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15 Unique Things to do in London, Ontario: Dive Deeper Into These London Attractions

Highlighting the top London, Ontario attractions to provide a complete list of fun things to do in London, Ontario. Hint – there’s certainly no shortage of them in Ontario’s 5th largest city!

Things to do in London

For one reason or another, when it comes to tourism in this province, London is a city that’s too often overlooked. Yet, when you sit down to make a list of all the things to do in London, Ontario, it’s a really impressive display.

There are plenty of attractions in London, Ontario that make the city a worthwhile Ontario road trip destination. In fact, when the time is right, it’s an ideal city to head to for the weekend (or longer). London is an Ontario city with plenty of green space and parks, great restaurants and bars, access to fantastic sports and entertainment, and a real sense of community.

Of course, it’ll depend where you’re based in the province, but considering London is such a central hub, you’ve got highways galore that lead to the city’s doorstep. And it may not be the most breathtaking drive in Ontario, but it should be relatively painless.

Below, we’re going to carefully cover what to do in London, Ontario to ensure that you’re able to make the absolute most of your next visit there.

A Brief Intro to London, Ontario

London is often considered to be the hub of southwestern Ontario. They currently have a population of around 400,000 people, which makes London the fifth most populous city in the province. In fact, it’s Canada’s 11th largest metropolitan area.

London, Ontario is roughly equal distance from both Toronto and Detroit (about 200kms away from each). The city lies right where highway 401 and 402 meet each other, which makes it an easy drive as well from Windsor, Sarnia, and other population centres.

It’s known for a number of things, but education, healthcare, arts, music, and sports probably top the list. Notably, it’s the home to both Western University and Fanshawe College.

Increasingly, people are realizing that there are no shortage of activities in London, Ontario to appreciate, so it’s finally getting its due as a tourist destination.

*Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. Simply put, that means that we may get a small commission from some of our recommendations at absolutely zero extra cost to you.

Fun Things to Do in London, Ontario

There are plenty of London, Ontario attractions, but which ones should you prioritize on your next visit?

Here’s what to do in London, Ontario whenever you’re headed there next!

Visit Covent Garden Market

The interior of Covent Garden Market in London, Ontario. Photo Credit: Christopher MItchell

Located in downtown London, Ontario, Covent Garden Market bills itself as “London’s Original Market.” That seems only fair considering Covent Garden first opened its doors in 1845. You know, 20 or so years before Confederation – no big deal.

They’re a 7 day a week market which offers pretty much everything under the sun. They run an indoor market, as well as an outdoor farmers’ market. The outdoor market typically runs twice weekly, and you can get more details about that here.

Covent Garden features over 50 merchants and services, with everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to meats and cheeses. They also feature 18 restaurants on site, so if you get hungry shopping, you indulge in some prepared culinary delights.

Whether you’re aiming to do some shopping in London, Ontario, or just wander around, Covent Garden has to be on your list of places to visit.

Stroll Around Springbank Park

Springbank Park is the largest park in London, and it covers roughly 300 acres. It’s an ideal place to go for a walk and get some reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Springbank Park has no shortage of playgrounds and facilities for children, so it’s perfect for a family outing. With over 30km of trails, it’s also ideal for folks who are outdoorsy.

The Thames River runs through the park, which makes it extra picturesque. It’s a London, Ontario attraction where, once you arrive, you’re really not going to want to leave.

For visitors who are big into the outdoors, you’ll also want to take note of other spots in and around London such as Victoria Park, Gibbons Park, Sifton Bog, Westminster Ponds, the Fanshawe Conservation Area, and Komoka Provincial Park.

Appreciate London’s Restaurant Scene

The impressive diversity and quality of London’s restaurant scene just isn’t talked about as much as it should be in this province. In fact, that probably holds true for a city like Kingston as well.

To get your day started, we’d recommend Plant Matter Cafe on Richmond, and in particular, their Tofu Scramble Bagel. It’s all vegan, and it’s all delicious.

You’d also be remiss to leave London without eating at Hunter & Co, a tapas restaurant done very, very right. The other restaurant that comes to mind is Dimi’s Greek House, which serves a flaming saganaki that will steal your heart, and perhaps also Abruzzi, which serves authentic Italian right across the street from the Covent Garden Market.

There are no shortage of incredible restaurants in London, Ontario worth visiting.

Set Eyes on St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica London

The backside of St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica London. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

Everyone visiting this city should add a nice big walk up and down Dufferin Avenue to their list of things to do in London, Ontario. But, don’t forget to stop when you get to 196 Dufferin and take in this magnificent cathedral.

St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica was first founded way back in 1834. Stained glass was added in 1889, but the interior that many would recognize today didn’t take shape until 1926. It was in 1958 that the two towers on the front facade were added, which, in our humble opinion, is when it became the photogenic staple that it is today.

The exterior is what St. Peter’s is known for, but the interior is not to be missed, either.

It’s still very much an active congregation, so you can stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates around future services, tours etc.

Bring the Family to Storybook Gardens

Storybook Gardens is a staple of London, Ontario tourism. It’s well known throughout southwestern Ontario as one of the premier places for family fun.

As you might have gathered by the name, the experience is centred around interactive areas where children can see well known stories come to life. That being said, they’re open year round, so in the summer they are known for their “Riverbank Splash Pad,” whereas in the winter it’s all about their skating trail.

Visit their website for more information visiting in the future, as well as online programming.

Storybook Gardens, by the way, is located in Springbank Park, which you’ll note we mentioned above as one of the top things to do in London, Ontario. Especially if you’ve got a family, those are two can’t miss experiences.

Check Out Fanshawe Pioneer Village

Fanshawe Pioneer Village is a captivating open-air heritage museum spanning over 30 acres. The goal? To meticulously recreate rural life in 19th-century Ontario, and it boasts more than 30 historic buildings including homes, barns, and workshops to do just that.

Staff and volunteers, (most of which are playfully attired in period-specific clothing), try to bring this era to life through immersive activities like cooking, farming, and crafting. The village hosts various events and demonstrations, providing visitors with hands-on experiences and insight into the past. It’s a living history museum committed to conserving Ontario’s rural heritage.

I personally strolled around the property at my own pace (there are plenty of maps and signs giving key information, but there are also educational programs and tours.

Fanshawe Pioneer Village stands as a testament to the importance of preserving the stories of the early days of Ontario, to understand how people lived in the past, so that we can build ourselves the best future we can.

See What’s On at Budweiser Gardens

Welcome to the largest sports-entertainment centre in southwestern Ontario – Budweiser Gardens!

A visit to Budweiser Gardens is no doubt one of the most fun things to do in London, Ontario. It’s perhaps best known the downtown home of the London Knights, which many would say is the most famous team in the Ontario Hockey League.

When able, it’s also a top-notch facility for concerts, performances and anything in between. When there are events taking place, nearby Dundas Place (the city’s first “flex” street) tends to be rocking, and it makes for a solid spot to grab a bite or a beer.

Down the line, when you’re visiting London, be sure to keep tabs on what’s going on at Budweiser Gardens. You can go see the Knights and see the future stars of sports, or catch a concert and see the current stars of music or comedy.

Take a Deep Breath at Westminster Ponds

Westminster Ponds in London, Ontario
An example of one of the Westminster Ponds’ viewing platforms. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

Westminster Ponds is a true natural oasis located not all that far from the city’s urban core. Covering approximately 200 hectares, it’s comprised of a series of interconnected ponds, wetlands, and woodlands. This diverse ecosystem makes it a very popular destination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

With 10 kilometres of walking trails, it’s ideal for those who like to add a little hiking to the mix. We simply used the trails to set eyes on the 5 different ponds, and that seemed to be a solid approach. As far as we understand, visitors can even fish or kayak on the ponds.

Westminster Ponds is not only a place of ecological significance but also a valuable resource for the community, offering a peaceful retreat for those seeking solace in the midst of the city.

Support Deserving Local Breweries

Of all the activities we recommend as far as what to do in London, Ontario, we get the sense that this might be the easiest one to convince you to add to the itinerary.

As you might have gathered from our borderline love letter to Leamington’s Cured Craft Brewing Co. – we love homegrown Ontario breweries.

When you’re able to, we’d personally recommend a visit to Powerhouse Brewing Company. They’ve created a home in the old Kellogg’s Factory, and are part of the effort to bring the property back to life. If you’ve got a love of IPAs, then you need to try “The Generator,” which is both tropical and refreshing.

Toboggan Brewing Co. in downtown London, Ontario is a good London brewery to visit if you’re looking to grab a bite to eat as well, or perhaps for a date or outing. We’re a fan of their “Double Lunatic Fridge” – a slightly crazy name reserved for an adventurous beer.

If breweries are your thing, then here’s a detailed breakdown of the best breweries in London, Ontario.

Pop by the Jet Aircraft Museum

The Jet Aircraft Museum in London, Ontario
Lots of fun to be had at the Jet Aircraft Museum, especially for aircraft enthusiasts. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

We were very fortunate to be shown around the Jet Aircraft Museum by some of the incredible volunteers at this small but mighty museum. A big shoutout to Jim Fisk in particular, who gave us a great picture of what makes this spot special, as well as Scott Ellinor and Bill Burns.

It’s a working museum, so this isn’t your prototypical museum visit. As Steve told me, “For every hour we fly, we have hundreds of hours of maintenance.”

Founded in 2009, this museum has become a hub for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It houses an impressive collection of operational jet aircraft, providing visitors with a rare opportunity to see these powerful machines up close. Among the notable exhibits is the Canadair CT-133 Silver Star, a versatile training jet that played a crucial role in the Royal Canadian Air Force. That’s a place we were able to sit in, in fact!

What sets the Jet Aircraft Museum apart is its commitment to offering immersive experiences. Visitors have the chance to participate in cockpit tours and even take to the skies in some of the museum’s aircraft through their flight experience programs. This hands-on approach provides a unique insight into the world of jet aviation and allows enthusiasts to appreciate the incredible technology and engineering behind these aircraft. We even spent some time on the simulator before heading out, and it was a blast!

It’s an invaluable resource for both preserving aviation history and educating the public about the significance of jet-powered flight, as well as Canada’s role in that history and, by proxy, our present and potential future role.

Play a Little Golf Near London

The rolling hills of FireRock Golf Club near London. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

For those who are aching to be a little active when the visit London, it’s worth considering if you can sneak in a game of golf. Conversely, you could also plan an entire weekend just around golf in southwestern Ontario and base yourself in London.

It’s one of those activities in London, Ontario that a lot of visitors don’t have on their radar, but should.

We’d personally recommend FireRock Golf Club, which is only about a 15-20 minute drive from downtown. It’s a challenging yet enjoyable par 72 championship design, which ranges from 5672 yards to 7183 yards depending on which tees you’re playing from.

Another course worth considering is Forest City National Golf Club. It too is a 18 hole championship course, and it sits on 275 acres of incredible picturesque land on the southeast shore of Fanshawe Lake. It’s a course that will make you feel world’s away from the city.

Stay the Night

With its plethora of good restaurants, breweries and bars, London, Ontario suits a weekend visit awfully well.

Of course, if you’re looking to stay for the weekend, you’ll need a place to crash, so it’s a good thing there are plenty of London, Ontario hotels to choose from.

One option is The Park Hotel London. It’s an all-suite hotel which serves free breakfast. It’s one of the best bangs for your buck that you’ll find in the province.

Another option is Delta Hotels by Marriott London Armouries. It’s located in downtown London, and has a unique castle-like exterior that makes it one of more photogenic buildings in London, Ontario.

Our top choice, however, is the Idlewyld Inn & Spa, a historic property and local landmark since 1878 that is a truly unique accommodation choice in the province. We’d strongly recommend having dinner here as well, as the food is just sensational.

All of these hotels give you great walking access to many of the top attractions in London, Ontario.

See London, Ontario From Above with GL Heli

Helicopter ride in London, Ontario
Flying down Oxford Street. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

The nickname of London, Ontario is “The Forest City” for a reason. And that reason becomes very clear when you get aerial views.

You can cruise straight down Oxford Street and get a view of downtown London that you could have never imagined. Actually, you can get whatever views you want with GL Heli, as they’re all about catering to your needs.

Last we checked, they still ran a tour that was a glorified Tim Hortons run, where you take off from Kitchener and head a Timmy Ho’s parking lot!

Ideally, you can take a tour in autumn to fully experience the magic of “The Forest City,” but it’s going to be beautiful anytime of year. You can find out more details around that here.

Walk Around Wortley Village

We walked up from the Idlewyld, and kicked things off with a cup of joe from Locomotive Espresso South (on 350 Ridout St. South), and then walked through the neighbourhood from there towards the Westland Gallery. In their words, they “showcase emerging and established artists from London and area with new exhibitions every three weeks and an inventory of hundreds of original works of art.”

In short, Wortley Village is a historic neighbourhood known for its vibrant community, well-preserved architecture, and lively commercial district. With charming streets lined by Victorian and Edwardian homes, it offers a blend of heritage and modern amenities, making it a cherished hub for residents and visitors alike.

Keep your eyes out for local shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and don’t be hesitant to pop into one of them and chat with the staff or owner. It’s a friendly, welcoming neighbourhood in our experience.

Take a Tour of Labatt Park

Labatt Park in London, Ontario, is a historic gem and the oldest continuously operating baseball grounds in the world.

Established in 1877, this iconic stadium has one of the richest baseball histories around, and a unique history at that. We didn’t fully grasp this (in fact, we feel many more Ontarians, especially sports enthusiasts, should have this on their radar), until we took the Labatt Park tour, which offers visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and immerse themselves in the sport’s history.

Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour takes you through the various facets of the stadium, sharing anecdotes and insights about its significance in Canadian baseball. Visitors can explore the well-preserved grounds, view memorabilia, and learn about the legendary players who graced this hallowed field.

The tour also provides a glimpse into the vibrant community spirit that has thrived around Labatt Park for over a century. It’s not just a baseball stadium, but a living testament to the passion and love for the game that has been cherished by Londoners for generations. Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or simply interested in local history, the Labatt Park tour offers a captivating experience that celebrates the enduring legacy of this historic venue.

You can find more details about tours here.

Come Explore London, Ontario

London, Ontario offers a dynamic blend of culture, nature, and urban charm. From vibrant arts scenes to lush parks like Springbank Park, the city provides a lot of different experiences for the Ontario traveller. Not to mention, culinary delights abound, with eclectic dining options in charming districts like Wortley Village. Nature lovers can also find their fix in a way that’s quite unique for a city this size.

In the end, with welcoming locals and a rich history, London promises a very memorable visit.

That’s a wrap on our favourite London, Ontario attractions and activities. If you’ve got any you think we should add, just comment below! Please note, we’ve got an Ultimate Ontario Facebook Group if you’re looking for a community of likeminded Ontario adventurers.

We want to thank both London Tourism for hosting Ultimate Ontario for a visit to their city. Please note, our views and words are wholly our own.

Paula Schuck

Friday 29th of September 2023

Great roundup of my city. I’d add ski Boler in the winter. And I’d you have kids, visit the children’s museum! Storybook Gardens was always a favourite of mine as a kid. My mom would drive us there from Guelph every summer.

Christopher Mitchell

Monday 2nd of October 2023

Thanks for chiming in, my friend. Hope all is well!


Friday 28th of May 2021

This is really to good and help us thanks sharing this article and this information thing to do in London

Christopher Mitchell

Monday 31st of May 2021

So happy to hear it, thanks for letting us know!

Margarita Ibbott

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

What a lovely round up of The Forest City. We've been here for 22 years and we still love it. We got married at St. Peter's Cathedral in 1993.

Next time you are in London be sure and see the Royal Regiment Museum at Wolseley Barracks. I think you'll like it.

Christopher Mitchell

Thursday 11th of February 2021

Thanks so much, Margarita! I will certainly trust your advice on that and visit the next time I'm in your neck of the woods!

Britt K

Monday 25th of January 2021

You have some great suggestions here. I love that London is close enough that we could make it a day trip if we wanted to - which we might just have to do when things are reopened and we can visit those breweries again. My husband is a craft beer lover and I'm not sure if he's had the chance to visit those locations. If not, that's going to be on our 'must visit soon' list lol

Christopher Mitchell

Thursday 28th of January 2021

Well thanks for chiming in, Britt! Really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this, and hope your husband enjoys the beers when he gets a chance to try them!