Lucan is a village on the township of Lucan Biddulph in Southwestern Ontario. The township had a population of 4,700 in 2016.
Lucan Biddulph is an agricultural community with fertile soils used for growing crops and raising livestock. Many of the township's residents are employed in the agricultural sector.
Lucan was named in tribute to Lord Lucan, a prominent landowner in Ireland.
Despite being more than 500 km (310 mi) to the north, in 1829 the area became a refuge for a group of free African Americans from Cincinnati, Ohio, who had been threatened by riots and job discrimination by whites in their city. A group of roughly 200 American blacks were granted refuge and land by the Canada Company and duly set up a colony named Wilberforce. This was one of the earliest, if not the earliest, settlements connected with the American Colonization Society (which was established in 1816 to settle free blacks in an African colony) in Upper Canada and/or West Africa) and was established before emancipation. The flight of refugee blacks, escaped slaves from the South, northward into Canada beginning around this time was as part of the Underground Railroad.
Most of the Cincinnati blacks came from city life and did not adapt well to the harsh farming environment. They cleared large lots of land by logging and worked hard to sustain the colony, but much of the population declined through the 1840s as many of the original colonists moved on to larger, growing urban centres such as Detroit, Cleveland or Toronto to obtain wage-based employment. A few remained to work the land through subsequent generations.
The area was further logged and settled by whites in the 1840s, and later, many from Ireland, some of whom purchased farmsteads from the departing blacks or new lots sold to them cheaply by the Canada Company. Nowadays fewer than 40 descendants of the ancestral blacks remain
By 1850, the majority of the township's landholders were Irish Catholics, many of whom had immigrated from farming lands in County Tipperary, Ireland.
Biddulph Township is known as the site of the brutal massacre on February 4, 1880 of five of the Black Donnellys, an immigrant Irish family caught up in a long-standing local feud. These events have been written about many times and is etched into the criminal history of rural Ontario; it is well known in Canada and nearby areas of the United States.
There is only limited public transport available. You can't do a thing here without a car! Lucan is between London and Exeter on Highway 4, approximately 28 km north of London.
- Huron Shores Area Transit serves Lucan twice daily with buses to Grand Bend and London. Buses from Grand Bend connect as far as Sarnia, Goderich (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), and Strathroy (Tuesday and Thursday).
Lucan is a typical Southern Ontario farmer's town. Its location on Highway 4 makes it a typical pass-through town.
- 1 Lucan Area Heritage & Donnelly Museum, 171 Main St, ☏ . Mid-May to end of Sep: W-Su 11AM-4PM. Tours of the museum and heritage buildings, exhibits about the Black Donnelleys, vigilante bus tours, group tours, school programs, escape room bookings, and various events throughout the year.
- 1 Optimists Park, 111 Elm St. In the summer there is a nice splash pad in the Optimist Park on Elm Street. The splash pad is in the shape of an Irish shamrock.
- The Santa Parade on the first Saturday in December is well worth a visit for children under 10 years old. The parade is well known in the area and the longest in its kind in the wide area. It takes 1½-2 hours for the parade to pass: dress warmly!
- 1 Lucan Architectural, 277 Main St, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. Amish furniture, home decor, garden items, toys,.
- 1 Thai Pad, 175 Main Street, ☏ . M–Th 11AM – 8PM, F Sa 11AM – 9PM. Thai dishes, burgers, sandwiches, and Canadian dinners.
- 2 The North Star Restaurant, 14368 Elginfield Road, Highway 7 near 4, ☏ . Diner.
|Routes through Lucan|
|Ends at ← Clinton ←||N S||→ London → Port Stanley|