Prior to European contact in the 18th century, the present site of London was engrossed by several Neutral and Odawa/Ojibwa villages.
In 1826 the village of London, named after the English capital of London, was founded. It was an administrative seat for the area west of the actual capital, York (now Toronto).
By 1840 London was enough populous to become an incorporated town. In 1848 London was reincorporated with enhanced municipal powers. On 1 January 1855, London was incorporated as a "city".
The decade of the 1870's also saw lines of new estates rising along Queens and Grand Avenues, visible impression of the city's new-found wealth. New institutions, such as the London Psychiatric Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital came into being. Huron College was settled in 1863 and the University of Western Ontario followed in 1878.
From this booming period, until the end of the century, London grew in size both geographically and demographically. Several of London's neighboring suburbs were annexed - London East in 1885, London South in 1890 and London West in 1898. Pottersburg, Ealing and Chelsea Green followed in 1912.
Recent planning decisions have been attentively made to ensure that the character and integrity of the old city is maintained, something which can only result in strengthen the urban environment and in making London a pleasant place for its present and future citizens.