Pour Over London

Celebrating London’s Heritage, one cup of coffee at a time


For a limited time, you can get a little dose of history alongside your morning coffee thanks to a pilot project from the London Heritage Council and LondonFuse, in collaboration with Edgar & Joe’s Café and supported by the City of London’s Culture Office.

The project, called Pour Over London, aims to bring local heritage into Londoners’ everyday lives, one cup of coffee at a time, through a variety of heritage tidbits presented on coffee sleeves. Londoners are also encouraged to take the conversation online using the hashtag #PourOverLDN to share their own facts and stories about London and its history.

Visit Edgar & Joe’s Café at either their Horton Street (Goodwill Industries, 255 Horton St.) or King Street (Innovation Works, 201 King St.) location and grab a cup of coffee to learn about London’s robust streetcar network, the oldest continually operational baseball diamond, the Thames River’s important role in the Forest City, and much more. See the full list of facts below.


#PourOverLDN Heritage Facts

What fact will you get? Take a photo and share your fact online using #PourOverLDN!

  • The wind tunnel system used to build the World Trade Center and Confederation Bridge was invented in London in 1965 at Western University.

  • London had zero bank robberies until 1920 when thieves struck Wortley Village. The bandits outsmarted police and got away with $766. They were never found.

  • Like London, England, London, Ontario once had its own Crystal Palace, built in 1887 on Western Fairgrounds. Another unfortunate similarity is that our Crystal Palace burnt down in 1927, nearly a decade before the UK’s was destroyed by fire as well.

  • London’s Western Fairgrounds was originally located at Central Avenue and Wellington Road.

  • The chocolate bar “Sweet Marie” gets its name from a poem written in London’s Victoria Park by Cy Warman in 1893.

  • The Richmond Tavern is amongst some of the oldest bars in Canada having been built in 1852, repurposed into Arkell’s Hotel in 1860, and renamed the Richmond in 1893.

  • SoHo’s Front Street in London never recovered from the massive flood of 1937. Family homes faded away, and today the street is virtually empty.

  • Grand Avenue got its name in the early 20th century when all of London's lords of industry built homes to mimic British country estates.

  • The wreck of the Victoria on the Thames River in 1881 was considered one of the greatest maritime disasters in Canada at the time, killing nearly 200 people.

  • London’s Labatt Park, built in 1877, is the world’s oldest continually operating baseball diamond.

  • London had a robust streetcar network, introduced by the London Street Railway Company in 1873. It began as a horse-drawn system and switched to an electric trolley system in 1895 before ending service in November 1940.

  • London has a long brewing history. The first brewing company was Carling Breweries established in 1843 on the Thames River with Labatts Brewery following quickly after in 1847.

  • The unique fork in what is commonly called the Thames River inspired its name “Antler River,” still used by the Anishinabek people (the Chippewas of the Thames).

  • Guy Lombardo, known as Mr. New Year’s Eve, was born and raised in London, forming his first band “Royal Canadians” with his brothers and other musicians from his hometown.

  • Kingsmills Limited on Dundas Street was founded in 1865 and served London for 148 years. It burned down twice and was last rebuilt in 1932. The building is now home to Fanshawe College.

  • The first African Methodist Episcopal Church in London was built in 1847 at 275 Thames Street. Commonly called the Fugitive Slave Chapel, it played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad.

  • Slippery the sea lion may have been London’s most notorious animal resident. The sea lion set off a cross-border search and international media frenzy after he escaped from his new home, Storybook Gardens, in June 1958. He swam down the Thames River and beyond and was found in Ohio over a week later.

  • The old Victoria Tavern on the corner of Maitland and South Streets in SoHo was once nicknamed the “Bucket of Blood.” Along with the occasional brawl, the name came from the surgical staff who would drop in for a pint after a shift at the nearby Victoria Hospital.

  • On October 27, 1951, the “Cobalt Bomb,” the first cancer treatment with Colbalt-60 radiation, took place at the Ontario Institute of Radiation at the old Victoria Hospital on South Street.