RBC Place London celebrates 30th Anniversary - By Jeffrey Reed
In 1993, the city of London, through a massive annexation, became one of the largest urban municipalities in Ontario. In October 1993, RBC Place London (formerly the London Convention Centre) opened its doors as one of Canada’s most important meeting, conference, and special event venues. That legacy lives on today, as RBC Place London celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Owned by the City of London, RBC Place London has a reputation of providing world-class service within its 70,000 square feet of event space. Located in the heart of downtown London, the convention centre continues to be a major catalyst for the local economy. Consider that RBC Place London has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors during the past three decades, and you realize the multi-faceted venue is a staple of the London business and entertainment scene. The total economic impact of meetings, conventions and special events hosted in 2023 is projected to be about $19.1 million.
Within the modern, accessible convention centre is a second floor with 33,000 square feet of ballroom space where events run with ease, no matter how large the scale. The flexible first floor can accommodate up to 14 breakout rooms where groups can bond, ideas can flow and business builds stronger foundations.
Notable events hosted at RBC Place London read like a Who’s Who of meetings and celebrations. They include The Patch at the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier, 2019 JUNO Awards gala, multiple London Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards and State of the City Mayoral Addresses, London Comic Con and annual meetings and conferences for groups like the American Ornithological Association whose members flocked to London from across North America last month.
“Whenever we have a large event to hold, we always reach out to check availability at RBC Place London,” said Julia Cunningham, Director of Events at London Chamber of Commerce. “We know that if our event is held at their establishment, it will be a smoothly organized and well-executed event.”
Heather Reid, President of the Professional Convention Management Association – Canada East, called RBC Place London her favourite Canadian meeting centre. “I've had the privilege of hosting events in 15 of the 23 convention centres in Canada,” Reid said, “but I can unanimously say this is my favourite convention centre in the country … you have a great team here.”
As RBC Place London has evolved over the past 30 years, it has added and improved brick and mortar and has enhanced its technology and overall guest experience. In Fall 2022, RBC Place London began revitalizing its King Street Parkette which sits across from DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada through FedDev Ontario, under the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) and Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).
The parkette is now open to host events and add to the downtown enjoyment for all, whether staying, playing or living in the core. The beautifully-landscaped space is fully equipped with electrical, audio and Wi-Fi connections, as well as customizable, coloured LED lighting to support special events.
In addition, the funding assisted in RBC Place London’s recent replacement of its marquee digital sign with an LED sign, upgrading of its guest Wi-Fi to most current Wi-Fi 6 and introduction of a 3D floorplan program for an improved client experience.
As a testament to its positive work culture, RBC Place London boasts many long-time associates, including Executive Chef David Van Eldik who has been on board almost since the venue’s charter year. He and Executive Sous-Chef Kent Phillips are both Certified Chefs de Cuisine (CCC). That designation is the highest professional culinary recognition and accreditation in Canada. In addition, newest team member Sous-Chef Raine Laing is Red Seal Certified and complements an already world-class kitchen.
RBC Place London has always been a big community supporter – an effort which increased during the pandemic when it partnered with the London Food Bank and 519Pursuit to prepare meals which were delivered to Londoners facing homelessness and extreme poverty. Since 2020, their kitchen has produced over 100,000 healthy meals for the most vulnerable citizens in our community.
The best is yet to come for RBC Place London as it continues to support the local economy and community. As London grows, the centre will continue to host events of all sizes, building awareness and international recognition for London. Driving economic impact, supporting local business and driving tourism visitations are also all outcomes of RBC Place London hosted events.
See for yourself why RBC Place London has been a local institution for 30 years, and why its reputation will only grow over the next three decades. Visit RBCPlaceLondon.com for more information on planning and attending events.