London is a city of 366,000 residents located in southwestern Ontario. Situated mid-way between Hamilton and Sarnia, London is a hub city with close connections to Stratford, Grand Bend, and the U.S. border.
While London was founded in 1826, the city has recently undergone a population spike, with 168,000 new Canadians arriving over the past five years. Canadians are attracted to London by the many lakes and parks (London has the nickname “Forest City”) and the vibrant nightlife and arts scene that are fueled by the steady stream of students that arrive every September to attend Western University.
Canadians choose London real estate for its family friendly atmosphere and affordable housing options. From the older, heritage properties in the north end of the city to the central downtown core to the rural southern edges, there is truly something for everyone here. Let’s take a look at our picks for affordable family friendly neighbourhoods in London.
Located south of the Thames river, Southcrest is an older area of mostly ranch-style homes. With an average selling price of just $176,315, this is one of the most affordable family-friendly locations in the city. Send your children to the nearby Woodland Heights Public School or Westminster Secondary and spend the weekends at the nearby Kensal Park or community center. Shopping for everyday amenities is just a stone’s throw away on Springbank Drive, but you also have easy access to downtown and the Westmount Shopping Center for all of your other needs.
To the east of Southcrest, you’ll find the neighbourhood of Summerside/Jackson. This newly built subdivision features modern homes with all the amenities a young family needs and smaller, easy to care for lots. London condos are also an option in Summerside/Jackson and offer an affordable alternative for young families or newlyweds. The average selling price in Summerside/Jackson is $269,989. Local schools include School Secondary Gabriel/Dumont and the Catholic elementary school Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf.
Activities for young families abound Summerside/Jackson as there are multiple soccer fields, a sports complex, parks and community churches in the area. Daily errands are also a snap with a variety of shops, restaurants and grocery stores along Commissioner’s Road.
On the southwest side of London, you’ll find the subdivision of Westmount. This neighbourhood was built in the 70’s and has a strong mix of older condos and single and semi-detached homes. While newer housing is going up around the edges of Westmount, the core of this area is well established. With an average property price of $281,486, Westmount is a little more expensive than some of the other neighbourhoods in London, but as they say, location is everything.
Westmount is a nature lover’s dream because it is located along the southern edge of the Thames River and adjacent to Storybook Gardens, Southwest Optimist Park, Reservoir Park and Springbank Park. Local schools include Jean Vanier Catholic School, Saunders Secondary School, and the Westmount Public School. Finally, Westmount is home to the Westmount Shopping Center, which offers a plethora of shopping and dining options including a movie theater, multiple restaurants and a Supermarket, all within easy walking distance.
Just north and across the river from Westmount is Oakridge. Oakridge is bordered by the Thames River to the south, the London Hunt and Country Club to the West and the downtown area to the east. This ideal location makes it an excellent choice for families looking for an established area to call home. The average property price in Oakridge is $288,683, and you’ll find a mixture of older 50’s ranch style homes, newer two storeys, and condos.
Oakridge is a primarily residential area with amenities located on the outer edges of the neighbourhood. You’ll find plenty of options to entertain your family including the many parks that border the subdivision, the Sherwood Library, and the Sherwood Forest Mall. Additional restaurants and shops are just a short drive away in downtown London.
Byron is located just south of Oakridge and West of Westmount and is, in our opinion, the one neighbourhood in London where there is something for everyone. Whether you want a sprawling 3,000 square foot home on a quiet cul-de-sac for $550,000, compact London townhouses for $265,000, or a condo on the main thoroughfare for $165,000, Byron has it all.
Originally known as Westminster, the village of Byron was settled in 1800. It wasn’t until 1961 that Byron was annexed by the city of London, and with that annexation came a steady growth of new homes and residents. Despite the growth over the past few decades, this former village still has a distinct small-town feel.
It’s easy to understand why this area is popular with London residents. The average property price in Byron is an affordable $285,513, and this area is very close to Springbank Park and Storybook Gardens. Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy the proximity of Boler Mountain which offers skiing and snowboarding, and the Byron Optimist Sports Complex is close by as well. There are six public elementary schools in Bryon, so your little ones will never be far from a quality education, but there is no secondary school. Secondary school age students instead attend the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School or Saunders Secondary School in nearby Westmount.