The Thames flows 273 km through southern Ontario, meandering quietly past the cities of London and Chatham to Lake St. Clair. Along much of its length, it is flanked by rich Carolinean forest. The names of the trees here have a definite southern accent – tulip, pawpaw, Kentucky coffee tree, sassafras... Wildlife and fish species also have a southern flavour, and include many that are rarely found elsewhere in Canada, such as the eastern spiny softshell turtle, queen snake, southern flying squirrel, and Virginia opossum.
|The diversity of species is reflected in the rich cultural heritage of the Thames. Its fertile valley has been home to people for over 11,000 years. Wars have been fought here, and commercial farming in Canada had its roots here. Much of the Thames valley still appears as it did 200 years ago, and many early buildings are still standing. From a recreational viewpoint, the Thames is also a most diverse watershed. Explore Canada’s deep south by canoe or along hiking trails that crisscross the watershed. Catch a fish, or a Shakespearean play at the Stratford Festival. The Thames River – a rich southern blend.||Area Map||Fact Sheet|