STEVE’S GUIDE TO LONDON, ONTARIO NEIGHBOURHOODS
Welcome to Steve’s Guide to London Neighbourhoods!
My hope is that this guide will help you in your home search process to select a neighbourhood that is the best fit for your needs. For each neighbourhood you will find information about property values and trends in price for the year, information that you can use both when searching for a home and as a way to monitor the values of homes in your area.
You will also find a description of the neighbourhood that will include, where available, a brief history of the neighbourhood and a list of schools, parks, near by shopping, attractions and neighbourhood associations. The neighbourhoods are divided according to real estate zones to make calculating market values and searching for properties easier and may not always conform exactly to traditional neighbourhood boundaries. You will note at the top of each page which real estate zone is included in each area and if this is an neighbourhood you are interested in you can search for homes in just that area, simplifying your search process.
In addition, you will notice that following the neighbourhood guide there is a list of useful services and attractions to help you have a great experience here in London. If you have come across a guide that is missing some important information, such as a neighbourhood association, some interesting historical tidbit, or a service or business that has “Wowed” you, I would love to have you pass it on to me.
About London, the “Forest City”
London is Canada’s 10th largest city with a population just over 405,000 people, and is the regional urban centre for south western Ontario. Londonboasts a diverse economy with a lively and energetic downtown. Victoria Park, Richmond Row, Covent Garden Market, The John Labatt Centre, The Western Fair, The Grand Theatre and other venues and attractions help make The Forest City a great place to live, work and play. In addition to entertainment options for every mood and taste, London is knit together with a great network of parks, trails and recreation facilities. Commuting times make it easier to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
London is also a major centre for health and education. The London Health Sciences Centre delivers world class health care and medical research. The University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College give you excellent educational opportunities right in your own community.
Major economic sectors include advanced manufacturing, automotive parts manufacturing and automotive assembly, food processing, life sciences, information technology, warehousing and distribution, financial services and education. Major employers include: 3M Canada, Bell Canada, Labatt Breweries, Stihl, General Dynamics Land Systems, Kellogg’s, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London Life Insurance Company, GE Healthcare, TD Canada Trust, Electro-Motive Canada, Hanwha, Cargill, Brose, and others.
A Brief History of London
The current location of the City of London was intended by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe to be the future capital of Upper Canada in 1793, but the village of London was not established until 1826. By that time York was the capital and London ended up becoming the administrative seat for the areas west of York. London was part of the Talbot Settlement, named for Colonel Talbot who oversaw the surveying of the region. Talbot’s right hand man, Colonel Mahlon Burwell selected the site at the forks of the Thames rivers and saw to the surveying the city plan and oversaw the construction of the first court house. Little by little, the area was transformed from a forested wilderness into the new centre for the western peninsula. By 1834, John Harris built the first elegant mansion in the area, now known as the Eldon House. It was the same year that the area had enough people (1,000) to become a separate parliamentary riding.
The Mackenzie rebellion in 1837 was one of the greatest economic stimulants to the blossoming town. London was chosen in 1838 as the site for a garrison and from then till 1869 there were troops stationed on what is now Victoria Park. The presence of the garrison gave London administrative influence and the garrison brought military spending and a sharp increase of population: soldiers, their dependents and the people needed to service the troops.
By 1840 London was large enough to be incorporated as a town and was surveyed from what is now Adelaide, Trafalgar, Huron and the River. Covent Garden Market was established in its current location in 1845. Even as other small towns began to grow up in the surrounding areas, London was securing its place as the dominant community for the region. During the 1840’s the legislature gave a boost to London through improved roads. Those roads not paid for by government, were build leading merchants, John Labatt and Thomas Carling. Manufacturing began to be established, such as tanners Morrell and Hyman and iron foundries by the Leonard and McClary brothers.
When fire struck in 1844 and 1845 the town was quickly rebuilt. In 1848 London was reincorporated with strengthened municipal powers. Population was now 4,584 persons. Following the fires, new municipal and city structures began to show evidence of the growing power of the community. During this era, St. Peter’s Basilica was constructed as the centre of the Roman Catholic Church in the region.
As rail travel developed, London was in an excellent position to ensure that the railway network radiated from the city. The Great Western Railway line (now Canadian National) was run through the middle of town. The first train arrived from Hamilton in 1853 and fuelled a boom through the 1850’s and with it land speculation and a boom in construction. During this period the “Tecumseh House,” “Grosvenor Lodge” and “Locust Mount” were built.
London was incorporated as a city in 1855. London enjoyed boom times until the depression of 1857, lasting until the start of the American Civil War in 1861 when the region saw prosperity return supplying the Northern Army. This prosperity fuelled new construction and the building of many new mansions and gave the city the shape it would retain until the 1960’s. The period saw the building of St. Joseph’s Hospital and the London Psychiatric Hospital as well as the founding of Huron College in 1863 and the University of Western Ontario in 1878 and the founding of London Life Insurance in 1878. In 1875 saw the city’s wooden bridges start to be replaced by steel bridges with the building of the Blackfriar’s Bridge in 1875.
London grew in size over the rest of the century and began to annex a number of London’s nearby villages and suburbs. In 1885 London East was annexed, London South in 1890, London West in 1898. Pottersburg, Ealing and Chealsea Green followed in 1912. By the eve of World War 1, London boasted a population of almost 55,000 people. Throughout the war period, the city continued to grow, even though it was hit hard during the great depression. During this period a number of large buildings were constructed including the art deco Dominion Building on Richmond and the first buildings of the present campus of the University of Western Ontario.
Since World War 2 London has experienced tremendous growth, annexing the surrounding communities of Byron and Masonville in 1961, adding 60,000 people and doubling its land area. This accelerated the growth of suburbs and we saw the development of Westmount, Oakridge, White Hills, Pond Mills, White Oaks, and Stoneybrook.
In 1992, London annexed nearly the entire Township of Westminster, a largely rural municipality to the south of London, including the Village of Lambeth. The City of London now stretches south to the boarder of Elgin County. The 1993 annexation made London one of the largest urban municipalities in Ontario, seeing the city rapidly spread out over the annexed lands.
Historical Introduction to the City of London (now archived)
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