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20,000 Londoners in Springbank Park for Dominion Day

photo of Springbank Park110 years ago on July 1st, 1901, record crowds of Londoners travelled by streetcar to celebrate Dominion Day (now Canada Day) in record-breaking temperatures at Springbank Park.  It was estimated that almost half of London's 39,183 inhabitants had travelled to the park on one of the 26 electric streetcars in operation that day.  In 1895, the London Street Railroad Company (LSR) had constructed the Springbank line for $30,000 and on September 12th of that same year, electric streetcars replaced the horse-drawn ones which had been in use since May 24th, 1875.  A moonlight excursion was introduced in 1896.  To accommodate increased ridership, the LSR, in 1901, purchased five special open streetcars, each of which were 40 feet long with 15 oak-finished crossed seats and a seating capacity for 90 passengers.  Also in 1901, the LSR constructed a large open air amusement pavilion and stage with a seating capacity for 1,200 people in Springbank Park.   This story was based on an article entitled, "At the River Park:  Crowds of Yesterday were Greatest on Record, Busy Day on Electric Line" which appeared in the Tuesday July 2nd, 1901 edition of the London Free Press.  To view other historic photographs of London, please search the library's Digital Gallery of over 400 scanned images.