Set in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, London is the region’s economic, entertainment and cultural hub. With a population of more than 383,000, London is Canada’s 15th largest city and an ideal environment to work, play and live. Big enough for the ‘big city’ experience, but still far more affordable in comparison with many other Canadian cities, London boasts an extensive educational and health care community, while providing the safe and clean atmosphere of a small community.
Since 1878, the fortunes of Western University and the City of London have been indelibly linked. Western has grown into London’s fourth largest employer, home to 4,000 full-time faculty and staff, 35,000 students and 305,000 alumni across more than 150 countries who are forever connected to the City. The university’s teaching, research and service missions encompass a wide range of activities that are an integral part of the London community.
From Museum London to the main stage of the Grand Theatre, the arts thrive in nearly every corner of the city. London put down its creative roots early, over the years nurturing a heart and soul that has produced some great Canadian talent in both the visual and performing arts. Revolutionary artists like Jack Chambers and Greg Curnoe; performers like actors Kate Nelligan, Ryan Gosling and Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Paul Haggis; dancer Evelyn Hart and musician Guy Lombardo. Today, a new generation of musicians, artists and entertainers of all sorts fuel the city’s tradition of artistic excellence. See what’s on now.
Shopping. Movies. Theatre. Dancing. London always has something going on. Year-round, London has numerous festivals and cultural events, including Snowfest, Sunfest, Rock the Park, London Film Festival and World Beat and Jazz weekends. London has hosted the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Summer Paralympics and the World Lacrosse Championships. Richmond Row features more than 200 businesses catering to your every need. It is also home to a lively nightlife, including nightclub entertainment, live theatre and jazz as well as casual and fine dining. Downtown London.
Sports and concerts
Budweiser Gardens is a 10,000-seat, multi-purpose facility focused on major touring acts and sports. Headliners have included Kings of Leon, Sarah McLachlan, The Black Keys, and Kid Rock. It is also home to the London Knights, Ontario Hockey League and Memorial Cup champions. What’s on today.
From Storybook Gardens and the London Regional Children’s Museum to East Park and Fanshawe Pioneer Village, opportunity abounds to keep the family entertained. 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, London provides parents, both current and expecting, a safe and desirable community to bring a family. Things to do with kids.
London manages more than 200 parks. They range from major urban city-wide parks such as the 140-hectare Springbank Park, to more intimate neighbourhood green spaces that may be just a small oasis of native species plantings. There are also specialty parks for skateboarding and dogs to go off leash. Affectionately known as the Forest City, London sports numerous treed areas and public parks. There is an extensive trail system that runs along the Thames River, right onto Western’s campus, for walking, running, biking or inline skating. Bike and walk maps.
Things to see and do at Western
Should you wish to explore our amazing campus and facilities further, here are some suggestions from Western:
- Take the Campus Walking Tour
- Picnic on the banks of the Thames River / Alumni River Walk
- Visit the McIntosh Art Gallery
- Visit the ArtLab Gallery – exhibitions from the Department of Visual Arts
- Visit one or more of our 8 campus libraries – home to the 4th largest library collection in Canada
- Attend Mustang athletic events
- See concerts at the Paul Davenport Theatre
- Visit University College (Tower) & Beryl Ivey Garden
- Check out the Cronyn Observatory (Saturday nights open to public)
Shop at the University Community Centre
Day trips from London
Just a short drive from London, you will find historic sites, theatres, provincial parks and some of the best fresh water beaches in the world. Every summer evening, the lights dim and the curtain rises on stages throughout the area. And when the heat of summer has you dreaming about cool breezes and long sandy beaches, both Lake Erie and Lake Huron are within an easy drive.
Set in the heart of Southern Ontario, the city of Stratford is a cultural jewel and home to the Stratford Festival. Step into the excitement of a vibrant city core or stroll through beautiful parks beside a peaceful lake. Victorian architecture, tree-lined streets and outstanding restaurants complement world-class theatre. Unique shops specialize in goods as diverse as antiquarian books, Scottish clothing, gifts, handmade chocolates, Waterford crystal, music and toys, to name just a few.
A 400-metre beach of white sand hugging the shores of Lake Huron is a powerful magnet that attracts people of all stripes. Just strolling the beach in bare feet is one of those simple pleasures in life that holds appeal whether you are two or 82. Adults are drawn to Grand Bend to take in the summer theatre at the Huron Country Playhouse, or to break par 70 at the 18 holes of Oakwood Inn Resort. Auto-racing enthusiasts take in racing at the Grand Bend Motorplex or Grand Bend Speedway. Those 18 and over can also learn to skydive at the Grand Bend Sport Parachuting Centre.
Just south of St. Thomas and still only 25 minutes from London is the picturesque fishing village of Port Stanley, complete with mooring trawlers, tugs and watercraft of all sizes—including the occasional tall ship. It’s fun to poke in and out of the many boutiques along the route to two main beaches, or dine at one of several restaurants or small inns nearby. The town’s large sandy beach attracts families from all over. Cozy bed-and-breakfasts abound, along with the fully restored 1849 vintage Kettle Creek Inn featuring comfortable guest rooms and suites.
The city of Niagara Falls is located at the famous waterfalls of the same name, linked with the U.S. by the Rainbow Bridge. Its site on the Niagara River’s western shore overlooks the Horseshoe Falls, the cascade’s most expansive section with an equally beautiful view of the American side. Elevators take visitors to a lower, wetter vantage point behind the falls. A cliffside park features a promenade alongside 520-foot high Skylon Tower with an observation deck. A drive from London to Niagara Falls takes two hours on the highways 403 and 405.
Toronto, the capital of the Province of Ontario, is a major Canadian city with a core population of almost three million and a regional population of six million, located along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. Sightseeing options in the Greater Toronto Area include: the CN Tower (with the tethered Edge Walk, confirmed by the Guinness World Records as the highest altitude edge walk), Lake Ontario cruises, skyline helicopter rides, the Royal Ontario Museum, Broadway productions in the Theatre District, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Bata Shoe Museum, the Aga Khan Museum, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, and Ripley’s Aquarium.