The Byron Neighbourhood
Located downriver (west) from London on the outer fringes of the city, Byron was originally called Westminster, then renamed Hall’s Mill, and then finally Byron. The Byron area was settled in 1800 and first became a village in 1804. The village of Byron was annexed by the City of London in 1961 and the population grew substantially with the development of large subdivisions around the original village.
The current boundaries of Byron are generally regarded to be the land south of the Thames River and west of Colonel Talbot Road. Recent housing developments have expanded Byron southward to Southdale Road and westward to Wickerson Road. Outside of the urban area, Byron is surrounded by farmland and forested areas. Even though Byron has evolved into a suburb of London, it retains the character of small town with its own downtown area. It has become a popular area for families, in part because of the close proximity to Springbank Park.
In 1946 a group of individuals gathered at the top of Reservoir Hill to enjoy a new sport they had learned while serving over seas during The Great War. Each year more and more people would arrive at the site to participate in this young sport.
In 1949 the group of London skiers joined together to incorporate the London Ski Club. They surveyed the topography of the land and located a property outside of Byron that could be purchased, having a hill suitable to provide a variety of slopes from beginner to advanced skiers.
The club was established as a non-profit organization, in that, there are no shares whereby owners or shareholders get a financial return from the operation of the club. The Voting Members of the club elect a Board of Directors who help guide the operations of the club along with the management staff. The profits or other accretions to the club shall be used to promote and extend the facilities for the enjoyment of skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.
The original clubhouse was located at the bottom of Hill 55 and was taken down shortly after the erection of the present chalet in 1972. Hall T-bars replaced rope tows that originally serviced J.S., Hill 55, Big Dip, Double Dip and Elbow in 1968 and 1970. This was a big step in giving customers a generally cleaner and safer method of lift elevation.
In 1979 the club entered into an expansion program that gave skiers more vertical and new slopes. In 1990 the Board again took on a major upgrading project, which included the replacement of the J.S. T-bars with a new Quad Chairlift. The snow-making system was expanded to cover more slopes with snow in a shorter period of time. They also moved the beginner area away from the main runs to give beginners a better chance to learn. The beginner run has a new handle tow which is much more proficient than the old platter lift.
In the summer of 1995, the Boler Mountain Bike Centre began operation on the property owned by the London Ski Club. The format of the operation is very similar to the winter operation with day tickets and memberships being sold. In its second year of operation, the bike centre increased its season pass base by more than 500% and hosted race #2 in the national Canada Cup series. The London Ski Club has become a year round recreation facility.
In 1997 The London Ski Club embarked on another major hill expansion and chalet upgrades. They added Tubing to their list of winter activities and enhanced the main floor of our chalet to become more user friendly. In 2003 The London Ski Club had a major renovation and face-lift, the two T- Bars (Rusty and Big Dip) were replaced with a new fixed grip Quad chair lift and the trails adjoining the lift were realigned. They also added a state of the art conveyor lift to tubing.
In 2004 The London Ski Club undertook a major business change by re-incorporating as an incorporated charitable organization. This was a major step forward in The London Ski Club’s ability to fund raise.
In 2005 a new Half Pipe was built beside the Tubing Park to add a new and exciting element to the London Ski Club.
In 2006 The London Ski Club has expanded the terrain to our beginner area and installed a magic carpet lift. A new magic carpet lift has also been installed to provide easy access all the way to the top of the new Half Pipe and Tubing Park.
Today the club has more than 1,400 winter and 100 summer seasons pass holders.
Source: Boler Mountain
Springbank Park is a 140-hectare (300 acre) park located along a stretch of the Thames River. As the largest park in London, it contains 30 km of trails and is home to Storybook Gardens, a family attraction open year round.
Springbank Park was originally developed around the site of a waterworks facility in the late 19th century. Alderman James Egan suggested the nearby Hungerford Hill, now commonly known as “Reservoir Hill”. In the years following the creation of the waterworks the city began to purchase more land in the surrounding area and the spot became a resort serviced by steamers to and from London via the Thames River.
On May 24, 1881 the steamer “Victoria” capsized killing 182 people which instantly cut steamer travel along the Thames and scaled back the popularity of the waterworks grounds. Afterwards the grounds could still be reached by carriage and eventually horse drawn bus but interest would not recover for years.
During the year 1896 the London Street Railway constructed and began service of a street car system to take people to and from the Springbank Park in record amounts. In the years to follow the additions to the Park would include tennis and bowling lawns, zoo, campground, amusement park and a dance hall all before 1925. As time passed on London grew around the park; about 1920 a miniature train was added as an attraction.
Warbler Woods Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is located in west London between Commissioners Road and Byron Baseline Road.
The publicly-owned lands cover 28 ha. Warbler Woods ESA forms part of a continuous natural corridor extending north to Kains Woods ESA.
The rolling hills and steep ravines of Warbler Woods create a scenic area for hiking, bird watching, and nature appreciation. The upland deciduous forest is particularly beautiful in the spring when it is carpeted with trilliums, trout lilies and other early-blooming plants.
There are about 3.5 kms of trails in the ESA. The main trail, which extends the length of the site from access points 1 to 8, is about 1.8 km long. The trails are somewhat challenging with several steep sections. The land is well-drained so rarely muddy. The managed trails are marked with yellow blazes on the trees. The Thames Valley Trail follows the trail from access points 1 to 5.
Parks and Other Places of Interest
In addition to Springbank Park, Warbler Woods ESA and Boler Mountain, Byron is serviced by a number of other parks including Park Lane Estates Park, Byron Park, Belvedere Place Park, Griffith Street Park, North Street Park, Somerset Park as well as a number of other unnamed parks and green spaces.
Byron is home to a number of public and Catholic schools: Byron Northview Public School, Byron Somerset Public School, Byron Southwood Public School, St. Theresa Catholic Elementary School, and St. George Catholic Elementary School. Byron Woods Montessori is also located in this community.
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