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The Thames River is located in southwestern Ontario, Canada.
The Thames flows west 273 kilometres (170 mi) through southwestern Ontario, through the cities of Woodstock, London and Chatham to Lighthouse Cove on Lake St. Clair. Its drainage basin is 5,825 square kilometres (2,249 sq mi).
Called Askunessippi (Anishinaabe language: Eshkani-ziibi, "the antlered river") by the Odawa and Ojibwa inhabitants, who together with the Neutrals, have lived in the area since before Europeans arrived, the river was named after the River Thames in England by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1793.
Much of the Thames is surrounded by deciduous Carolinian forests, although much of this forest has been removed to permit agriculture and other forms of development. Three separate dams are used to control the seasonal flooding this river could cause: Wildwood Dam, Pittock Dam & the Fanshawe Dam.
The Thames River has three main source branches—the North Thames, South Thames, and Middle Thames Rivers. These are also known as the North Branch, South Branch, and Middle Branch. The South Thames is the main stem Thames River and sometimes simply called the Thames.
The North and South branches on the upper part of the river flow through valleys created during the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice age. The North and South branches meet at London; the University of Western Ontario is located on the North Branch. Downriver from London, the lower part of the river flows through a shallow plain of sand and clay, with an average depth of 4 feet (1.2 m). The lower Thames flows through Delaware, Chatham, Thamesville, as well as Chippewa and Oneida First Nations settlements. Tributaries of the Thames include the Avon River, Dingman Creek, Jeanettes Creek, McGregor Creek, Medway Creek, Pottersburg Creek, Stoney Creek, and Waubuno Creek.