Ah, the Forest City! Founded in 1826 and home to 366, 151 people (according to 2011 census), London is a great place to find oneself. With the claim of being Canada’s 10th largest city, London is a vibrant community with great health care, education opportunities, access to nature, affordable housing, a vibrant arts community and so much more. I could rave about it til the cows come home and actually already have. After my last writing though, I felt that there was still something missing that I could, and really should, still share with you. For those of you that haven’t been fortunate enough to visit the Forest City, let me give you a bigger picture of London, Ontario and all it has to offer.

LONDON’S ACCESSIBILITY

If you haven’t stopped in London on your way between Toronto and Detroit, let me give you a few good reasons to pull off the highway the next time you drive by. London has a great central location in Southwestern Ontario, with easy access to all the best that Ontario has to offer. It is located an hour East of Sarnia (and US crossing into Port Huron, MI) and two hours East of Windsor (and access to Detroit, MI). Going in the other direction on the 401, one hour eastbound will find you in the tri-county areas of Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge, plus a short 60 minute drive later you will hit Canada’s most populous city of Toronto. If you are looking for a beach, you can head half an hour South to Port Stanley or one hour North to Grand Bend. Of course that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as lake access goes, as London is only a short distance from Lake Erie’s shores, as well as easily accessible to Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and of course Lake Ontario. Need I point out that that’s three of the five Great Lakes, which is the largest source of fresh water in the world? Speaking of water, the world-class destination of Niagara Falls is only 2 1/2 hours travel along the 403 as well. Doesn’t London sound like the best possible place to access all of those destinations?

THE NEIGHBOURHOODS  OF LONDON

Oh, but I want you to pull off the highway here and explore more though! In fact, there are 41 neighbourhoods within the city’s bounds and they all have something worth exploring. Just take a look at this map and you can see that London is more than a blip to drive by.

Neighbourhoods of London

That’s approximately 420km² that you are looking at right there. You can find a mix of industrial development, a manufacturing sector, extensive urban plans, as well as the rural roots of farming that originally founded the city. For today though, I just want to give you a brief snapshot of some of London’s neighbourhoods and their draws.

  • Argyle: mix of old and newer homes, easy access to 401 via Veterans Memorial Parkway, home of Argyle Mall, Kiwanis Park, Salvation Army Children’s Village
  • Byron: annexed by the city of London in 1961, home of Storybook Gardens, Boler Mountain and Springbank Park (London’s largest park)
  • Carling: affordable housing, home of Wolseley Barracks and the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum
  • Central London: the downtown core with unique shopping on Richmond Row, multiple festivals held at Victoria Park, The Grand Theatre, Central Library, Covent Garden Market, South Street Hospital and lots of old homes
  • Hamilton Road: large Portuguese population, hosts the St Julien Park Community Festival and home to the Crouch Library branch, as well as the Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre
  • Lambeth: independent village until annexed by London in 1992, but still has small town feel, home of Lambeth Harvest Fest and Green Hills Country Club
  • Masonville: excellent shopping in the largest mall in London (Masonville Mall), home of Windermere Manor and Elsie Perrin Williams Estate
  • Oakridge: old, well-treed neighbourhood with low density housing, home of Thames Valley Golf Course and Sifton Bog
  • South London: active community with close-knit vibe, lots of schools, churches and old homes, home of trendy Wortley Village that hosts Art in the Village, Gathering on the Green, Christmas in the Village, plus Thames Park
  • Westminster: close to shopping, the 401, Parkwood Hospital, easy access to public transportation and home to the beautiful 200 hectare Westminster Ponds

And that is just 10 of them!

So I have a question for you. Do you call London home? Did I mention your neighbourhood today? If not, which one do you live in? How about you tell us what the perks of your neck of the woods are? Maybe I will do a feature on the glory of your hood. Can’t wait to hear the stories!

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