Places Named London That Aren't London

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 86 months ago

Last Updated 22 March 2017

Places Named London That Aren't London

London: beware of imitations. There are more than a few copycats across the world, who've lifted the name for their own cities, towns and unincorporated communities. Here, we investigate.

London Ontario. Photo: Sagittariuss

London, Ontario

The biggest London that isn't actually London. This one was founded in 1793 by British Army General John Graves Simcoe. Naming the place London wasn't quite enough for Simcoe — he also called their river the Thames.

There are reports that Simcoe actually intended to name the city Georgina after then monarch King George III, but it's unclear why that didn't happen. One possibility is the length of time it took to settle on a site. Simcoe was plagued by 30 years of skirmishes and disagreements over where exactly the capital of Upper Canada should be. By the time the village was finally founded, George was dead.

The tranquil Lagmans Skol: London, Jakobstad. © Google 2017

London, Finland

London is a suburb in the Finnish City of Jakobstad and our quick tour on street view really doesn't suggest there's that much there. It's mainly just trees and some houses — all rather quaint. The city is bilingual (Swedish and Finnish), although — not boasting — the real London speaks 300 languages.

One thing of note in the area is a primary school, called Lagmans. They've themed the 2016-17 academic year as "slow school". It's completely alien to our London, but feels fitting for Jakobstad.

The village of London is up at the top of Christmas Island. Photo: NASA (under creative commons license)

London, Christmas Island

The feel of the sand between your toes, dipping into the azure tinted ocean and bathing in the glorious sunshine. These are all things that the Londoners on Christmas Island (or Kiribati) get to experience daily. Yeah? well we've got Ruislip Lido, so there.

London, Nigeria. © 2017 Google

London, Nigeria

The above picture is of the village of London in Nigeria. It's one road, with a few houses on it surrounded by dense forest. Looks like they've got a lot of spare land around... perhaps this is the answer to London's housing crisis?

East London's double-decker bridge. © 2017 Google

East London, South Africa

So South Africa doesn't seem that enamoured with all of London, just a quarter of it. East London has a bit of an identity crisis though, as it also contains a neighbourhood called Berlin.

While a city that's a mash-up between east London and Berlin seems like the stuff from most 23 year old vegan techno obsessive hipster's dreams, we're not sure the final product matches up. The most exciting thing the city has going for it is a double-decker... a double-decker bridge, that is, crossing the Buffalo River. And not to be rude, but it ain't quite Tower Bridge is it?

Londons in the United States

America was colonised by scores of unimaginative Londoners a very long time ago and more than a few of them thought they'd name their new city London. There are three veritable cities named London in America: one in Ohio, another in Arkansas and another in Kentucky. However, there are another 14 "unincorporated communities" named London dotted around the country. Add to that London, California — a census designated place — and it brings the USA's count up to a grand total 18 notable Londons.

Mystic River, New London, Connecticut. Photo: peasap

See also: New London

America isn't only flushed with Londons, they've also covered themselves with New Londons to boot. There are at least 16, so we're not going to cover all of them, just the biggest. That's New London, Connecticut, a seaport city with a population of 27,620 (2010 census).

What makes New London particularly fascinating is that it was named by its inhabitants. The Connecticut General Assembly wanted to name the area Faire Harbour, but the locals protested. They were so against that name they said they'd even prefer —gasp — its indigenous Pequot Indian name, Nameaug. 17th century American government bodies weren't exactly the biggest fans of the natives, so relented and named the city New London.

See also, Britain's own Little Londons.