Western Hotel

The Western Hotel pictured here opened in 1854, replacing an earlier hotel of the same name on another site, which had been destroyed by fire in 1850. The new hotel’s first proprietor was 21 year-old Peter McCann, an Edinburgh native. By 1855, the Western Hotel was considered to be one of six first-class hotels in London, along with the Robinson Hall, the City Hotel, the Golden Ball, the American Hotel, and the Prospect House.

London was experiencing a land boom created by the coming of the Great Western Railway in 1853. McCann, like hundreds of others, invested heavily in land. In the ensuing financial collapse of 1857, McCann lost everything, including ownership of his hotel.

The hotel served as a southern terminus of the London-Lucan stage coach lines, one of which was owned by William Donnelly. Bitter rivalry between these companies contributed to a long-standing feud, culminating in 1881 in the savage murder of five members of the Donnelly family in Biddulph Township.

No longer a first class establishment, the Western Hotel remained in operation until 1917 when James Washington Westervelt acquired the building and established his business school in the upper stories. The building was demolished in 1989, and an office and retail complex was then built on the site.

Western Hotel
463 Richmond Street
London, ON
42° 59' 8.1096" N, 81° 15' 2.6316" W