Although the history of London begins in 1793, when Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe selected the Forks of the Thames as his choice for the future site for the capital of the province, the city itself was not founded until 1826. By that year the provincial capital had long been located at Toronto.
An administrative seat for the vast London District was needed, and the village that had served as the district for many years (Vittoria, located in Norfolk County), by 1825 was too remote from many of the little settlements that were spreading north from Lake Erie.
When the court house at Vittoria was ruined by fire the legislature set up a committee to investigate the possibility of a new, more convenient location, for the district town. The committee eventually decided on the Crown Reserve of land that Simcoe had, so many years before, set aside at the Forks of the Thames. Their choice was confirmed in a provincial statute which came into force on January 30, 1826.
Soon a cluster of buildings mushroomed around the court house square and the streets, loyally named after officials of the province and Great Britain, began to hum with life.
By 1840 London was large enough to become an incorporated town, and London was incorporated as a city January 1, 1855.