I shot this panoramic back on June 24, 2013 from a window of the Delta Armouries in Downtown London.
It’s made up of about 17 photos, all taken at 135 mm zoom with a Nikon D40x. Stitched together with Autopano, the photo is about 33,086 pixels wide by 3,529 pixels high. The jpg alone is about 60 megs, while the unedited tiff came in at just over 1.5 gigs (yikes..)
I’ve had it up on Flickr for a while, but you can’t really see any of the detail in it because of the zoom limitations on that website. (In order for people to actually zoom in and see any detail, I would have to disable the setting that prevents people on the web from seeing the full-res versions of all my uploaded photos.)
Here, however, thanks to the magic of image tiling via Zoomify and Leaflet, you can zoom in and see all the detail, and I don’t have to worry about people having the full-res photo. (You may be thinking I’m going a bit over the top, but it’s not uncommon for people’s photos to be snatched off the web and made into prints, iPhone cases, calendars, or used on websites without permission and attribution.)
Anywhoo, below is a zoomable look at portions of London’s east end, and northeast. A bigger version can be found here.
Originally published in Maclean’s Magazine, May 28, 1955.
A MACLEAN’S FLASHBACK
By Stanley Fillmore
Almost Every Home In London, Ontario, Was Draped In Mourning When The Bodies Of a Hundred And Eighty-One Victoria Day Excursionists Formed The Final Link In An Incredible Chain Of Blundering Irresponsibility.
On a sparkling Tuesday in May 1881, while Queen Victoria was celebrating her sixty- second birthday in London, England, a steamboat, also named VICTORIA, was cruising
on the Thames River near London, Ontario, crowded with more than six hundred exuberant excursionists. Suddenly, something happened.
From his seat in a racing skiff less than a hundred yards off the VICTORIA’s starboard bow, Harry Nicholls watched the boat wallow toward London. He saw her rock ponderously from side to side responding to the motion of the upper-deck passengers who were running from rail to rail. The unusual swaying did not startle Nicholls who was aware of the VICTORIA’s shallow draft, but as he watched he saw the rocking increase until inches of water were shipped at each swing. Suddenly, with a roar of hissing steam, the boat’s huge boiler broke loose from its mounting and crashed through the bulwarks. Water poured through the opening and Nicholls was enwrapped in a cloud of live steam. With a slow, almost deliberate, movement the VICTORIA settled on her side. From both decks passengers were catapulted into the river. Nicholls heard the muffled screams of those trapped between decks. His slim shell was almost swamped in the wake as the VICTORIA went down.
At least a hundred and eighty-one persons drowned on the May 24 excursion; of these, a hundred and ten were children. It was the blackest day in London’s history, the result of an almost incredible series of blunders that could easily have been averted.
By nightfall the flags that bedecked London homes and businesses to mark the Queen’s birthday were lowered to half-mast. For eight days afterward, the dead who had been hooked from the river were carried to their graves. Funeral directors started work before dawn and were still conducting services long after dark. The supply of coffins in London was exhausted the first day and one infant was buried in an adult casket.
All London’s nineteen thousand residents lost relatives or friends. One family, the Fryers, lost five members. By official decree a black armband became a Londoner’s badge of mourning for a thirty-day period. Business firms and schools closed for two days. Most homes in the city were draped in mourning. One milliner advertised in the London Advertiser: “Family mournings at A. B. Powell and Co. who are showing a large range of crapes and mourning-dress material. Our prices are low. Millinery orders executed at the shortest possible notice. Also dressmaking orders.” Draymen charged double their usual funeral rates.
Update (March 2017): I have re-uploaded the two parts with redone voice overs and some script tweaks. I was never happy with how it sounded. That being said, you should know that I haven’t updated the documentary, so it’s still dated for March 2014.
In the second year of Fanshawe’s journalism program, students are placed on a series of four to five week stints — “rotations” — where they do one particular thing for that time period. For example, a student may spend five weeks as a reporter covering a particular beat, while the subsequent five weeks will be spent newscasting
At some point, a student will serve as a ‘current affairs/documentary’ producer for one rotation. Said rotation is made up of several week-long sub-rotations, where you a) make three four-minute radio documentaries, b) host the show that airs said documentaries, c) make a video documentary, and d) produce a 26-minute feature.
Last week, I was tasked to do d), and since last week was also the week St. Patrick’s Day took place, I decided to revisit the infamous 2012 St. Patrick’s Day riots that occurred around Fleming Drive.
Around 1,000 people were involved in the mayhem that stretched into the early morning hours. By the end, there were multiple arrests, injuries, and $100,000 in reported damage. The city and Fanshawe College suffered major black eyes from the incident as the story began to appear in regional, national, and then international media.
One of the more notorious moments of the riots was the overturning and subsequent torching of a news truck belonging to CTV London.
The piece, which was assembled in about 3 and a half days, is in two segments, which you can listen to above.
Thanks to London Police Chief Brad Duncan, former XFM’er Marty Thompson, CTV London’s Chuck Dickson, and FSU President Adam Gourlay for speaking with me.