Living in London
A cosmopolitan centre set in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, London is the region’s economic, entertainment and cultural hub. With a population of more than 400,000, London is Canada’s tenth largest city and is an ideal environment to live and pursue your studies. Big enough for the ‘big city’ experience, it boasts an extensive health care system and excellent business and career opportunities, while providing the safe and clean atmosphere of a small community.
London is called The Forest City in reference to its numerous, beautiful pathways and acres of rolling parkland. Its tree-lined boulevards and green parks invite cyclists and pedestrians to discover the charms of the city, built at the fork of the Thames River. Just down the road from Western, you will find the vibrant Richmond Street in the city centre – a fantastic blend of culture and heritage for you to explore.
Cost of Living
Important factors in deciding where to attend graduate school are the location and the cost of living in that community. Not only is London a vibrant cosmopolitan centre, but it offers many of the same benefits of a large city without the high cost of living.
We experience four distinct and beautiful seasons, ranging from warm, breezy summers to colourful autumns, crisp, snowy winters, and refreshing springs. Each brings with it its own beauty and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Autumn is the perfect time to walk the city’s tree-lined streets and beautiful parks, while skating and skiing are popular pastimes in the winter. Spring and summer is best enjoyed in the sun, with London being close to several beaches including Grand Bend and Port Stanley.
London is brimming with activity and culture. Boasting everything from concerts at the John Labatt Centre to exhibitions at Museum London, theatrical productions at The Grand Theatre and a large assortment of renowned restaurants, the Forest City is the perfect locale to experience.
Whether you enjoy shopping, movies, theatre, dancing, or sporting events, there is no lack of activities. Year-round, London has numerous festivals and cultural and community events, including Snowfest, Sunfest, Rock the Park, London Film Festival and World Beat and Jazz weekends. Beautiful parks and biking trails are just steps away from the lively Richmond Street – home to a bustling nightlife, niche shops, designer boutiques, cafes and fashionable dining. London is also considered a sporting hub and is home to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights, a cultural mainstay of the city and its residents.
With several family-friendly services including a variety of schools, health care facilities, after-school and special needs programs, children's camps, and community centres, the city of London provides parents, both current and expecting, a safe and desirable community to raise a family.
For an overview of family programs and services throughout London and surrounding regions, please visit Family Care.
Located in the centre of southwestern Ontario, London is approximately two hours driving distance from Toronto and Detroit. The London International Airport offers direct flights to Toronto, Chicago, Ottawa and Calgary, as well as many other connections to several Canadian destinations. If you want to travel to warmer climates or exotic places, the London International Airport has flights to Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and several locations in Europe.
For directions to London, including city and campus maps, please visit Getting to London.
London offers a broad range of housing options across the city. Whether you are interested in owning, building or renting, there are a number of ideal communities and housing options available to you, as well as services to assist in the process.
A number of university apartments and townhouses are reserved for upper-year and graduate students by the Division of Housing and Ancillary Services. The Glenmore Apartment Complex has one and two-bedroom apartments for single students.
Partnered or married students, or students with children, will enjoy the convenience of living at Platt's Lane Estates, a complex of university-owned apartment buildings and townhouses situated on a park-like setting of 20 acres. Adjacent to Platt's Lane Estates is University Heights Public School. Applications are available for one and two-bedroom apartments, along with two and three-bedroom townhouses.
Units in the Glenmore and the Platt's Lane Estates complexes are unfurnished. Spaces in these units become available as existing tenants vacate. Since tenants provide two months' notice to vacate, applications for apartments should be made at least two to three months in advance of an anticipated move-in date. Offers are made based on the time of the application with priority given to graduate students.
London Hall, our newest on-campus residence, accommodates graduate students and features two and three-bedroom furnished suites with double beds, an optional meal plan, and programming geared to upper-year and graduate student needs.
For students wishing to live off campus, Western provides an Off-Campus Housing Service, where listings of available housing throughout London are maintained. Our in-person service operates on a self-serve basis. Located in Elgin Hall, you'll have free access to phones and city maps, and computers are available to conduct personalized searches based on categories such as rental price, location and housing type. These listings are also available online. Students may also contact Off-Campus Housing for more information on various neighbourhoods surrounding the University.
General information on housing in the London area can be found at Good Move, London. This site contains information on both rental and purchase properties, as well as hotels and other short-term accommodations. Other housing listings for the city of London and surrounding areas can be found at Kijiji London, Academic Homes, Sabbatical Homes and ComFree.
Graduate Affiars Assistant
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