Start your day with breakfast at a quirky café and a walk along the Thames River. Explore the beautiful architecture of St. Paul’s Cathedral and many heritage sites throughout London. Stop to read a book in lush Victoria Park, right in the heart of the city. Spend your afternoon shopping artisan crafts, gourmet food and local produce at Covent Garden Market. Then, catch a musical at the Grand Theatre after dinner at an intimate French bistro. This could be very easily pass as travel itinerary for London, England featured in a Lonely Planet book. Or, it could be how you spend your day off as a resident of London, Ontario.

Western students live in London, but many of them exist within a bubble that limits their exposure to what goes on outside of campus life. Students understand London as Western University, north London and parts of Richmond Row – but they experience very little of the whole city.

On October 1 and 2, London will be holding its 15th annual Doors Open event. With over 40 sites and 150 events, the weekend long celebration offers an opportunity to explore the diversity of London’s heritage and culture. Don’t miss out on this free pass to snoop around the city’s most exclusive locations! Visit  for event details.

Interested in exploring more of what London has to offer? Here’s an insider list of some of the activities you should try to fit in between afternoons at Weldon and evenings at home:

Shop at London’s Covent Garden Market, and explore the city’s largest collection of farm-fresh, local foods.

Catch up on course readings with a freshly brewed coffee at Black Walnut Café, Locomotive Espresso, or Edgar and Joes.

Have brunch at The Bag Lady Variety, a funky vintage inspired café that serves homemade all-day breakfast.

If you get tired of studying on campus, check out the London Public Library. They offer free Internet access, resource help desks, and an opportunity to observe and interact with London locals.

Catch an indie film at Hyland Cinemas, London’s Art and International Film House.

Indulge in an all-you-can eat feast at 168 Sushi, a favourite celebration spot for group birthday dinners.

Spend a winter evening skating in Victoria Park. Rent a stick and puck from the rink, and join in on a community game of Canada’s favourite sport Hockey.

Wander through the unique and historic community of Wortley Village, awarded ‘Canada’s Greatest Neighbourhood’ by Canadian Institute of Planners in 2013.

Attend a concert at London Music Hall, a major stop for bands and artists on tour throughout Southern Ontario. The Trews, Tory Lanez and Sam Roberts Band are on their upcoming events list.

Spend an evening with friends playing board games and munching on snacks at Chill or Cardboard Café.