Poetic Tour of London
00:04 - Gibbons Park (2A Grosvenor St.)
Located steps away from London’s downtown core and nestled right along the Thames River. The park has a splash pad as well as water fountains, and an indoor washroom facility.
00:15 - Western University (1151 Richmond St.)
Western University is a public research university in North London. The main campus is located on 1,120 acres of land, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and the Thames River bisecting the campus's eastern portion. The university operates twelve academic faculties and schools.
00:45 - Budweiser Gardens (99 Dundas St.)
Budweiser Gardens opened in October of 2002 with a seating capacity of 9,090 for hockey and ice events and over 10, 000 for concerts, family shows and other events. It is the largest arena in South Western Ontario.
00:57 - Time Capsule, Banting House (442 Adelaide St N.)
The time capsule was buried on November 5th, 1991 to mark the 100th year anniversary of Frederick Banting's birth. Frederick Banting was the scientist who discovered Insulin, helping millions with diabetes. Placed by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn and dedicated by the Youth of the International Diabetes Federation. It is to be exhumed when the cure for diabetes is discovered.
01:28 - Antler River/Deshkan Ziibi/Forks of the Thames (399 Ridout St. N.)
The Thames River and North Thames River meet in central London at the "Forks." The river is also known as Deshkaan-ziibi / Eshkani-ziibi ("Antler River") in the Ojibwe language, spoken by Anishnaabe peoples who, along with the Neutrals prior to the disappearance in the 17th century, have lived in the area since before Europeans arrived.
01:53 - Flame of Hope, Banting House (442 Adelaide St N.)
The Flame of Hope honours all those affected by diabetes and stands as a symbol of hope for a cure to be discovered. It was kindled by the Queen in 1989, and will only be extinguished when a cure is found, by the team that discovered it.
02:09 - Embassy Commons Indwell Mosaic (744 Dundas St.)
Clayworx partnered with Indwell to contract artist Beth Turnbull Morrish as its Mosaic Art Director to conceive the design, oversee tile production, and install over 12,000 hand made tiles along with her intrepid crew. Installation was completed in the summer of 2022.
02:20 - Palace Theatre Arts Commons (710 Dundas St.)
Designated in 1991 by the City of London as a historic site under the Ontario Heritage Act, this iconic structure continues to attract theatre enthusiasts and tourists. Walk in and enjoy a step back in time.
02:30 - Clayworx (664 Dundas St.)
As a charitable arts organization, Clayworx offers exceptional education programs in ceramic arts for all ages, an open clay studio for artists, and exciting community-building experiences with clay.
02:46 - Dundas Place (Dundas St. between Talbot and Wellington)
Dundas Place is a destination for shopping, dining, art, and celebration. From Wellington to Ridout Streets, Dundas Place is a flexible street shared by pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, which can be closed to vehicles for special events and programming.
04:16 - Western Fair (845 Florence St.)
An annual fair held in London since 1868, on the second full week of September. The Western Fair is the City of London's largest community event, one of Canada's major fairs, and considered a Top 10 event in Ontario.
Poetic Tour of London Locations
"My Home, Our Home"
by Sunday Ajak
"I asked the people of my home, London Ontario, what does home mean to you? Where does your heart fall within this city?
A kind gentlemen said that home is somewhere to grow, an old friend said that it is somewhere to hurt, A mother said that it is a place where we can lay with the feelings of safety; and her daughter counteracted with it is a place where we can wash through the emotion of insecurity. And for me, home is all of these things, and so much more.
The reality is, we all have our own hearts, and within each heart we have constructed the idea of home. Founded upon the meanings that we attach to it.
But naturally, as a poet, I grew curious. See, I implore myself to explore the feelings that we consider universal. From love to hate, happiness to depression, and everything in between. See, I needed to know, can my home, ever be our home?
It is said that home is where the heart is, at least that is what a mysterious stranger passing by told me, but no two hearts reside in the same place, or do they?
Surely even an idea as unique home, can hold with it, shared feelings of comfort and anxiety, dreams and despair, stress, and solitude. See I wanted to understand. I wanted to understand what the business owner meant when he told me those words, I wanted to feel what others felt when they were in this city. A city that beats with a collective heart, pulsating under the same rhythm of the land.
In a place rooted in the Indigenous territory and culture that came long before us. My home, London Ontario is a shared space of gorgeous flaws, we situate ourselves on the land of the Anishinaabeg (Ah-nish-in-a-bek), the Haudenosaunee (ho-den-no-show-nee), the Lunaapeewalk (Len-ahpay-wuk), and the Chonnonton (Chun-ongk-ton) nations. And what an honour it is, that we can share in this land as our home. You see, one thing that has portrayed as a foundation in this city, is the idea of us.
See many people have adopted the philosophy of us versus them. A tragic notion that unfortunately dominates this world, but one thing I’ve noticed throughout my entire life in London. Is that the narrative isn’t us versus them, much rather, it’s as one person told me, us versus us.
See this poem wasn’t just written by me. As I said before one’s home can only be described by them. So, in order to describe our home, it had to be written by our people.
Because London is comfortable, as I was told by a group of amazing creatives, even though there still is a lot more work to be done. It’s a great place to start, whether you’re a student, a parent, a worker, or nothing at all. It’s a rollercoaster of energy, from the good to the bad and everything in between. We are a shared space of gorgeous flaws.
So listen, if you think my home, London Ontario is chaotic or sporadic, interesting, and exciting, you are exactly correct. As a long time, musician told me, one second, you’re introverted within your core of creatives and the next you’re performing in the festivals of Victoria Park. The limits of what you can do here only exist where you decide to put them.
Because in London Ontario there are no limits to what your heart can desire. The only thing that falls as your responsibility is finding where, where you want to place your heart. Is your heart on the banks of the Deshkan Ziibi, in the downtown, in Old East Village? Wortley Village? Is your heart at home plate in Labatt’s Park, listening to music at Aeolian Hall? Marching in Pride, at a Powwow at the Gathering on the Green?
Because once you find where your heart belongs, you will lay the foundation of what you will soon call home.
But don’t you worry,
in my home there is always room.
In my home a poem is brought to life with a chorus of voices,
only in my home.
Or should I be saying,
in our home."