Wedding in London Ontario
London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada along the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor with a metropolitan area population of 457,720; the city proper had a population of 352,395 in the 2006 Canadian census.
London was first settled by Europeans in 1826 and was incorporated as a city on January 1, 1855. Since then, London has grown into the largest Southwestern Ontario municipality and the city has developed a strong focus towards education, health care, tourism, manufacturing, economic leadership and prosperity.
London's municipal government is split between fourteen councillors (one representing each of London's fourteen wards) and a Board of Control, consisting of four controllers and the mayor. London's current mayor is Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, re-elected in 2006.
Historically, the Board of Control was introduced during a period of expansion so the ward councillors could deal with ward issues while the board dealt with problems affecting the entire city. Although London has many ties to Middlesex County, it is now "separated" and the two have no jurisdictional overlap. Exception here is granted to the Middlesex County courthouse and former jail as the judiciary is administered directly by the province.
The area was formed during the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice age, which produced areas of marshland, notably the Sifton Bog (which is actually a fen), as well as some of the most productive areas of farmland in Ontario. The eastern half of the city is generally flat, with the exception being around the five neighboring ponds in the south, with gently rolling hills in the west and north.
The Thames River dominates London's geography, with the North Thames River and Thames River meeting at the centre of the city known as "The Forks" or "The Fork of the Thames." The North Thames runs through the man-made Fanshawe Lake, located in northeast London. Fanshawe Lake was created by Fanshawe Dam, which was constructed to protect the areas down river from catastrophic flooding which affected the city on two occasions in the past (1883 and 1937).
Because of its location in the continent and proximity to the Great Lakes, London experiences very contrasting seasons. The summers are usually hot and muggy, while the winters are normally quite cold but with frequent thaws. London has the most thunder and lightning storms of any area in Canada. For its southerly location within Canada, it does receive quite a lot of snow, averaging slightly over 200cm (80 in.) per year. The majority of this is Lake effect snow originating from Lake Huron, some 60km (40 mi.) to the northwest which occurs when strong, cold winds blow from that direction.
London is present at the junction of Highway 401 that connects the city to Toronto and Detroit, USA, and Highway 402 to Sarnia. Also, Highway 403, which diverges from the 401 at nearby Woodstock, Ontario, provides ready access to Brantford, Hamilton, the Golden Horseshoe area, and the Niagara Peninsula.