Minnesotan

London, ON

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Are there any Western grads floating around here? I've heard mixed reviews about London, Ontario. I know the school is top notch, but the city surrounding it seems less than exciting. How is rent, night life, the intellectual culture?

Just to note, for balance: I was really impressed with the actual campus, and the professors I've met or emailed seemed interesting and approachable. I just worry about the city itself, coming, as I am, from your big brother to the Northeast. At least it can't be as expensive as the GTA, I suppose.

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I'm not from London, but I have spent some time there and applied to Western for my Master's (have yet to hear back). London is... a lot of things. It has a significant but transient university/college population, but it also has a substantial part of the population working in the manufacturing sector, and brings with it some of the social ills that can occur with a floundering industry. However, there are numerous teaching hospitals and medical research facilities in London, so there is a lot of money in parts of that city. As for nightlife, there are tons of bars on the main drag catering to Western students, everything from hole-in-wall music venues and small pubs to huge clubs. Western is a very social party school.

Living is *very* affordable in London. You can get a nice 2-bedroom apartment for $750, although ones within walking distance to UWO are a little more expensive, but certainly reasonably priced. Just make sure you live on a direct bus route to campus if you are not within walking distance, as the transit system can leave a little to be desired if you have to take more than one bus. North London is the richer, well-off section. The eastern and southern parts can be pretty scuzzy, and not really the types of places you'd want to walk around in at night. The downtown/business district is pretty small, but there are some good shops and restaurants. Traffic can be pretty terrible at rush hour because there is no highway or ring that goes around the city, but the city isn't a metropolis by any means, so "traffic" is probably relative depending on what you are used to.

I hope that helps a bit.

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Thanks a lot. I might be going there, funding allowing.

Is there any chance I might be able to sublet my apartment during the summer? Since the student population probably drops during summer, odds are that I won't be alone trying to do that, really.

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Thanks a lot. I might be going there, funding allowing.

Is there any chance I might be able to sublet my apartment during the summer? Since the student population probably drops during summer, odds are that I won't be alone trying to do that, really.

It depends! A few of Western's programs have summer intakes, so people might be looking for a place to stay, furnished, to give them time to get on their feet for Sept. Also, due to the teaching nature of many of the hospitals and health care centres in London, there are always medical students doing internships or whatever medical students do, looking for a place to stay for a month or two.

Since London has such a high vacancy rate and high student population, some landlords will not require you to sign a year lease, just a month-to-month or a 8-month lease. It really is a renters' market there.

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I'm likely going there this fall. I've been looking for houses and student apartments near Western but many are unfurnished. I'm wondering if there will be more options as it gets nearer to September!

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Hey, I'm also starting my PhD at Western this fall. Ideally want to share a house/apartment with other grad students. Since I'm international it'll be a bit diffcult to arrange things beforehand. I figure I'll try to rent a furnished room for the first semester, and then find a better arrangement once I'm there.

 

Any good suggestions on finding a place for one term only? Campus housing? Is subletting a thing in this part of the world?

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I accepted my offer from Western yesterday! I've started looking at housing, but don't want to accidentally end up in a sketchy part of town

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I did my BA and MA at western. You do not want to live any significant distance from campus. Public transit is a nightmare, and cycling lanes are non-existent. It took me the same time to bike to school as it did to bus, and I had to avoid busy streets for fear of losing my life. Also, the drivers seem to have been trained by the Japanese imperial navy circa 1943 -- and being in the snow belt only makes that worse from nov-apr. Try to live north of dundas st. And west of Adelaide if you don't have a car or gun, respectively.

Good bar/club scene, but generally lacking in pubs/cafés where you can hear the person next to you. Actually, the grad club (on campus) was one of the better pubs. The school is really good, and the campus is gorgeous. The gym is fantastic and the librarians are awesome. Take full advantage of these things!

If you have any questions, feel free to pm -- I lived there for 22 years.

Edited by NeroDavola

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Thanks NeroDavola! Some solid advice! I'm hopefully going to get to go up and poke around a bit sometime in the next few months :)

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Is anyone else going to Western this fall? Will it be too late if I wait until July to decide on housing? I've been looking at online ads but haven't seen anything matching my criteria. I'm looking to live in a two-bedroom so I'm also searching for a roommate.

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Also going to Western this fall! Trying to figure out the whole housing thing as well. I've applied to live in the residences (London Hall apparently has a Grad learning community, but I have no idea if it's legit or just something they say), but they're pretty costly and I'm sort of looking for something more apartment-style. 

 

I guess there are good options all over? People seem to like the Glenmore Apartments on Campus, as well as Masonville Gardens to the north and City Place downtown. The trick appears to just be finding a roommate :-P PM me if you're interested!

Edited by OhMyGodric17

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I think there are still rooms available at Lambton Hall, a university apartment.

My friend who is in her third year undergrad there says she prefers the Masonville area to on-campus since it's close to everything you need. But she also said she misses classes in Winter since it's so cold, so I'm still struggling with my decision...

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Yeah maybe. I'm not too concerned about missing classes, though. As an undergrad, when I had to be on campus three or more times a day, yeah I skipped my fair share on cold days. But with a graduate schedule that's less about contact hours and more about individual study, I don't think it'll be a big deal. Plus, as an undergrad I had a fair amount of classes outside my major that were pretty boring. I'd imagine I'll look forward to most of my classes as a grad student and won't mind getting to campus for them.

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Just in case somebody is looking for a new roommate.

 

I am planning to move to London at the beginning of September and I was wondering if other people were also looking for potential roommates.

A little bit about me: I do not smoke, don't have any pet, am pretty quiet and laid back. I enjoy rock climbing, cycling and the outdoor in general. 

 

I will be in London this weekend (June 7th) to look at potential places. If you are already there and you want to meet (preferably in a public area), feel free to contact me by private message!

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I will be moving to London this September to study at UWO. I am confused about living on-campus or off-campus. Can anyone offer some advice about which is a better option? A little bit about me: I am an international student. It will be my first time in Canada. I have lived on-campus during my undergrad.

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Hi everyone, 

 

Western grad here. I absolutely loved my time in London so just wanted to share with people my experiences. 

 

If you are into clubs, loud bars, party scene - London has it. Most of our bars are located on what we call Richmond Row, which is about a 10ish minute bus ride from campus. Sit down, relaxed pubs, there are a few but not as popular as the bars. Our downtown consists of Victoria Park which has some festivals in the summer and in the winter it's actually quite pretty with the lights everywhere and they make a rink for skating. We also have a decent hockey team (the London Knights) and tickets are cheap so if you ever want to try something new, there's an idea for you. London has pretty great running/biking trails that follow the Thames river and go right through campus, so that was a plus for me. As someone who's pretty highly involved in the community there are tons of ways to get involved here and give back. Definitely go to Wednesday nights @ the Spoke (on campus bar) and try out Rick Mcghee's (he's this old dude that's a campus legend and does sing a longs and everyone loves him). Our campus is actually extremely beautiful (especially fall, spring and summer), our gym is currently the top rated university gym in Canada, and there is always some sort of event happening at the UCC (University Community Centre)

 

CONS:

-Snow, snow, snow always so much darn snow (we've had classes cancelled and bus system shut down and all that fun stuff happens regularly). If you aren't from around here be prepared to buy a good winter coat

-The distance from the highway. If you are coming from out of London it takes about 30 minutes to get to campus, it's absolutely rediculous

-The bus system. Absolutely horrid. It depends on where you are living, but every bus I've ever taken has been packed or shows up late or is so full they drive past me. London transit is not something I will miss at all. Download the app though so you have the live arrival times. 

 

Housing:

I've lived all over the place and am quite familiar with the options. The most student populated areas are the Old North/located by Richmond Street. I lived here (Huron St) for years and loved it. Shitty student house, but super cheap rent - so close to campus (I could be at the bridge in about 3 minutes) and the atmosphere of only having students was awesome for my first few years. It does get crazy on Homecoming and St. Patty's though. Many of my grad student friends look at the apartments on Richmond Street right outside the main gates. They have 1 and 2 bedrooms for relatively decent costs - and are a bit quieter, and super close to campus too. 

 

If you live on the South side of campus (down Western road towards Oxford) there are a lot of new student houses popping up (around Gunn St). Usually pretty cheap, not as many apartments (most are shared student houses). My ex lived in this area and as a girl I didn't always feel as safe walking around there as I did on Huron St (he also lived across a halfway house and had some sketchy neighbors). Plus side though is the #2 bus is the only bus that is relatively quick and comes frequently. 

 

Masonville - quietest area, more expensive, close to grocery store and mall. Nicer, non student rentals though. Shitty location if you want to be close to campus or not spend a fortune on cabs downtown. 

 

Downtown - I lived here in an apartment my last year of school. Awesome location for being close to restaurants & bars, hosting pre's, having a great view BUT was way more expensive and as someone who lived on campus it was awful (the bus took 25 minutes on a good day and so infrequently - plus they fill up super fast). I would always miss the last bus home since I was on campus so late and then have to cab home. 

 

Check out uwo off campus housing or kijiji for listings. There still are lots available, not all will be as nice though. 

Subletting is fairly common, I know lots of people that did it. There's a ton of people who stay in London over the summer so it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone. 

 

If anyone has any other questions feel free to ask!

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Thank you! That's really helpful. 

Hi everyone, 

 

Western grad here. I absolutely loved my time in London so just wanted to share with people my experiences. 

 

If you are into clubs, loud bars, party scene - London has it. Most of our bars are located on what we call Richmond Row, which is about a 10ish minute bus ride from campus. Sit down, relaxed pubs, there are a few but not as popular as the bars. Our downtown consists of Victoria Park which has some festivals in the summer and in the winter it's actually quite pretty with the lights everywhere and they make a rink for skating. We also have a decent hockey team (the London Knights) and tickets are cheap so if you ever want to try something new, there's an idea for you. London has pretty great running/biking trails that follow the Thames river and go right through campus, so that was a plus for me. As someone who's pretty highly involved in the community there are tons of ways to get involved here and give back. Definitely go to Wednesday nights @ the Spoke (on campus bar) and try out Rick Mcghee's (he's this old dude that's a campus legend and does sing a longs and everyone loves him). Our campus is actually extremely beautiful (especially fall, spring and summer), our gym is currently the top rated university gym in Canada, and there is always some sort of event happening at the UCC (University Community Centre)

 

CONS:

-Snow, snow, snow always so much darn snow (we've had classes cancelled and bus system shut down and all that fun stuff happens regularly). If you aren't from around here be prepared to buy a good winter coat

-The distance from the highway. If you are coming from out of London it takes about 30 minutes to get to campus, it's absolutely rediculous

-The bus system. Absolutely horrid. It depends on where you are living, but every bus I've ever taken has been packed or shows up late or is so full they drive past me. London transit is not something I will miss at all. Download the app though so you have the live arrival times. 

 

Housing:

I've lived all over the place and am quite familiar with the options. The most student populated areas are the Old North/located by Richmond Street. I lived here (Huron St) for years and loved it. Shitty student house, but super cheap rent - so close to campus (I could be at the bridge in about 3 minutes) and the atmosphere of only having students was awesome for my first few years. It does get crazy on Homecoming and St. Patty's though. Many of my grad student friends look at the apartments on Richmond Street right outside the main gates. They have 1 and 2 bedrooms for relatively decent costs - and are a bit quieter, and super close to campus too. 

 

If you live on the South side of campus (down Western road towards Oxford) there are a lot of new student houses popping up (around Gunn St). Usually pretty cheap, not as many apartments (most are shared student houses). My ex lived in this area and as a girl I didn't always feel as safe walking around there as I did on Huron St (he also lived across a halfway house and had some sketchy neighbors). Plus side though is the #2 bus is the only bus that is relatively quick and comes frequently. 

 

Masonville - quietest area, more expensive, close to grocery store and mall. Nicer, non student rentals though. Shitty location if you want to be close to campus or not spend a fortune on cabs downtown. 

 

Downtown - I lived here in an apartment my last year of school. Awesome location for being close to restaurants & bars, hosting pre's, having a great view BUT was way more expensive and as someone who lived on campus it was awful (the bus took 25 minutes on a good day and so infrequently - plus they fill up super fast). I would always miss the last bus home since I was on campus so late and then have to cab home. 

 

Check out uwo off campus housing or kijiji for listings. There still are lots available, not all will be as nice though. 

Subletting is fairly common, I know lots of people that did it. There's a ton of people who stay in London over the summer so it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone. 

 

If anyone has any other questions feel free to ask!

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Just in case somebody is looking for a new roommate.

 

I am planning to move to London at the beginning of September and I was wondering if other people were also looking for potential roommates.

A little bit about me: I do not smoke, don't have any pet, am pretty quiet and laid back. I enjoy rock climbing, cycling and the outdoor in general. 

 

I will be in London this weekend (June 7th) to look at potential places. If you are already there and you want to meet (preferably in a public area), feel free to contact me by private message!

Are you male or female lol

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I will be moving to Western by end-August. I am international so I do not know how expensive is  living in london. Can someone give me an idea of how much is the cost of living on-campus vs living off-campus? is it worth living on-campus for a grad? do the bus system in london works for moving to Western? Thanks for your replies!

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