Project serves up a hot cup of London history

Paul Mayne//Western News

Public History graduate student Katie Anderson is part of Pour Over London, a pilot project from the London Heritage Council and LondonFuse, in collaboration with Edgar & Joe’s Café, and supported by the City of London’s Culture Office.

Were you aware the chocolate bar Sweet Marie got its name from a poem Cy Warman wrote in Victoria Park in 1893? Or that The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger called 95 King St. home from 1961-65? Or that the wind tunnel system used to build the World Trade Center and Confederation Bridge was invented in 1965 at Western?

For a limited time, you can get a dose of local history like this alongside your morning coffee thanks to a pilot project from the London Heritage Council and LondonFuse, in collaboration with Edgar & Joe’s Café and supported by the City of London’s Culture Office.

Pour Over London aims to bring local heritage into Londoners’ everyday lives – one cup at a time – through a variety of heritage facts presented on coffee sleeves. The launch of the project coincides with Canada’s annual Heritage Week, Feb. 18-24.

Starting next week, visitors to Edgar & Joe’s Café locations on Horton Street (Goodwill Industries) or King Street (Innovation Works) will learn about London’s robust streetcar network, the oldest continually operational baseball diamond, the Thames River’s important role in the Forest City and more.

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Public History student Katie Anderson, who is doing a placement at the London Heritage Council, worked closely on the project. She enjoyed the difficult task of narrowing numerous interesting facts and stories about London down to the 20 being used.

“I’ve always loved history. How do you narrow down to just 20?” said Anderson, who contributed two of the 20 facts being used. Her facts focused on London’s SoHo area. “The sleeves are great conversation starters. There are so many fascinating tidbits about London. This is just a little snapshot of that.

“It’s a hope we get people more familiar with London’s heritage and interesting things they wouldn’t have know before. It’s an opportunity to encourage discussions.”

Londoners are also encouraged to take the conversation online using the hashtag #PourOverLDN to share their own facts and stories about London and its history. It’s an opportunity to be exposed to more and more history, she added.

“There is no such thing as done,” said Anderson about the considerable amount of history that still needs to be shared. “The most important thing is that you recognize you’re continuously learning.”