Fire Insurance Plans (FIPs) are urban city maps initially created for insurance companies to provide them with information about building composition and to assess fire risk and assist in assigning insurance rates. These plans provide details on building construction and usage and help give a static impression of streetscapes, neighborhoods and business/ commercial regions. There is a key and color-coding on the plans to help identify the type of materials that make up a structure; also the description usually indicates usage of the building for business or commercial purposes. FIPs are excellent resources to help you track major changes a building would have undergone over its lifetime, including renovations, additions or demolitions. Due to the amount of research and data gathering required, plans were only updated after major changes in a community.
Western Archives holds FIPs for London as well as most Ontario communities. To verify if we hold FIPs for the community you are interested in please visit our FIP resource guide on our website or contact the Archives Reading Room.
The Map and Data Centre also has London FIPs for 1881 rev. 1888 to 1912 rev. 1922 available online.