Ongoing, permanent exhibition
Lawson Family Gallery, Lower Level

Have you ever wondered how London has come to be the city we know today? London: A History, presents a glimpse of our community and how it has evolved over time. Featuring over 300 historical artifacts, images, and stories about the Forest City, it will give you some insight into the people, events, and issues that have shaped the community. 

This exhibition acknowledges the original and enduring Indigenous presence on this land, which is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Attawandaron (Neutral), and Wendat peoples. It encompasses the earliest history of this land through to the community’s vibrant present. Today, London is the home and meeting place of many peoples, communities, and cultures.

Charting the region’s colonial settlement, the exhibition also investigates changing social services as well as trends in civic leisure. In addition, it considers how waterways, communications technologies, industrialization, and urbanization have impacted the city and its population. A supporting and complementary chronology focuses on select key events, issues, and individuals, presenting a deep and rich historical narrative that links London’s past and present, and informs our future. The history shared in London: A History is not all there is to know about our city. There are so many other important stories to tell, lives lived, events to recall and interpret, and voices to amplify. For this reason, in the months and years ahead, this exhibition will evolve to tell more stories, to explore London’s unfolding history, and to show London’s place in the world in new ways.

Image: George Russell Dartnell, 1799-1878, The Gaol and Courthouse, London, Canada West, c. 1841 (Reproduction), watercolour Art Fund, 1948