The Perks of Living & Working in London, Ontario

By August 7, 2015Career Advice, Culture

Home to the vast majority of our Vikings and for good reason – London, Ontario is definitely a great place to live and grow a business! We wanted to know why the 11th largest city in Canada is such a great place, so we asked a bunch of our Viking’s why they picked London (aside from the awesome reason of being classified as a Viking, of course) over any other town and these were some of the top reasons:

Career Growth & Opportunities

London has been a great place for Big Viking Games to grow. Not only because of the talented minds that reside here, but because we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by many other amazing tech and gaming companies. London – and more specifically, Waterloo, is a growing and thriving tech city and was recently reported by Huffington Post as the fourth best place in Canada when it comes to attracting newcomers. Waterloos ranking come from it’s well-earned reputation for innovation and education. The LEDC recently reported that the digital creative labour force (which includes companies like Big Viking Games, Big Blue Bubble, Digital Extremes and many more) has more than 8,000 employees and represents 3 percent of the total labour force in the region. For those who are interested in the tech sector, London affords many opportunities for career growth and stability.

What’s behind some of this amazing growth in the industry? The local collegiate infrastructure in Western University and Fanshawe College (as well as proximity to other world renowned universities) build a foundation of exceptional technical and creative talent in the area that feed into the tech scene. Western hosts a wide range of programs including Information and Media Studies, Engineering, Business, Computer Science, and Social Sciences – one of the biggest perks for adults is that Western also offer adult classes as well as online training to obtain your degree. On top of that, Western also offers Summer Co-ops along with year long Internships. Fanshawe offers more of a hands-on approach such as their 8-month Graduate course in Game Development that teaches the necessary skills to become a Software Developer – and with the uprising of tech companies in London, this is a great skill to possess.

All in all, London’s tech scene is definitely soaring – and with 86% of Fanshawe grads getting jobs right out of college – there’s a lot available, and people have a great opportunity to grow their careers in the thriving tech scene in London. Aside from the College/University success rate – London is home to (as mentioned previously) the LEDC – a lead economic development agency which has helped Big Viking to grow immensely amongst other tech startups in London.

Family Centric

Many of our Vikings have families of their own, and have all shared that London is a great place to raise the little ones. Here’s a few reasons why: London offers many family-centric events ranging from arts and crafts classes, sports and recreation clubs to local fairs – including the famous Western Fair. The Western Fair is a great event that brings significant financial benefit to merchants, businesses, and residents of London during this 10 day long event. The event offers up different attractions for adults and kids including various musicians, food vendors, rides, and games and gives families plenty of options during this Fall event. Events such as this provide plenty of entertainment for children and gives families a great opportunity to spend time together.

Cost & Quality of Living

Cost and quality of living are certainly important factors to consider when deciding where to start your life and plenty of our Vikings can vouch for the London area! Housing Analyst, Anthony Passarelli recently reported that 2015 will be a great year for not only job growth (hurray!) in London, but also mentions that it will be a great time to invest in the housing market. For 2015 Royal LePage House Price Survey revealed that the average price of a standard two-story detached home is around the $350,000 mark which is a staggering difference between cities like Montreal and Vancouver.

To take focus off the number aspects of things and place them on the community, Great Places of Canada recently declared London, Ontario’s Old East Village as “People’s Choice Great Neighbourhood of 2014”. Located East of the downtown core, Old East Village is home to many families based on its easily accessible location to the core by bus, car, walking, or bike and offers many great neighbourhood activities including regional attractions like the Aeolian Hall; the Palace Theatre; the London Clay Art Centre; and, on Saturdays, various farmers’ and artisans’ markets which tend to attract thousands.

London has definitely been an ideal city for Big Viking Games to grow and we are a prime example of the many talented people who reside in this town. So if you’re looking to grow your career in a thriving tech scene, London is not a place to dismiss!