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Series: Old South Community Organization

Old South Community Organization

The Old South Community Organization (OSCO) began life as the "South London Community Organization" around about 1975, and was incorporated in 1980. According to the folklore, it came about mainly in response to the construction of the Horton Street "Extension", sometimes called the Horton Street "Expressway" (if you can believe it) and the proposed extension of Ridout Street south of Commissioners Road.

Programming and Initiatives

OSCO hosts the Gathering on the Green, the largest & oldest community festival in London. It's been going on for over thirty years, since the mid-late 1980's. At various times they've sponsored or supported Cruise Nights, the Jazz & Blues Festival, Halloween in the Village, Christmas in the Village, and a mid-winter Chili Cookoff.

In addition to the Gathering, OSCS sells Christmas trees as a fundraiser. Money raised goes to fund a number of awards at South Collegiate Institute and other projects in the community, such as the Community Breakfast Program, hosted by five area churches, tree planting around the community, and the purchase of park benches,  bike rings and custom street signs in Wortley Village.

The organization's most significant achievement in recent years is the saving of the London Normal School, its acquisition by the City of London, the creation of a new park at that location and most recently, the renovation of the building by the city for use by the YMCA. OSCO has been diligently leading & following this issue for many years, and has played a very active role in getting the project to this point.

Of almost equal significance is OSCO's role in helping persuade National Grocers (Loblaws) not to close the Valu-Mart on Wortley Road, back in 1999-2000. The loss of a grocery store would have done irreperable harm to the community.

Community Partnerships

OCSO has worked with the staff at Landon Library for many years on projects of mutual interest, and played a important role in preserving that library branch when it was (repeatedly) slated for closing.

They have also supported all the local schools who at one time or another have to re-naturalize their schoolyards, purchase new playground equipment, etc.

OSCO partners with Thames River Rally, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and City of London on the annual cleanup of the Thames River.

Getting Involved

OSCO is generally located between Wellington Street on the east, Baseline (or Commissioners) on the south, Wharncliffe on the west and the Thames across the north. They monitor city-wide events and issues that may be of interest to residents.

OSCO meets the second Tuesday of  the month (except during the summer) in the OSCO room at the Landon library, beginning at  7pm. All are welcome.  Anyone interested in joining can can visit their website at or contact George Sinclair at 519-672-0405.

This article is part of a series on neighbourhood associations in London, Ontario.