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This exhibit will undergo a significant update to its content and technical specifications, and will be relaunched in the future.

In the meantime, below is a selection of clips from the CFPL-TV fonds available for viewing on our YouTube channel.


When television station CFPL in London first went on the air on November 28, 1953, it was just the second private broadcaster in Canada. It quickly became an integral part of the cultural fabric of the London area, and a vital communications link throughout southwestern Ontario.

CFPL was started by Walter J. Blackburn, publisher of the London Free Press. In fact, the call letters CFPL stood for “Free Press London.” The station started out as a CBC affiliate. The CBC television network itself had only started broadcasting two years earlier.

The original donation to the Archives of Ontario in June 2002 consisted of approximately 2700 reels of film and was accompanied by a very generous financial donation to cover the costs of cleaning and cataloguing the vast quantity of material. There has since been a further donation that includes the news footage for the years 1968-1978.


CFPL-TV, Television Newsreel Air-Cuts, November 4-6, 1954
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-1-1-63
Archives of Ontario

This silent video features CFPL-TV daily news program edited air-cuts (i.e. film prepared as the visual component of news stories for the London, Ontario television station's daily news broadcasts). News stories in this video include coverage of recent snowy weather, preparations for Remembrance Day, and a recent football game between the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues with Lester B. Pearson in the stands.


Louis Armstrong interview in Port Stanley, Ontario, December 1956
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-3-0-3
Archives of Ontario

In this clip from December 1956, a CFPL-TV news reporter interviews jazz legend Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Topics include the role of jazz in spreading goodwill and whether he would want to perform behind the Iron Curtain.


CFPL-TV, Footage of Storybook Gardens and Slippery the Seal, ca. 1957-1958
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-3-0-10
Archives of Ontario

This video features sound and silent CFPL-TV footage of Slippery the Seal, who escaped from and subsequently was returned to London, Ontario's Storybook Gardens. In June 1958, Slippery swam in the Thames River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and into Lake Erie before being caught near Sandusky, Ohio. It features scenes of Storybook Gardens, crowds, a parade in Slippery's honour, and of course the famous seal.


CFPL-TV, Education Week 1958, 1958
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-7-1-173
Archives of Ontario

This video features a group of grade 3 students from Victoria Public School in London, Ontario as part of CFPL-TV's Education Week 1958. The television station followed the students from kindergarden to grade 8.


CFPL-TV, Footage of Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership convention, 1961
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-5-1-30
Archives of Ontario

This video documents the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership convention of 1961 in London, Ontario, in which John Robarts became leader of the party. The footage was used for CFPL-TV’s At Home programme.


CFPL-TV celebrates Hanukkah, ca. 1962
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-7-1-171
Archives of Ontario

In this archival footage, CFPL-TV reporter Bob Reinhart visits B’nai Israel Synagogue in London, Ontario and learns about Hanukkah for the television programme Panorama.


CFPL-TV, Footage of St. Thomas student trip to Expo 67, ca. 1967
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-5-1-99
Archives of Ontario

This video features CFPL-TV reporter George Clark accompanying a busload of 38 students from St. Thomas, Ontario as they travel to and visit Montreal's Expo 67 World's Fair. Note: sound starts at 01:23.


CFPL-TV, Footage of Pierre Trudeau election campaign, 1968
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-5-1-32
Archives of Ontario

This video is a compilation of footage taken by CFPL-TV of Pierre Elliot Trudeau in London, Ontario during the 1968 federal election campaign.


CFPL-TV, Television Newsreel Air-Cuts, June 28, 1973
CFPL-TV fonds
F 4396-1-1-4605
Archives of Ontario

This silent video features CFPL-TV daily news program edited air-cuts (i.e. film prepared as the visual component of news stories for the London, Ontario television station's daily news broadcasts). News stories in this video include coverage of Londoners waiting in the rain for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to arrive on their royal tour, a fire in downtown Chatham, a review of “What the Butler Saw” at the Talbot Theatre, London students running the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s “SPIEL” Student Program that provided information on employment rights to the labour force.