Short Takes: Travel Memories From Trips to London, Ontario

This blog post is a collection of memories and passages that I previously wrote about on my old travel blog, Quirky Travel Guy.

For various reasons, these personal stories had to be removed from that site, so I’m preserving them here.

Visiting London, Ontario, Canada

Back in 2013, I had occasion to stay overnight in the city of London. Not England, but Canada.

London, Ontario is about an hour outside Toronto. I took a bus there with a group of bloggers who were attending TBEX in Toronto.

Two of the places I visited are no longer in business, sadly. Here are my memories from these spots.

Kingsmill’s Department Store

kingsmills london ontario

What makes a department store interesting? For one thing, Kingsmill’s has been owned by the same family since 1865.

For another, it’s a thriving downtown business that keeps regularly expanding its space in an era when many old local stores are struggling and closing down.

And best of all, Kingsmill’s has an old-fashioned manual elevator from 1932 with a full-time operator named Mary. She has been the elevator operator for more than 25 years and regular guests know her well.

kingsmills elevator operator


A final highlight of the trip was dinner at Aroma, where we got to cook our own meals. It was a Top Chef competition between bloggers at the Mediterranean restaurant.

I cut up the veggies while others prepped the soup and constructed the salads, complete with artsy apple fans on the top.

Any group can sign up for the “Cooking Studio” experience and make their own meals. The food was amazing and being part of the process was a nice bonus.

aroma restaurant

Among the other spots on our itinerary were the Banting House (the birthplace of insulin), the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, Eldon House, and the Labatt Brewery.

London was cool to visit for a couple days. I’d go back.

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