London, Ontario is a great place to live. Thanks to its fantastic location, world-class amenities, and growing economy, London, ON attracts newcomers from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for a better quality of life or you just want to save some money, there are a ton of reasons to move here.
Let's look at what London, ON is like and why it's a great place to live.
What is living in London, Ontario like?
London, ON mixes the best of big-city amenities and small-town relaxation. It is nicknamed "The Forest City" and for good reason. London is home to countless acres of parkland and green space, such as the historic Victoria Park in Downtown and numerous parks lining the Thames River. The many tree-lined streets give it a charming and laid back feeling, perfect for families of all ages.
London is also big enough to have the amenities that a large city would offer. There is an array of cultural events and attractions to check out, such as concerts and hockey games at Budweiser Gardens, a show at the Grand Theatre, or one of the many world-class festivals held throughout the year, such as Sunfest, the second-largest world music festival in Canada.
The city is also home to internationally-renowned institutions, such as Western University, one of Canada's top centres of higher education, and the London Health Sciences Centre, one of Canada's largest hospitals. For foodies, London boasts many different restaurants representing cuisines from all over the world.
Why buy a house in London, ON?
London, ON is booming and it is among the fastest growing cities in Canada. It has become an especially popular destination for ex-Torontonians looking for more space for less money. London has its own strong economy, while still being close enough to Toronto that workers can commute into the big city fairly regularly.
In addition to the lifestyle amenities described above, London, ON has an affordable housing market. While real estate prices have risen a lot over the past year, it is still much cheaper than nearby Toronto. The average detached house price in London is about $637,000, which is less than half what you'll have to pay in Toronto, where detached homes go for over $1.4 million on average.
How dangerous is London, Ontario?
London, ON is not dangerous at all! It has a low crime rate and is very safe, especially compared to other cities in North America. Most of London is safe to walk around, even at night. There were just 874 police-reported crimes per 100,000 population in 2018, below both the Ontario and Canadian averages.
Violent crime is especially low, with a homicide rate of just 1.12 per 100,000 -- well below both the Ontario average (1.86) and the Canadian average (1.76). By comparison, Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is about the same size as London, has a homicide rate of 17.29 per 100,000 -- over 15 times higher than London's!
Is London, Ontario a good place to work?
London, Ontario has a thriving and diversified economy. The unemployment rate is about inline with the provincial average and there are plenty of opportunities in certain sectors, such as technology, higher education, insurance, and healthcare. In recent years it has become a hub for tech startups, especially in the creative digital sphere, which has helped attract a younger demographic of homebuyers.
Thanks to its location almost exactly halfway between Toronto and Detroit and along two major highways, London is a great place for remote workers to live. You can still be fairly close to the city for the occasional trip to the office, while having plenty of space at home to work in peace.
While salaries in London, ON, are about the same as the provincial average, your money will go further here. As we said, a house in London typically costs less than half what you would pay in Toronto. If you're a current Torontonian, imagine taking your current mortgage or rent payments and cutting them in half! That's the reality for many who have made the choice to move to London.
Getting around London, Ontario
Location is one of London's great strengths. As mentioned, it is halfway between Detroit and Toronto, with both major cities located about two hours away by car. It is also located along Highway 401 and the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, Canada's busiest and most populous region. Plus, London is connected to the Via Rail train network and it has its own international airport, so travelling further afield is a piece of cake.
If you're planning on staying closer to home, this city has you covered. While London gets some rush hour traffic, you won't encounter the constant bumper-to-bumper traffic jams that are the norm in places like Toronto. There's also an excellent public bus system and a great network of trails for cyclists.
Where is the best place to live in London, Ontario?
There are so many great neighbourhoods in London, ON, each catering to different tastes. If you want a comfortable suburban house with a large yard and plenty of living space, areas like Oakridge, Maisonville, Westmount, Stoneybrook, and Summerside are great options, with parks, schools, and shopping centres usually close by.
Other areas have more of a small-town, even village feel. Byron and Lambeth are located in the western end of town and used to be separate villages before being absorbed into London. You can still find charming old houses here and a great neighbourhood feeling.
If you prefer being close to all the action, one of London's more centrally located neighbourhoods would probably be a better fit. Richmond Row, for example, is right at the heart of Downtown. It attracts a younger demographic and has lots of condos and apartments. If you want to be close to the nightlife, this is your type of neighbourhood.
Old South, meanwhile, is located within walking distance of Downtown, but is still far enough away that it feels peaceful and tranquil. There are plenty of tree-lined streets and older single-family homes here.
If you're thinking of moving to London, ON, or relocating within the city, reach out to a local real estate solutions company. They buy houses commission-free and without multiple showings, so you can get started on looking for your new dream home even faster and without all the hassle!