Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Stone on Simcoe

This little war memorial stands on the south side of Simcoe Street, commemorating students from Simcoe Street Public School who fought, and presumably died, in World War I.

It's also indirectly a monument to Simcoe Street Public School itself. Also known as Governor Simcoe School, it stood on the north side of Simcoe Street just east of Clarence. Built in 1887 and demolished in 1976, the school would have been attended by Guy Lombardo and his brothers who lived just a block away.

A reminder of London's past as well as a lost generation.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Tribute to Dr. Agnos

Many of London's monuments pay tribute to notable local individuals. An example is this sign in a green area next to the semi-detached houses at 224-226 Richmond Street. It asks us to remember Dr. John William Agnos, avid naturalist and respected radiologist. John's father William, a Greek immigrant, bought 224 Richmond in 1950, while John's sister Georgia bought 226.

John graduated from Western's medical school in 1952 and became Head of Radiology at Westminster Hospital. But he was also an active and well-known environmentalist (in the days before environmentalism was trendy) and a president of the McIlwraith Field Naturalists. Eventually his interests in science and nature prompted him to produce a monthly column on these matters in the London Free Press. John passed away in 1991.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Heritage on Talbot

This attractive building - complete with heritage paint colours - has its own particular claim to fame, being the oldest wooden store front in London. Located at 357 Talbot Street, it's been sitting here looking cute since about 1863. It's currently the home of Heritage Antiques.

It looks small but stretches a long way back, and proprietor Tom Smits has filled it with a delightful variety of furniture, paintings, china, and ornaments. I coveted an 18th century French sideboard but realized it was too large to fit in my apartment. Maybe one day.

Update, May 2013 - Tom is closing his shop at the end of November. After 38 years in business, he's decided to enjoy a well-deserved retirement and travel. We'll be watching 357 Talbot to see its next incarnation.