Local History

Treasures from the London Room: The Oldest Book

The oldest book in the library is the following item:  "Mechanick Powers: or,  the Mistery of Nature and Art Unvail'd" by Ven [terus] Mandey and J. [ames] Moxon, published in London, England in 1696. On the title page it states that the book was printed for the authors and sold by Ven.

Find out more about Who Lived in your House

Here are the steps to finding out more about the people who lived in your house in the past or ran a business in your place of business.

Find the History of Your House

Researching the History of Your House

Here are the steps to go through to find the history of your house or building at the Library.

Londoners of the Past: Mr. Justice John Wilson

My Justic John Wilson

An early pioneer lawyer, judge and politician of London, Ontario, John Wilson was born in Scotland, February 5, 1807, coming first to

Office Staff Practices, 1852 (Part Two)

Imagine if these were our business rules now!

No talking during business hours.

Tobacco, wines or spirits are forbidden to all members of the clerical staff.

Archives and Historical Societies

In My Community

Glencoe and District Historical Society
Located in the town of Glencoe Ontario, the Glencoe & District Historical Society was formed in 1978 and has been an intricate part of the community these many years. The promotion of local history, genealogy, and the preservation of historical documents are among the primary objectives of the society.

Historic London Photographs

Ivey Family London Room Digital Collections

London Public Library (Ontario) provides access to images and indexes from its local history collection, including those housed in the Ivey Family London Room.

The Sanctuary Centennial, 1896-1996, Metropolitan United Church



468 Wellington Street, London, Ontario London, ON
42° 59' 14.8452" N, 81° 14' 46.0932" W
26 October 1996

In 1823, Rev. Robert Corson, a Wesleyan Methodist circuit rider, came to London Township to conduct worship services in people’s homes. By March 1833, London’s first Methodist church was built at the corner of Carling and Ridout Streets. As the congregation grew, larger churches were built, in 1839 and 1842.  On July 16, 1854, North Street (later Queens Avenue) Methodist Church, thought to be the largest west of St. James in Montreal, was built on the corner of clarence and North (now Queens Avenue) streets. On February 2, 1895, a disastrous fire reduced this church to a shell.

Undaunted, the Board of Trustees made plans for a new church on Wellington Street. Samuel McBride, who had been a trustee when the North Street Methodist Church was built, agreed to oversee the construction, even though he was 76 years old. During the process, he presided over 96 of the 99 planning meetings.

The church was built in the Romanesque Revival style on a foundation 184 by 96 feet with a bell tower rising 170 feet. It could seat nearly 1,400 worshipers, though the congregation was then half that size. The cost of the site, the building, the furnishings and the organ came to just over $97,000, a substantial sum even for what was then the wealthiest Methodist church in London. At the laying of the cornerstone on July 30, 1895 the Free Press called it “Methodism’s Magnificent Temple.”

The new church was known as First Methodist Church until the congregation became part of the new United Church of Canada. This new denomination brought together Congregationalists, Methodists, and Presbyterians on June 10, 1925. The first service under the name Metropolitan United Church was on June 14, only four days after the union of churches had taken place.

London Public Library History