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Old Sep 8th 2017, 9:16 am   #1
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Default London, Ontario Feedback request

We will be in London, Ontario from 15-20 September looking at properties and figuring out where we would like to live. We are looking for a ranch property with 3 bedrooms in the $400K range. A lot of our searches keep pointing to Westmont/Byron area. Does anyone live in this part of London?

What other areas would you suggest?

We are a couple in our mid 50s with dogs.

We are looking for an area good for dog walking, but close to amenities like shops, Vets, Doctors, Dentists etc.

My wife, Canadian, will look for a part time job in Finance and I will be at home taking care of our animals and looking for a 12-16 hour a week job just to get me out the house. I have worked in I.T. for 30+ years, but I am willing to turn my hand to anything. I will probably volunteer initially. So if you know of any organization that needs help, please let me know.

If anyone is available to meet up when we are there, that would be great.
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Old Sep 9th 2017, 2:02 am   #2
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

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Originally Posted by glendem4 View Post
We will be in London, Ontario from 15-20 September looking at properties and figuring out where we would like to live. We are looking for a ranch property with 3 bedrooms in the $400K range. A lot of our searches keep pointing to Westmont/Byron area. Does anyone live in this part of London?

What other areas would you suggest?

We are a couple in our mid 50s with dogs.

We are looking for an area good for dog walking, but close to amenities like shops, Vets, Doctors, Dentists etc.

My wife, Canadian, will look for a part time job in Finance and I will be at home taking care of our animals and looking for a 12-16 hour a week job just to get me out the house. I have worked in I.T. for 30+ years, but I am willing to turn my hand to anything. I will probably volunteer initially. So if you know of any organization that needs help, please let me know.

If anyone is available to meet up when we are there, that would be great.
I know nothing about London except that it's to the west of me on the 401. So I just dropped by to say hi.

Are you moving from England or another part of Canada?
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Old Sep 9th 2017, 5:43 pm   #3
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

My sabbatical in London ON was what inspired us to emigrate to Canada! When deciding where to live, remember that getting from one end of London to the other can easily take 30 mins or so - so bear that in mind when you decide where to live! There's quite a bit of snow there in winter, too.

The Byron area sounds like it'd be good for you - plenty of walks by the river! We like the north and the "old North" area - north of Oxford Street too. North of Gibbons Park (Talbot Street etc) is quiet and there are good walks in the park and by the river, (you can walk down to Oxford street in the park, and a path then goes further south) though a few student houses are there too. And there's a huge swathe near Fanshawe between Wonderland and Highbury which is worth a look. (Masonville mall is large, and there are plenty of food shops nearby.)

Decide whether or not you want a condo, too. (These are houses/ranches - not just flats in tower blocks.) Condos have the advantage that someone else looks after the gardens, snow-clearance etc. - plus outside maintainance of the property. People who go to sunnier climes during the winter find this handy. If so, check out the monthly condo fees when buying - they vary enormously! And there are restrictions on what you can do.

realtor.ca lists pretty much everything - you can narrow it down to single storey and choose price bands, and the map shows you what's available.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 8:43 am   #4
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

Thanks Collie. We will be staying in an AirBnB renting house in the Old North area on Epworth Ave just 20 minute walk from Gibbons Park. We will definitely have a look around the area you mentioned. Nice to see 40 properties on realtor.ca with open houses today. is that the norm to have an open house on a Sunday?
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 10:07 am   #5
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

I live in London, ON. I can tell you the area you're looking at (depending on where you ultimately end up) is quite leafy/green and quiet. You'll be right next to a really nice park (Springbank Park) which has it's own dog garden and several walking paths which take you right down the Thames. I believe there are several vet offices in close proximity and you won't be too far off from the local A&E (Victoria Hospital) or urgent care (St Joseph's Hospital).

There are many shops close by but the immediate vicinity is quite disappointing (shopping wise). Expect to drive if you want to get anything substantial done. The closest area (and I mean "round the corner") with any commercial activity would be Wharncliffe Rd - which is dated, dubious and a bit desolate. Up the road you'd get into the city centre which is a lot more pleasing to the eye. There are (obviously) large supermarkets dotted all over London such as Walmart, Sobey's, Costco etc. where you'd probably get most of your weekly shop done. Masonville Mall and the surrounding area are also very good. That's another area you may wish to consider as can get quite leafy and quiet there too and there are several parks sprawling through the suburbs.

The most painful thing about London is how incredibly dull it is. I'd describe the urban areas as a bit of a concrete jungle. Expect little to no culture and a robotic going-through-the-motions society. That said, I'm 28 and so my idea of a thrill is notably different from maybe what an older person might enjoy. There are also lots of students (Western University) and snow, lots of snow. I echo the above sentiment that you may wish to consider a condo as you don't have to deal with a lot of nonsense during the winter.

Last edited by Inabsentia_; Sep 10th 2017 at 10:23 am.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 12:36 pm   #6
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

Thanks for the last comment. At 28 We would find Bournemouth dull, but at 55 we love it. The days of going out drinking and partying are long gone. Being both vegans we don't tend to dine out much. We love nature and the quiet life walking our dogs through leafy parks or forest walks.

For convenience we just need shops that sell the essentials. We prefer to eat local produce, so would be interested to find farms markets.

If you know any condo ranch properties that match our criteria, we would be interested kto hear.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 5:34 pm   #7
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

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Originally Posted by glendem4 View Post
Thanks for the last comment. At 28 We would find Bournemouth dull, but at 55 we love it. The days of going out drinking and partying are long gone. Being both vegans we don't tend to dine out much. We love nature and the quiet life walking our dogs through leafy parks or forest walks.

For convenience we just need shops that sell the essentials. We prefer to eat local produce, so would be interested to find farms markets.

If you know any condo ranch properties that match our criteria, we would be interested kto hear.
I absolutely understand your sentiment on the age and dullness factor. London is truly jam packed with parks and walkways so you will find no shortage of such areas wherever you live. Another area you may wish to consider is Masonville. It is mostly a residential suburb but isn't far off from anything in London and home to the Masonville Mall and Masonville Animal Hospital. It's more on the expensive side and expect to pay around 500K for the type of home you are looking for - it will be extremely safe, quiet and in close proximity to everything imaginable however.

If you're looking for organic produce, you're definitely in luck. The downtown area is hosts a huge indoor farmers market. FarmBoy (a chain) is also all organic and sometimes locally sourced. There are also several mom and pop style stalls all over London.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by ranch property. The common definition would mean large land area for raising cattle and so on. If so, you wouldn't find anything like that in Masonville or even in central Westmount. Maybe in Byron. If you just mean a huge fenced garden, you'd find that everywhere but a decent property would in most cases exceed 400K.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 7:28 pm   #8
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

From what you describe, Byron may be your ideal place. The park the previous person mentioned (Springbank) is a dog walkers' paradise and plenty of dog people and related businesses around. People tend to get a "tim hortons" and gather in the dog park (separated by big and small dogs) in Springbank. It is somewhat affluent (certainly by UK standards), dull and friendly in a hands off kind of way. There are some great health food options around, being vegan is not a strange thing at all there. But be prepared to need to drive everywhere, even if you just need a pint of milk. The farm markets in the summer are wonderful, and there are several "farm boys" around (a supermarket based on a farmers market concept)
I am actually originally from London Ontario, and wouldn't mind moving back if my husband (from the north east of england) wasn't threatening to top himself if we did.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 8:27 pm   #9
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

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From what you describe, Byron may be your ideal place. ...
Is that on the Poets Estate?

Coleridge Close, Tennyson Avenue, Wordsworth Drive, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning Crescent, Anon. Avenue

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Old Sep 14th 2017, 5:50 am   #10
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

I would maybe look at renting for a while as house prices here in London have been crazy going for 50-100k over asking price. It has slowed down a little bit but I still feel the market is overheated.

Byron and Westmount are both nice places but if it were me I'd prefer to live in Byron near Springbank park. Like someone else said if you drive there's no shortage of parks/trails to walk your dogs here
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Old Sep 14th 2017, 11:05 am   #11
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

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I would maybe look at renting for a while as house prices here in London have been crazy going for 50-100k over asking price. It has slowed down a little bit but I still feel the market is overheated.

Byron and Westmount are both nice places but if it were me I'd prefer to live in Byron near Springbank park. Like someone else said if you drive there's no shortage of parks/trails to walk your dogs here
Thanks for the feedback. We have noticed properties selling very quickly in London. We are flying today to Toronto and will be house viewing tomorrow in London Ontario. We need to sell our property in the UK first, then figure out how to transport our 4 dogs. Renting would be the sensible option but we need too find a suitable place for our lifestyle.
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 2:42 am   #12
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

Hi glendem,

My family and I moved to Strathroy which is about 30mins from London in January.
Apparently Toronto is moving to London and London is moving to Strathroy. Strathvegas as we call it has a population of about 20k and is growing fast. Housing is going up everywhere and some of it is quite expensive but also very nice as well. It is a nice enough little town with plenty of services but not the city. Far enough away from London but not to far as we wouldnt want to be in the city anyway.
In terms of getting your dogs here we did the same thing and brought our black Lab. At that time she was only 9 months old and just under the weight for transportation on our flight as we thought!! She was the correct weight but that did not include the box!!
She then was classed as freight and had to be shipped with swiss port. We went through a company called Multi cargo and found out that it was much cheaper to fly her in an air box that we purchased ourselves otherwise they were just going to rent us a crate for the journey. As long as the crate complies with air travel standards and the dog can stand up and turn around in it you are laughing. The crates are plastic with a mesh double locking wire door on the front and are easily built up and taken down. To this day she lives in her crate in our basement. Make sure you always buy one bigger than the dogs size. On the day of our travel we arrived at the airport and dropped her off at the cargo bay said our good byes and told her that we would see her at the other side (I had three very worried kids and an even more nervous wife with me).
She traveled on our flight in the hold and we even seen her coming off on the moving walkway.
The pantomime started here. It was a good 1.5 hours for us to get through immigration in toronto. After this I put my Wife and the kids on a hotel shuttle bus and went to sort our dog out. I had to collect papers from Swissport and then take them to customs at the far side of the airport to get stamped and pay MORE FEES!!! I then had to travel back to swissport with the paperwork PAY for her to be released and then get a taxi to my hotel. I spent from 7pm to 11pm before I got back to my hotel with Pippa our lab. It was an interesting experience and cost approx $300 in 4 hrs between fees and taxis. All I seemed to be told was "Welcome to Canada"!!!
Make sure you get all your jabs and vet paperwork at home before you make the move it takes a little while to get this processed.
I hope this helps you and good luck with your move.
Our dog is a part of our family so it was never an option to leave her behind.

Welcome to Canada LOL

Regards

Farmboy
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 8:31 am   #13
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

Thanks for the feedback on transporting your dog. I "landed" yesterday at Pearon airport. now have PR status. Took less than an hour from landing to go through immigration, get my welcome to Canada pack, issued a social security number, complete goods to follow and pick up luggage. Wow ...... We were impressed with the smooth process.

Half my luggage is clothing for Autumn an now we find the next 10 days will be like summer and 25c and sunny. Canada is really showing its good side.

Farmboy, if you have a spare hour, we would love to catch up with you while we are in London. We will be viewing houses today and meeting up with family on Saturday, with no fixed plans from Sunday through to Tuesday next week.

Last edited by glendem4; Sep 15th 2017 at 8:33 am.
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 3:00 pm   #14
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

Hi glendem,

I could make something work. Apart from Golf on Sunday morning and back for the Sunday Roast I am free in the afternoon. Sorry I love my Roast Beef!!!
If you are mobile we could meet for a coffee etc nearer my location if that works.
Perhaps if my wife wanted to go for a walk around Masonville. Its her favorite commercial escape after a week cooped up at home. It like a little taste of the high street at home for her!!!

Let me know what works for you

send me a PM

Regards

Farmboy

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Old Sep 16th 2017, 11:08 am   #15
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Default Re: London, Ontario Feedback request

Hi Farmboy, we are going to Masonville today to get a local sim for our phone. We plan on driving Around Byron on Sunday and go to a few open house viewings. If it is ok with you we could drive to Strathroy and meet up late Sunday afternoon or give you a call. Just let us know what suits you best?
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