Living In St. Thomas, Ontario - Canada
Most people think of Jumbo the Elephant or the old train station when they think of St. Thomas, but really, what you should be thinking about is the incredible housing potential of this city. If you’ve been looking at real estate in St. Thomas, Ontario then you’ll already know that the cost of homes in that small city are incredibly appealing. While housing prices in Canada have been sky-rocketing St. Thomas offers a great opportunity for owning a beautiful home in a great city at an affordable price.
The city is well connected. It’s just a short drive to London, Ontario, with the drive from one city center to the other being just over 25 minutes, offering an incredible amount of amenities and a quick and easy commute. On top of that, St. Thomas also offers easy and quick access to the 401. Sandy beaches are also just minutes away in the small town of Port Stanley. St. Thomas is located in the heart of Elgin County.
St. Thomas Neighbourhoods
If you’ve been checking out homes for sale in St. Thomas, you’ve probably noticed that there are plenty of options and that newer homes are becoming available more and more. St. Thomas has been expanding and growing at an impressive rate over the past few years as people realize that living in St. Thomas can be an affordable option than some of the larger cities close by. New subdivisions have been popping up, expanding the city.
While the whole city offers incredible value for families, retirees and young professionals, there are certain neighbourhoods that are more sought after than others.
The Ridge Neighbourhood
This newer development has a wide and diverse price range, with homes starting in the $400,00s and going all the way up to the $700,000s. With a variety of housing styles, sizes, and types, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes and budget here. The homes are all EnergyStar built homes and offer luxury at affordable prices. The Ridge is known for the stunning wooded area all around it that provides walking trails for residents. The 401 is also close by, making it a great spot for commuters.
Shaw Valley Neighbourhood
Located down in the South, just off of Sunset Drive, Shaw Valley is one of the newer subdivisions in St. Thomas. Since it’s located 5 minutes outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, Shaw Valley can feel like an escape from the busyness of St. Thomas, while still being close enough to the great amenities. Beach bums will love living in this neighbourhood as it’s located just a short, 10-minute drive from the sunny beaches of Port Stanley. Avid golfers will adore this neighbourhood’s close proximity to Shaw Balley Country Club and Kettle Creek. This neighbourhood offers wider streets and larger lots than some of the neighbourhoods in the city.
Orchard Park Neighbourhood
Orchard Park is located in the southeast area of St. Thomas and is a desirable location for homebuyers because of its location. It’s just moments away from the beautiful countryside but is also closeby to many of the city’s great amenities: walking trails, schools, baseball diamonds. It’s just minutes away from the heart of downtown but is also surrounded by so much green space. The homes are range from being one or two stories or are split level. Prices range from the mid $300,000s to the mid $500,000s, depending on the size and style of the home.
Dalewood Meadows Neighbourhood
Located in the Northern area of the city, Dalewood Meadows is a larger subdivision. One of the main attractions that keep this neighbourhood so popular is its easy access to Highbury Avenue and Wellington Road, which offer direct routes to London. Commuters love that the homes here are much more affordable than living in London, but that the location offers the convenience of easy travel to London.
The Courthouse Neighbourhood
If you’re a fan of big, beautiful, older homes than you’ll love The Courthouse neighbourhood. The homes here have beautiful brickwork and are accompanied by large, mature trees offering shade and beauty as well as stunning green space. The neighbourhood here has a tight-knit community where kids run around and play together and neighbours know one another’s names.
Harvest Run Neighbourhood
Located in the southeast area of this city, this neighbourhood is filled with single-family, detached homes. Harvest Run is close to the 401 and is just a short and quick drive to downtown London, making it a perfect choice for commuters. Many of the city’s fantastic community amenities, like parks, trails, schools, and more, are all within walking distance of this neighbourhood, making it a great choice for people who love staying healthy and being active. Harvest Run also has plenty of mature trees and beautiful nature views. Prices range from the upper $300,000s to the lower $500,000s.
Miller’s Pond Neighbourhood
Situated in the southern part of St. Thomas, this newer development is close to Lake Margaret Trail. Many residents enjoy the stunning views of Caples Creek from their homes here. Miller’s Pond actually has a water feature as you enter the neighbourhood, giving it a peaceful vibe and beautiful curb appeal. The homes are all EnergyStar built, which is not only good for the environment but is also good for your wallet! The pricing for homes here start at the high $300,000s and run all the way up to the high $500,000s, with a variety of styles and sizes in the homes. The Saint Thomas Elgin General Hospital is close by, as well as Fanshawe College.
Freeman Lane Neighbourhood
Freeman Lane is located in the northwest area of the city. Generous lot sizes are one of the biggest draws to this neighbourhood. Freeman Lane is also quite an attractive option for those who love nature as it’s situated so close to many parks. The Lynhurst Community park is right close to the neighbourhood. Waterworks Park is less than a 10-minute drive away and is a great place to bring the family as it has a playground, picnic area, splash park, and walking trails. Birders will love the fact that Waterworks Park is home to so many unique species of birds, such as the Blue Heron, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, and even the Kingfisher.
St. Thomas Schools
St. Thomas is a fantastic city to raise a family in and the education opportunities are no exception to that. There are three main schooling systems in the city: TVDSB, London District Catholic School Board, and private schools.
For the Thames Valley District School Board, there are 8 Elementary schools that service St. Thomas, including Locke’s Public School, Mitchell Hepburn Public School and John Wise Public School. As for High school, there are 3 options: Parkside Collegiate Institute, Central Elgin Collegiate Institute, or Arthur Voaden Secondary School.
The London District Catholic School board has 2 Elementary schools: Monsignor Morrison Catholic School and St. Anne’s Catholic School, the latter of which also offers French Immersion. There is only one Catholic High school: St. Joseph’s Catholic High School.
There are two private schools in the city, and both are faith-based educational schools: St. Thomas Community Christian School and Faith Christian Academy.
As for post-secondary education, there is a Fanshawe College Campus in St. Thomas, which offers a number of different programs and courses for students. Of course, London is also just a short drive away from the city, offering a larger net for post-secondary education. Western University and its affiliated colleges are all just a short drive from St. Thomas.
St. Thomas Parks and Green Space
St. Thomas is truly a beautiful city to live in. Just moments away from the beaches of Port Stanley, and filled with lush green space, mature forested areas, and lake views, people who live in Port Stanley have the options of living healthy, active lives and enjoy the great outdoors in the pretty little city.
St. Thomas has a total of 35 parks, with 32 of those parks being neighbourhood parks. The neighbourhood parks have playgrounds. This small city has an impressive ratio of parkland acres to residents with 9.6 acres of parks per 1000 people.
In the warmer months, St. Thomas parks become event hubs. Music in the Park are events that happen in the summer months. Admission costs a donation of canned goods or feminine hygiene products. You can come and listen to live music bands perform. Movies-in-the-Park is free to the public and happens throughout the summertime. With concessions available to purchase, you can come, get a snack, and watch family friendly movies in the park. Admission just costs a donation of a canned good or feminine hygiene product.
St. Thomas Pinafore Park
Pinafore Park is 90 acres of beautiful, 20 of which are incredible gardens. Perfect for nature lovers, it has a wildlife sanctuary and a bird aviary. Kids will love the splash pad and play area.
St. Thomas Waterworks Park
The 100 acres of Waterworks Park is filled with tranquil beauty. There is a unity peace labyrinth, stunning gardens, multiple lily ponds, and even a picturesque rustic bridge.
TransCanada Hiking Trail
St. Thomas has multiple access points to the world’s longest recreational trail. The TransCanada Hiking Trail, also known as The Great Trail, is a 100% connected trail that spreads over 13 provinces and territories and is over 24000kms of the trail. It winds its way through urban, rural, roadways, waterways, and wilderness areas.
Dalewood Conservation Area
The conservation area has 700 acres of stunning nature views. Take to the trails and spend the afternoon hiking. Cool off in the swimming pool. Take to the waters and canoe or kayak. Spend the week in their camping grounds.
St. Thomas Golf Courses
Residents of St. Thomas have access to 6 well-maintained golf courses of various difficulties. There are three public courses, two of which, Iron Creek Country Club and Belmont Golf Club, are 18 hole courses, and the other, The Bluffs Golf Club, is a 12 hole course. Kettle Creek Golf & Country Club is a semi-private 18 hole course. The two private courses, St. Thomas Golf & Country Club and Redtail Golf Club, are both 18 hole courses.
St. Thomas Community
If you’ve been checking out the St. Thomas Ontario Listings, you’ll notice that you get a lot of bang for your buck when buying homes there, so you might wonder if there’s a catch. Maybe it’s not a great place to live? Well, there is no catch, and it actually is a great place to live. The community in St. Thomas is fantastic. There is a friendly small-town charm to the people and streets of St. Thomas, and the location really does open up a ton of opportunities for you. Just a short drive to London, Ontario, it’s kind of like you’re still part of the city and are just a short drive to numerous amazing amenities that that city offers. Plus, when the warmer weather hits, you’ll love just how close this pretty city is to Port Stanley and its sandy beaches.
St. Thomas has a number of annual events that are quite popular. Here are just some of the annual events hosted in this small town that are wildly popular:
Elgin County Railway Museum puts on a Day out With Thomas where kids can meet Thomas the Tank Engine.
In the winter the Railway City Arts Crawl gets locals out of their homes as they pick up passports and experience art in the city while also trying to win prizes.
Nostalgia Nights have train rides, vintage cars, live music, and good food.
The Santa Clause Parade always starts off the holiday season right, but don’t forget to also attend the Tree Lighting Festival where you can get hot chocolate and live music.
The St. Anne’s Festival has rides, entertainment, games, delicious foods, and so much more.
Thousands of people attend the Iron Horse Festival year after year where they can ride the train, enjoy live music, go on rides, and shop from local vendors.
Just because St. Thomas is a small city does not mean that it’s lacking in the recreational facilities department.
The Joe Thornton Community Centre has two ice rinks, a multi-purpose gymnasium, and an indoor running track.
Jaycees Pool is an outdoor community pool that has a separate diving area and is 25 meters.
St Thomas-Elgin Memorial Arena is a multi-purpose arena that seats 2,600. There is an ice rink here as well as a separate auditorium and meeting rooms.
Douglas J. Tarry Sports Complex is one of the best complexes for baseball tournaments. It has 5 diamonds that are fully lighted, a playground for kids, and even delicious food services.
Family YMCA Recreation Complex is an incredible facility has an indoor pool, a fitness facility, a therapy pool, and a place to watch your kids while you work out.
The St Thomas Elgin General Hospital is a 157-bed hospital and has a 24/7 emergency unit. The hospital has expanded and upgrades its emergency care facility, a new surgical and operating room, and has added urgent-care mental health services.
St. Thomas City Life
St. Thomas’ art scene is bursting at the seams. With street art celebrations and paint and beer nights hosted at the local brewery, creatives will flourish in this city. Its annual Railway City Arts Crawl is always popular among the locals. They also have a public arts center to encourage the creative and to support visual arts. The historic Princess Avenue Playhouse hosts The Guild, which organizes live music and produces 4 plays a year, while also hosting theatre camps and workshops. Little Red Mitten is place to escape from the busyness of life and enjoying knitting, weaving, crocheting, and more.
From breweries, wineries, and coffee shops that really take coffee seriously, foodies will love the fact that St. Thomas’ food and drink scene has been exploding lately. Restauranteurs are putting locally sourced ingredients and true culinary creativity into every delicious dish in these local joints. Some resident’s favourite spots to grab a bite to eat includes Legends Tavern and Bella Jacks.
Horton Farmers Market has been part of the St. Thomas community since 1878. Here local farmers and artisans can sell their goods and wares. All of the farmers that sell their produce, meats, or goods live within 60kms of the market site. Local makers sell their baked goods and beverages at the Gravel Cafe there.
RE/MAX Centre City John DiRenzo Team Brokerage
Members of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS (LSTAR)