Why did I pick London?
When Sean Quigley asked me to blog about my reasons for staying in London I was a bit shocked. To be frank, my time in London has not been “successful” by the prototypical standards associated with that word. I am 25 year old man who is unemployed and is looking for work in a city with the second highest unemployment rate in Canada. Seems odd right? Then after trying to plan out this blog post it hit me that this is exactly the type of story that the city of London needs. It’s a story of what this great city is and can be with a little bit of work.
I was born and raised in London, and called this city home till I was 17 and then decided it was time to try something new. From London I went to Waterloo, then Toronto, then back to Waterloo again. Through all the experiences associated with living in some of the best cities in Canada, I still wanted to come home. This is not to say that Waterloo and Toronto are not amazing places to live, because trust me they are great. London just has this really unique, small town-wrapped up in a big city-feel. From places like Wortley Village to the Old East Village this city has character that can not be ignored.
From the outside, London may seem an unlikely place for big ideas and big change, but in just over a year being back in London I have found a community of young professionals, and some more experienced members of our community who want to make a difference. Many of these great people can be found on the membership roster of Emerging Leaders. With some time, this group of people who are charged with ideas and energy will make this city a better place for all Londoners. This passion for improving our city and having it shared with so many people makes London an exciting place to live, and one of the many reasons I want to stay.
It’s not only the people, but many very unique locations within London that make this place so great. For example, The Hyland Theater in the South End is an amazing venue for real indie films, and an amazing alternative from mainstream movies. Another find is L.A. Mood, which resides in the downtown core and a boardgamers dream come true! They will order in any game that is still in print, and they run a monthly board game group where you can check out and play new games. To Aeolian Hall in the Old East Village, that holds many very unique and inspiring community events, such as Iginite London. It is a outstanding place to go to meet groups of young professionals who make this city great. There are many more places I have yet to mention, but you’ll have to trust me when I say London is full of interesting venues yet to be discovered!
Even with its 9.5% unemployment rate, a bus system-that for the life of it- is unable to secure enough funding to address the needs of London’s urban sprawl, and with sewers that are literally falling apart at the seams, I have still picked London as my hometown. For better or for worse I am here to stay because this city, and its inhabitants, provide me with so much entertainment and hope for the future, and somewhat makes up for the perpetual unemployment problem.
By Nick Soave