RESERVOIR PARK ESTATES
The Neighbourhood of Reservoir Park Estates
It might be tempting to include this small section of London in one of the nearby neighbourhoods such as Westmount, but Reservoir Parks Estates is unique enough that it deserves its own section. The neighbourhood is composed mostly of executive homes and the average property value is among the highest in the city. The main defining feature of the area is the steep cliffs that follow along the Thames River. On the side of these steep rises and along the rim there are a number of homes built to take advantage of the spectacular views of valley below and the downtown beyond that.
The neighbourhood also encompasses a significant portion of Springbank Park including the sections where Storybook Gardens, the City Greenhouses and the Elmo W. Curtis Gardens and Rayner Gardens are located.
Storybook Gardens opened in 1958. This popular attraction once included sea lions and various other animals tied in with themes from children’s nursery rhymes and stories. On June 16, 1958, an international incident began when “Slippery the sea lion” escaped from a pool into the nearby Thames River. Ten days later, the sea lion was captured, 400 km away in Toledo, Ohio, which announced it would keep Slippery since he was caught in international waters. After several days on display to record-breaking crowds, the Americans returned Slippery. The mayor of London proclaimed “Slippery Day” and thousands lined the streets to see Slippery’s return. Years later, the custody battle was revealed to be a publicity stunt.
The park also includes a Carousel, a miniature train (which are both placed just outside the park), climbing facilities and slides which have been upgraded throughout the years. In 2003 Storybook Gardens underwent a major refurbishment to its present state and it now open year round with skating in the winter. In 2008, the park also put in a 40-foot (12 m) tall Ferris wheel, and also had major repairs on the train and track.
There are no longer sea lions at Storybook Gardens. On June 8, 2012 while the remaining four seals at Storybook gardens were being transported to the Saint Louis Zoo two seals, Peanut and Atlantis died. A third seal, Cri Cri died on June 13 while being treated. In 2014 the barn housing the farm animals burned down and has not been rebuilt. The park continues to be updated with new activities and remains a popular London attraction.
City of London Greenhouse and Civic Garden Complex
The City of London has been growing its own, high quality, annual flower displays for nine decades. The original greenhouses were replaced in 1985 and added on to again in 1996. At the same time the Samuel R. Manness Conservatory and Civic Garden Complex was created through a donation from the Ladies Garden Club of London and Federal and Provincial Government grants.
The small tropical oasis of the conservatory is open year round Monday-Friday from 12 to 3 p.m. Admittance is free. Rental facilities include the Great Hall which has become a popular spot for meetings, weddings and other special events.
Annual events taking place at this facility include a spring greenhouse tour and spring and fall plant sale organized by the Friends of the London Civic Garden Complex as well as the Garden Club of London Flower Show.
Elmo W. Curtis Garden and Rayner Gardens
The Elmo W. Curtis Gardens and Rayner Gardens are integrated and often called the Rose Gardens. At its 1970 opening the Elmo Curtis Rose Garden featured 4,000 roses surrounding the reflecting pond. The original formal design has been preserved, but some of the original rose beds are now used to showcase annuals.
Elmo W. Curtis Gardens is named for the City of London Commissioner who was influential in establishing the rose garden. The Rayner Garden opened in 1983 after Louise Rayner bequeathed $200,000 to establish a rose garden in memory of her son.
Open year round, seasonal highlights of these gardens include early spring bulbs; roses in June; perennials from May till October; and annuals from June till September. Located at the corner of Springbank Drive and Wonderland Road, entrance is made either from Springbank Drive or Wonderland Road.
Source: City of London Parks and Gardens
Parks and Other Places of Interest
This area is also home to Reservoir Park, Rosecliffe Park and Mitchell Park.
There are no schools in this real estate zone.
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334 Wellington Rd. S
London, Ontario N6C 4P6