Blackfriars is one of London’s beloved and unique neighbourhoods. With a distinct character of its own, this historical independent village is nestled just outside the downtown core, running along the Thames River.
As one of the oldest areas in the city, it showcases local history as it engulfs many beautiful homes and other iconic historical landmarks.
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past to present
The Blackfriars neighbourhood is characterized by a unique mix of small and medium-sized heritage cottage style homes. The architectural homes built between 1850 - 1910, showcase Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Edwardian era styles. The homes on these narrow streets once survived the most destructive fatal floods (1883 and 1937) that London has seen. The presence of mature trees, public green spaces and parks that line the river, like Ann Street Park Community Garden and Blackfriars Community Garden, gives the area a distinct character.
The Blackfriars community boasts iconic structures that are still standing today to tell the magnificent history of its area. The Jeanne-Sauvé Public School (former Empress Avenue School) and St. Georges Anglican Church, remain as institutional landmarks within the neighbourhood. Street signs are lined with blue decorative toppers to represent the historical significance of the streets.
NOTABLE LANDMARKS – LABATT PARK
Blackfriars is home to Labatt Park, a centre for sports and leisure in London since 1877. The park holds a Guinness World Record for being the oldest operating baseball diamond in the world and currently serves as home field for the London Majors (IBL), Western Mustangs and Fanshawe Falcons. Interested in getting to see the park, up close and personal? Tours of Labatt Park are available in the summer. Learn more here!
NOTABLE LANDMARKS – BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE
The Blackfriars Bridge, considered the jewel of the neighbourhood, has connected this community to London’s downtown since 1875. It is a beautiful 19th century bridge, made of wrought iron, and is one of the oldest and rarest bridges in Canada. Check out spectacular views of the Thames River from here.
NOTABLE LANDMARKS – ELDON HOUSE
A short walk south from Blackfriars Bridge brings you to Eldon House, the oldest remaining house in London. Eldon House was built in 1834 by a retired naval officer, Captain John Harris. For many years, it was the centre of social and cultural life in the community, and is now a public museum, given to the City of London by the Harris family in 1960.
Be sure to visit Blackfriars Bistro, where they combine precise technique and skill with quality, hand-selected ingredients. They support and depend on indie farmers, sustainable fisheries, local artisans and craftspeople for seasonally changing offerings. Blackfriars Bistro ensures that their cooking and hospitality celebrates the farm-to-table experience, food, drink and authentic flavours grown in Southwestern Ontario. Make a stop at their neighbour business, the Blackfriars Pantry, Larder and Bakery for pickup and takeway options, catering and gourmet food.