges allow for unique learning experiences, while also giving Western-quality education. Any main campus Western students are able to take courses offered at affiliated colleges, and visa versa. Western has incredible teaching hospitals that provide both for the community and for those who are entering into the medical field to learn from. There are also incredible research institutes that Western University is connected with as well, including Robarts Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, London Regional Cancer Program, and Children’s Health Research Institute.

10 Fall Decorating Ideas for Your Home

Autumn is, without question, one of the most beautiful times of year. The natural changes and vibrant colours create a rich palate of breathtaking art scapes in and around the city.  It is no wonder then, that many homeowners want to embrace the glorious seasonal changes by incorporating fall decorating ideas into their home’s style. As the temperatures cool, and the holiday dates quickly approach, people are starting to plan their family gatherings, dinner parties, and other annual celebrations. Decorating your home with fall specific decorations to the interior and exterior of your home will create a naturally warm and inviting place for your family and friends to gather.   Today, there are countless man-made and natural autumn decoration products available to help you create your own personalized look in and around your home. Whether you are enhancing the exterior of your place or brightening up the interior, there are plenty of choices to suit everyone’s taste and theme. Whether you are a first time homebuyer or are a seasoned owner looking for fresh fall decorating ideas, these top trends will help you give your areas a touch of the season’s natural beauty.

Exterior Your Home

Creating a visually attractive exterior should be one of the initial places you focus on in your home fall décor ideas. The front entranceway is the first area people will see when passing by your property so it is only natural that you will want to create an area that is eye catching. There are many ways you can do that.

Planters and Hanging plants

Planters are often used in the summer to add colour and foliage to your house’s walkways and stairs. Changing the plant holders and foliage from summer to autumn focused decorations will quickly transform your area to a more festive space. Seasonal plants are not only beautiful, but they are also very hardy and can withstand the cooler temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns that is common at this time of year. Hanging plants add a natural seasonal beauty to the upper areas of your home. While many people associate the hangers with indoor or outer summertime use only, they are also great for autumn specific flowers as well. Simply remove the dying summer foliage and replace them with vibrant and healthy fall annuals.

Hang a Wreath

Fall decorating tips - hang a wreath Wreaths are excellent door accessories that can be hung on the inside or outside of your door. There are plenty of options available to choose from. You can pick a premade design from your local retail outlet or, if you are a crafty person, you can create your own one-of-a-kind DIY fall décor wreath using a premade wreath ring as your base. Add artificial fall hued foliage, berries, miniature pumpkins, cornucopias, ribbon, and wooden letters or numbers to create a stunning autumn decoration for your doorway.

Door Mats

Door mats are not only stylish, but functional as well. They add a festive and fun touch to your home’s entrance area while helping keep your floors and interior areas clean. There are plenty holiday specific patterns and colour choices to choose from that will fit perfectly with your inside and outside décor schemes. The enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer can also make their own gorgeous home fall décor mat using old clothing, linens, and other recycled materials.

Outdoor Furniture Cushions and Covers

If you still have your outdoor patio furniture out and ready to use, exchange the summer styled cushions for ones that have fall colours or patterns. Changing the fabric to a more autumn focused look will give your porch or back yard a cozy, warm, seasonal tone that will blend naturally with the rest of your landscape.

Pumpkins and Gourds

Fall decorating tips - pumpkins and gourds Pumpkins and gourds are the ultimate crop symbol of autumn. By adding real pumpkins and gourds to your stairs or doorway, you will give the area an authentic festive charm that is both natural and beautiful. Head out to your local market or pumpkin patch with loved ones and spend the day choosing different sized pumpkins to set on your outer area. Pumpkins and gourds can be set up up on your steps, deck, porch or doorway for a simple and cost-effective autumn decoration.

Home Interior

Once the outside is done, it is time to work on the interior of your home. Adding fall decorating ideas in areas where your guests will gather creates a festive and welcoming look to your place.  There are many things you can do to brighten your areas without adding a lot of clutter or extra stuff to your living areas.

Statues and Other Accessories

Fall focused statues and other accessories are great additions to common areas like forays and empty corner spaces in rooms where people will gather. They are great ornamental pieces that can be used to fill open spaces with seasonal displays without adding extra clutter to your place.  Choose festive, autumn decorations that match your taste and personality.  

Table Settings

Adding rich, seasonal specific runners and place mats to your dining area will quickly give your dining room a cozy, fall inspired look while accentuating the rest of the furnishings. Finish the look by including autumn themed or leafy designed dinner ware to your area to complete your home fall decor.

Center pieces and Garlands

Fall decorating ideas - centerpieces and garlands Seasonal centerpieces add a finishing touch to barren table surfaces. A platter of small pumpkins and gourds surrounding a scented candle, a bouquet of orange, yellow, and red flowers, or a cornucopia of gourds make great display pieces for your table tops. If you do not want to add a centrepiece to your tables, leaf garlands can help fill in those empty spaces while adding a festive look to your area. Autumn inspired ribbons have become increasingly popular accessories for fall home décor options. Not only are they visually appealing, but they are a simple yet highly effective way to fill in those empty spaces. They can be hung in rows down curtain rods and chandeliers or used to add a festive touch to stairways and bannisters.

Throws, and Accent Pillows

You can easily give your living areas a more festive look by placing seasonally themed throws, and accent pillows with autumn related images onto your furnishings. This year, plaid continues to be a popular fall inspired pattern. Adding seasonal blankets and decorative pillows to your furniture is a stylish and functional way to bring the warm colours of fall into your living space. 

Store or Homemade Ornaments

fall decorating tips - ornaments Perfect for those small, hard-to-fill areas, store bought or homemade ornaments add a seasonal finishing touch to areas where guests will be mingling. Ornamental pieces can be as large or small as you want. They can be elegant or humorous and can match your personality and individual décor tastes. Autumn is a beautiful time of year filled with the rich colours or changing foliage and crops ready to be reaped. Now that the new season is here, it is time to decorate the interior and exterior of your home in preparation for the upcoming celebrations and gatherings. From simple to elegant, traditional to contemporary, you have plenty of options and home fall décor ideas to choose from when adding home fall décor to your space.  

The Best “Bang for your Buck” Meals in London

Great food doesn’t have to be expensive. While high prices often come with justification, there’s something special about finding a place that you’re shocked by how cheap it is. This list isn’t just about finding the cheapest meals, it’s about finding high quality for low price. London is full of fantastic restaurants that don’t charge you an arm and a leg for your meal. Some are rustic and homestyle, some are the greasy spoon type, and others are as sleek and modern as they come. Whether you’re feeding a family on a budget, a cheap college student, or just looking to save a couple bucks wherever you can, the restaurants on this list are guaranteed to give you the best bang for your buck!  

Breakfast

There’s no better start to your day than a good breakfast – some even say it’s the most important meal of the day. But on those days that you can’t make it yourself before you head out the door for work or class, your wallet shouldn’t suffer for your nutrition! The restaurants in this section of the list will give you the energy you need to start the day without breaking the bank!

Nate’s Shawarma

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 14 Covent Market Pl. (map) https://coventmarket.com/merchants/nates-shawarma/
You’ll find Nate’s Shawarma in the Covent Garden Market building. Offering Middle Eastern dishes like shawarma and falafel alongside Canadian classics, Nate’s has one of the best breakfast deals in the downtown core. Offered daily until 11AM, the Nate’s Special is a crowd favourite. For the incredibly low price of $4.99, you’ll be getting two eggs cooked your way, bacon, toast, and home fries. After a Nate’s Special, you won’t have to rely on snacks to get you through until lunch, you’ll already be full and for only a crisp five-dollar bill. It’s hard to find a better deal than that. For just a dollar more, you can get yourself an omelette with up to three items tossed in alongside buttered toast and perfectly golden home fries. You can pick from a variety of ingredients to add to your omelette, from spinach to feta to bacon. If three doesn’t feel like enough, add another ingredient for only 75 cents. The lunch menu at Nate’s is similarly frugal with the same excellent quality. Grab a wrap or a burger for under $6 (before tax) while you roam through the market! Add fries and a drink for just $3 more. Nate’s Shawarma offers great deals all day, but their breakfast especially blew us away. If you find yourself downtown and searching for a thrifty breakfast or lunch, Nate’s Shawarma is definitely a place to check out!

Johnny’s Restaurant

Neighbourhood: Fanshawe Ridge 1910 N Highbury Ave (map)

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Johnny’s is the go-to spot for many Londoners in the north end, especially for breakfast and brunch. Their menu doesn’t break the bank and is full of classics that will get your stomach full and your taste buds dancing. The breakfast platters are huge and wholesome. Eggs, home fries, pancakes, bacon, the whole works are coming out of the Johnny’s kitchen hot and fresh, just waiting for you to dive in and enjoy. Their lunch options are also stellar, offering a range of soups, salads, sandwiches, and other diner classics. Thankfully during brunching hours, they offer both breakfast and lunch options simultaneously. Johnny’s is popular among all age ranges. Big portions, fair prices, and friendly staff have created a legion of regulars that come through their doors at least once a week because a great deal is a great deal, no matter how old you are.  

Lunch

Lunch is the exciting time in the middle of the day when you finally get to chow down once again. It can feel like forever between breakfast and lunch (hence the invention of brunch), so you’ve got to make it count. However, a good lunch doesn’t have to take a big dent out of your daily budget. A cheap, quick, and easy lunch can motivate you through the rest of the work/school day or give you the energy to keep adventuring on your day off. No matter what your afternoon is looking like, these places have the best deals for your midday meal.

Squire Pub & Grill

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 109 Dundas St. (map) https://squirepubandgrill.ca/
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When you’re downtown and hunger pangs strike, there’s no better place to stop for lunch than the Squire. Their food, as we’ve mentioned so many times, is top tier quality and absolutely delicious. The fact that it’s also affordable is just icing on the cake that makes the Squire a perpetual favourite. Their lunch menu is extensive. You won’t find all of your favourites, but you will find most of them – including the nachos and the wings that we’ve featured previously. The true excitement lies with their wraps and their bowls. For just a tenner, you’ll get one of their fantastic lunch wraps accompanied by either fries, fresh kettle chips, or potato salad. One of their most popular wraps is their BLT, which includes both grilled pork belly and bacon, for a double hit of porky goodness. Their bowls are only $11, which borders on absurd for the size and quality of your meal. Ancient grains and kale are topped with your choice of ingredients, like the crispy popcorn chicken bowl, which has the crispy golden balls of chicken, coleslaw, sriracha mayo, sesame seeds, and a sweet soy glaze. The Squire also has vegan options, which is always appreciated. Their fried cauliflower and squash wrap and their Tex Mex bowl can both be made vegan upon request. You’ll be hard-pressed to go even a couple of days in the Santa Knows Best office without someone spending their lunch break with a trip to the Squire to take advantage of their amazing deals. With so much firsthand experience, you can be sure that our opinion is definitely informed and we can’t recommend the Squire’s lunch specials any more highly.

London Burgers

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 471 Dundas St. (map)
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London Burgers is a classic style burger shack just west of the downtown core. Their varied menu, great food and low prices have made them a spot to go for both students of the nearby H.B. Beal and Catholic Central high schools and older Londoners alike. Their sign boasts a wide variety of quick and delicious lunches. Of course, their namesake burger is top notch, but they also have fantastic chicken burgers, hot dogs, gyros, and souvlaki. Their actual menu includes options like poutine, wraps, and salads. Despite having so much going on, their quality never suffers. It’s all absolutely stellar. The titular London Burger is one of their most expensive items, and yet it costs only $6.99, with the option to make it a combo for an additional $3.49. Top off the meal with a 20-ounce milkshake for only $5.25. London Burgers makes it easy to feed a group with a variety of tastes in a single place without costing an arm and a leg. Their low cost, delicious food will satisfy just about anyone.

Piero’s 241 Pizza

Neighbourhood: Old South 169 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map) http://www.pierospizza.ca/

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You may remember Piero’s from our Best Pizza in London list. Well, their pizza isn’t just great, they’ve also got some of the best deals in the city. For the modest price of $4 plus taxes, you’ll end up with two slices of pizza and a can of soda. These aren’t just your average slice though, they’re massive. This deal is only available for walk-ins, so if you find yourself in Old South, craving a couple slices and only have a couple of toonies, Piero’s is only a short walk away. If you’re feeding a group and two slices just won’t be enough, the Piero’s Favourite deal is hard to beat. Two medium pizzas with four toppings each, a six pack of pop, and a dipping sauce for only $22.99, or upgrade to two large pizzas for an additional $3. At other pizza places, you’ll barely get one medium for that price, let alone two pies with four toppings each! Plus, you add on the drinks and the dip, and you’ve got a party on your hands for under $30! An even crazier deal is available for students. Four medium pizzas with two toppings each for only $20. That’s right – four pizzas, twenty bucks. All you need is a valid student ID. Piero’s is the epitome of bang for your buck in the pizza sector. One of the best pizzerias in the city and you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get it? Sounds like a great deal to me.  

Dinner

Rounding out the day of meals is dinner. Maybe you’re going out with some friends or a hot date, or perhaps you’re exhausted after a long day of work and don’t feel like cooking. In any case, your evening meal is all sorted out without going over your budget by visiting the places in this section of the list!

Hong Ping

Neighbourhood: Soho 339 Horton St. (map)
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Hong Ping offers authentic Chinese food in a casual, family-style setting. Their delicious food comes in portions to share around the table. Their friendly staff are helpful when it comes to navigating their menu packed with authentic Chinese dishes that some may not be acquainted with yet! Most of their dishes fall into one of four price categories based on their size: S, M, L, and XL. Dishes in the “S” category cost only $2.68 and “XL” dishes are $5.98. Specialty dishes come with their own price but they are still fairly priced, maxing out at $10.95. Their menu consists of dim sum, both steamed and fried, hot pots, and other Chinese classics. The portions are massive to say the least. Their soup bowls are huge and their platters of rice are piled so high, it’s nearly cartoonish. The large sizes make it perfect for sharing family-style, allowing everyone at the table to sample a variety of dishes. More often than not, you’ll get to take some home too! Whether you’re dining in or taking out, a visit to Hong Ping will never leave you hungry. Their huge portions, fair prices, and fantastic food will have you coming back time and again when you need a fix of authentic Chinese food.

Spageddy Eddy’s

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 428 Richmond St. (map) https://www.spageddyeddys.ca/
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Spageddy Eddy’s is a London classic. Hidden ever so slightly from the world with their alleyway entrance on Richmond Row, Spageddy Eddy’s is one of the best places you can go for huge portions of amazing pasta without dropping a pretty penny. Dive into one of their massive bowls of pasta with your choice of noodle and sauce – there’s really no going wrong. Enjoy red, with or without meat, or alfredo sauce atop a hearty pile of pasta. If you can’t pick, get the Maza Maza Eddy, a wonderful mix of their veggie red sauce and their alfredo. With numerous toppings to pick from, you can create your own pasta dish or select from one of theirs, like the fettucine carbonara or the Eddy style chicken cacciatore. The portions honestly border on daunting. Often, it will feel as though you’ve eaten enough for three people and then you’ll realize you barely made a dent in the huge bowl. In all likelihood, you’ll have plenty to take home with you. Despite the huge sizes, the most expensive item on the menu, the lasagna, is just under $16. Most other mains fall between $11 and $14, with sides topping out at $10 for their saganaki, a Greek fried cheese dish, and most other sides sitting in the $5-7 range. Spageddy Eddy’s is a popular spot to stop at before a Knights game, so if you’re going, it’s a good idea to reserve a spot or you could be waiting for a while. However, if you do find yourself waiting, you can always grab a drink at the bar and let your eyes meander through their eclectic décor. If you’re in the mood for pasta, there’s no better place to go than Spageddy Eddy’s. For a low price, you’ll get a heaping portion of delicious pasta, and that’s an offer you can’t refuse.

London
Knights

The London Knights are a Junior A hockey team playing in the Ontario Hockey League, one of the three leagues that makes up the overarching Canadian Hockey League. A perennial favorite of hockey fans in London, Ontario, the London Knights operate as part of the farm system for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. Playing out of a state-of-the-art facility in downtown London, the Knights perform to a packed house more often than not, and many of their players have gone on to play in the NHL, including some Hall of Fame players.

The London Nationals

London Knights - origins as London Nationals The London Knights began as the London Nationals, a team that was created as a franchise in the Ontario Hockey Association and that began play in the 1965-66 season. The London Nationals were created explicitly as a farm team for the Toronto Maple Leafs, made to replace the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, who had folded shortly after winning the 1961 Memorial Cup. The London Nationals were sponsored by the Canadian National Recreation Association, an athletic organization comprised largely of employees of the Canadian National Railway. Their uniforms were almost exactly that of the contemporary Toronto Maple Leafs uniforms, except with “London Nationals” in the place where “Toronto Maple Leafs” would have otherwise been.  Before admittance into the Ontario Hockey Association, the London Nationals played at the Junior B level. However, once the Nationals were admitted into the Ontario Hockey Association as a Junior A team, the Junior B team moved to Ingersoll, where they for a short time were known as the Ingersoll Nationals. Two record holders for the old London Nationals were a pair of long-time National Hockey League journeymen. Garry Unger played fifty games with the Nationals, during which he scored a whopping 42 goals (becoming the leader in career goals for the team). Afterwards, he played sixteen seasons in the NHL, from 1967 to 1983, playing for the Maple Leafs and also the Detroit Red Wings, the St. Louis Blues, the Atlanta Flames, the L.A. Kings, and the Edmonton Oilers. The all-time point leader (with 100 points) was Walt McKechnie, who went on to play pro for seventeen years for nine NHL teams, including the Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins, the Washington Capitals, and the old Minnesota North Stars. Another well-known name who made their playing debut as a London National (and subsequently two years as a London Knight) was Darryl Sittler, who put in eleven seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, three as a Philadelphia Flyer, and one as a Detroit Red Wing; he is often brought up in conversations of the best NHL players to have ever lived.

The Darwin Era

In 1968 the National Hockey League ended the program of directly sponsoring the junior hockey system. Ottawa businessman Howard Darwin, an amateur boxer and real estate magnate who had started Ottawa Cablevision in 1965, bought the London Nationals for $500,000. He at the time was also the owner of the Ottawa 67’s, another OHL team. In order to shake things up and put his stamp on the team, Darwin held a contest to rename the team. Local baseball and hockey historian Brian Logie proposed the name “Knights”, which was the winner. With the new moniker, the team also chose to change the blue-and-white knockoff Maple Leafs colours to a more unique green, white, and gold colour set. The London Knights were born. Success did not come early, however, even with a new name and a new outlook.  The late 1960s and early 1970s were a hard time for the new Knights team, but as the Seventies wore on the team built strong lines and became a contender. The culmination of this wave of competition came in the 1976-77 season. The 1976-77 London Knights were a powerhouse, featuring three future NHL players. Two of them were hometown heroes. Rob Ramage, born down in the village of Byron, would go on to play fifteen seasons in the NHL with both the Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, as well as the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Philadelphia Flyers. Brad Marsh, born in the city of London, would become a journeyman defenceman in the NHL for fifteen seasons and would be an All-Star player in 1993. The third man would be born out-of-town (although nearby, in Sarnia, Ontario) but he was also Dino Ciccarelli, an NHL Hall of Famer who scored over 1,200 points with the Minnesota North Stars and the Detroit Red Wings. This stacked lineup cut through the Western Conference of the Ontario Hockey League like a scythe, defeating the St. Catharines Fincups, led by future Red Wing Dale McCourt. The Knights beat the Fincups in an overtime nailbiter but went on to lose the OHL final to the Ottawa 67’s.

The Robillard Era

The loss of the OHL final to the 67’s marked the end of the team’s fortunes for some time. By the early Eighties they were languishing in the cellar of the Emms Division, playing poorly and drawing much lighter crowds than in their mid-Seventies heyday. It was clear that the gas had run out of the franchise at the time; Howard Darwin began casting around for buyers and in 1986 he sold the team to a trio of businessmen from Paris, Ontario: Jack Robillard, Al Martin, and Bob Wilson. Like Darwin, they knew how to spread their risk; the Knights were owned by the same trio that owned the Hamilton Steelhawks. The sale was something more in the way of a real estate deal; the team itself was sold for a single dollar, while the Knights’ arena, the London Gardens, was sold to the trio at full market value. The new owners kickstarted a new phase of competitive play for the London Knights at the end of the Eighties. Admittedly, while the renovation of the London Gardens probably added to the team’s sense of morale, the presence of future NHL superstar Brendan Shanahan on the team likely did more to boost the team’s fortunes. Shanahan, who played for the Knights in 1985-86 and 1986-87, brought the crowds back to the arena to cheer on the team. He would go on to play in the NHL until 2008, at first for the New Jersey Devils but more memorably for the Detroit Red Wings. He would win three Stanley Cups and be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The boost that Shanahan brought to the London Knights would carry them forward into the Nineties. From 1987 until 1993 the lowest the team would finish was third, and in 1989-90 they finished at the top of the Emms Division. Their success in the regular season was one thing, however; finding success in the post-season proved to be quite a bit harder. During this period the team never made it to the OHL finals, and the wave of team spirit faded by the time the alt-rock revolution broke over North America.

The Spiderknight Era

London Knights - The Spiderknight Era The trio of Robillard, Martin, and Wilson sold the London Knights in 1994 to St. Thomas, Ontario businessman Doug Tarry, Sr. Tarry Sr.’s untimely death led to the team being inherited by the owner’s son, Doug Tarry, Jr. Upon taking over the London Knights, Tarry Jr. renovated the London Gardens again, and changed the name so that it was known as the “London Ice House.”  Tarry, Jr. also commissioned the infamous Knights logo and colour changes of the mid-Nineties. The long-time green, gold, and white colours were replaced with an eggplant-and-teal colour scheme. The existing Knights logo was replaced with a logo that has become derisively known by longtime Knights fans as the “Spider Knight” logo. The nickname is something of a misnomer; the logo more strongly resembles the Green Goblin, Spiderman’s nemesis, than it does Spidey himself. Still, the point is there: the logo was cartoonish at best, and ended up alienating a large portion of the Knights’ fanbase. The team’s performance more or less matched fan expectations after the introduction of the Spider Knight logo. The 1995-96 London Knights season set a particularly ignomious record. Their record for that year was a pitiful 3 wins, 60 losses, and 3 ties, coming in with a dreary 9 points. This season was the worst for any team in the Canadian Hockey League, ever. It has since achieved lasting infamy as the team’s “Knightmare” season. They got better from there – they could hardly have done any worse – but most of the Nineties were spent languishing near the bottom of their division. Morale was at an all time low, stemming from the team’s poor performance and from the decaying condition of the London Ice House. The Ice House was falling apart largely because the team’s ownership wanted the city of London to partner with them in building a new arena, and had ceased putting any money toward repairs of the existent one.

The Hunter Era

In 1998-99, however, things turned around. The Knights, led by future Pittsburgh Penguin Rico Fata, surged right into the OHL championship. They ultimately lost the finals in seven games to the Belleville Bulls, but the challenge had been issued and the standard had been set. The next year a trio of former NHL players, including former Washington Capitals captain Dale Hunter, bought the London Knights and accelerated the process of turning the team around. The Ice House was sold off and closed at the end of the 2001-02 season, to be replaced by an exciting, big league new arena that doubled as a major entertainment complex for the city of London. Then it was known as the John Labatt Centre; now it’s known as the Budweiser Gardens. With a new ownership (with Dale Hunter doubling as a new head coach) and a new arena, the Knights 1998-99 season became just a jumping-off point to a new era of greatness. By 2003 they were setting much better records than their dismal Knightmare season. Their 2003-04 season set an OHL record with 110 points in the regular season, although they lost the Western Conference final to the Guelph Storm. The next year they would set another record; they started off the 2004-05 season by going 31 games without a loss. That season saw the Knights break their previous season’s record by finishing with 120 points. That year also saw them blow through the playoffs and defeat the Ottawa 67’s in five games to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup, the OHL championship. London would host that year’s Memorial Cup tournament and win the Memorial Cup, defeating the Rimouski Oceanic 4-0 in the tournament’s championship game. The history of the team since then has been one of continued success. Since the 2004-05 Memorial Cup win the Knights played in the tournament four more times, winning it again in 2015-16 against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The Hunter era of the London Knights has been easily the most successful, going from being a cartoonish also-ran in the Nineties to being a powerhouse of the Ontario Hockey League. Even advanced opportunities couldn’t keep the team’s core strengths from being torn apart. In 2011 Dale Hunter was given the chance to be the head coach of his old team, the Washington Capitals. He took the offer and coached the Capitals for the 2011-12 season, but he returned to London to coach the Knights again the very next year. There’s nothing quite like a cannonball of success to keep your life thrilling.

Budweiser Gardens

London Knights - Budweiser Gardens A team’s prestige and morale is tied up as much in their home arena as it is in their history and their record of championships. The London Knights’ home base, Budweiser Gardens, is one of the finest in all of the Canadian Hockey League. Located in the heart of downtown London, Budweiser Gardens is a state-of-the-art hockey facility, in many ways just a smaller version of an NHL arena. There’s room galore for fans, both home and visiting, with seating for over 9,000; this includes both bowl seating and private VIP sections. The exterior of the arena is an ultra-modern concrete-and-glass structure, except for the part of the arena at the intersection of Dundas and Talbot. This section is designed as a replica of the façade of the old Talbot Inn that stood on that corner beginning in the 19th Century. The Talbot Inn was a historical site for decades and was also at one point the epicenter of the London punk rock scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The inclusion of the façade into the architectural design of the Gardens is a clear indicator of the integration of the Knights into the city of London itself. In addition to hockey and the large world-class shows that take place at the Gardens, the facility offers a great food and drink experience as well. The Talbot Bar and Grille offers 220 seats to Gardens ticket holders, and features a wide variety of food and drink on an eclectic menu. The corner of Dundas and Talbot also features the King Club, a full-service bar that opens up an hour before the start of the game and broadcasts the pre-game radio show throughout the lounge. It’s a great place to slip in and get hyped up for the hockey game before finding your seats inside the arena proper.

Community Involvement

The home base of any great team is more than just the arena, of course. The city as a whole has to be behind the team, and the Knights are lucky in that they have just such a city. Part of this loyalty is based in the team’s sense of community involvement; they are a team that certainly knows how to give back. Their community involvement extends to any number of fundraising opportunities that see the team partnering with local organizations and corporations to raise money for their causes. Typically, this involves meet and greets with players, with the opportunity for fans to get autographs; donation matching by the Knights usually follows a 50/50 system. The fundraising integration into the community means that the Knights are truly London’s team. Since the heady days of the Sixties, the city of London, Ontario has been the home of the London Knights, a Junior A hockey team that often serves as the starting point for great professional hockey players, many of whom go on to excel in the National Hockey League. With a cadre of Hall of Famers studded in their history, as well as modern stars like John Tavares and Nazem Kadri, the Knights have proven over the years to be a durable, capable incubator of raw, unflinching talent. From their home at Budweiser Gardens in downtown London, they continue to provide big league competition in the Ontario Hockey League.

Dance
London

 

ABOUT  

Dance London logo

Meet lifelong dancer and owner of Dance London, Ashley Aarts! Ashley started out as an instructor, but when the previous owners were ready to retire, they knew that Ashley would be fantastic new face of the company.

Ashley Aarts, owner/director of Dance London
Dance London takes a different approach to dancing; they view dance as an art and no necessarily as a sport. At this studio, you won’t be graded or be forced to compete, but you are still competitively trained by a long list of high quality professional instructors. The contagious atmosphere and vibe they have been able to create is one that keeps a smile on everyone that walks in the door, whether it be an instructor, student or parent! Dance London offers a large variety of classes in many different dance types ranging in all age groups – including adult classes!
Ashley Aarts, owner/director of Dance London

Contact Dance London

Address: 2 Langarth Street, West, N6J 1N6 Phone: (519) 434-6644 Email: info@dancelondonstudio.ca Website: https://dancelondonstudio.com/