If you are new to London, you will need a place to live. There are numerous options on-campus, but if off-campus living is your thing, you can rent an awesome room, apartment, or house. Both Western Housing and Fanshawe Housing have information about living in residence, as well as off-campus housing services. You can look for off-campus rental housing using PadMapper or View It. When searching, consider things like utilities, laundry, and storage. If laundry facilities are not available, where is the nearest laundromat and what does it cost? Is there parking, and is it included in the rent? How much of the room or house comes with furniture? It is smart to get renter’s insurance for the contents of your home, and many landlords require it. It is also a good idea to make sure your rental unit is licensed. Check out the City’s Residential Rental Information.
Read the Renting in London booklet by Western’s Off-Campus Housing Service to learn about your rights and responsibilities. For information on the laws surrounding renting in Ontario, consult the Residential Tenancies Act. If you require legal assistance due to problems with your landlord or need someone to explain your lease, contact any of the following services:
- Western’s Housing Mediation Service
- Fanshawe’s Housing Mediation Service
- Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario
- Community Legal Services (CLS) at Western Law
- Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC) at Western Law
It is important to know if your rental includes utilities and other services, like cable and Internet. If it does not, you will need to hook up these utilities. In London, electricity and water are the responsibilities of London Hydro. Gas is provided by Union Gas. Cable and Internet services are provided by Bell, Rogers, TekSavvy, Odynet, Comwave, start.ca and Execulink.
If you are living in a rental house, it is your responsibility to put your garbage and recycling at the curb for pick-up on the right day. Once you move in, you need to find your collection zone. Don’t worry, you can install the my-waste app on your phone to keep track of collection days. Or you can sign up for garbage day reminder emails from When Is Garbage Day. Read these Frequently Asked Questions about Garbage Pick-up to find out what you are allowed to put out to the curb. Also check out the City’s Recycling Page for info about where to get a blue box, and what to put in it. The City has also created a number of helpful YouTube videos:
- What You Need to Know about Garbage and Recycling in London
- The Garbage Rant
- Who’s on Blue Box Duty at Your House?
- 10 Things You Should Know About Recycling Electronics in London, Ontario
Learn about hidden gems in your neighbourhood by visiting NeighbourGood London. Get to know your neighbourhood by spending time at one of sixteen Public Libraries in London. If you are looking for a place to study off campus, study rooms with wi-fi are available at many Public Library locations for two hours at a time, free of charge. You are new to the hood. Here are some ways to be a good neighbour….
- Say hello – Neighbours who know each other by name are less likely to end up in conflict.
- Be aware of differences – Being considerate and respectful of your neighbours’ differences can have a significant impact on how you interact.
- Ask how you can help – Kind gestures contribute to a positive and welcoming neighbourhood for all.
- Keep neighbours informed – Contact your neighbours before planning something that may affect them, such as hosting a party, or getting a dog.
- Know the law – Being aware of local laws, by-laws and general neighbourhood expectations will improve your relationships.
- You know you’re being too loud if your neighbours can hear noise in your home from the edge of their property. The noise by-law is in place 24 hours a day, and can result in a $215 fine. $630 fine for party related nuisances.
- Public nuisance offences, such as kicking over garbage cans or urinating in public, come with a hefty fine of $315.
- Keeping your property neat and tidy is part of being a good neighbour. Keep your lawn trimmed, pick up debris and trash and store garbage in containers with lids and you’ll avoid a clean-up fee of about $215.
- Keep your indoor furniture – like couches – in your home. Furniture designed for indoor use becomes household waste when it’s left on your front lawn or porch, and could result in a clean-up fee of $215.
Both Western’s Campus Community Police Service and Fanshawe’s Campus Security Services help keep students safe while on campus. The London Police Service and the London Fire Department handle policing and fire services in the community.
Police Safety Tips
The following tips can help protect you and your property, while you are attending school:
- Familiarize yourself with campus, and your neighbourhood. Know the safest way to and from your classes, using well-lit, populated routes. Avoid short cuts that put you at unnecessary risk. Walk in groups whenever possible.
- Lock your doors whenever you leave your residence or house!
- If you are entertaining, know your guests, and lock up your valuables.
- Keep lights on in your house when you go out.
- Record the serial numbers for your valuables including your cell phone, computers, and television. This makes it easier for police to identify your belongings if they are stolen.
- Avoid posting your schedule, or when you plan on going home for weekends on social media sites. This information puts you at risk of break and enters.
- Never leave your drink unattended, or accept a drink from someone you don’t know and trust.
- Report any suspicious activity to the London Police Service by calling 519-661-5670.
Fire Safety Tips
Whether living in residence or off campus, the most important thing you must have is working smoke alarms. They are required by law to be installed on every level of a dwelling and near all sleeping areas. Your landlord is responsible for providing you with these, and keeping them in working condition. If your landlord does not comply, you can report it by calling 519-661-4565. It is against the law to knowingly disable a smoke alarm and you could face serious penalties for doing so.
The number one cause of residential fires in London is careless cooking. Never leave your cooking unattended. The best way to put out a small fire contained in a pot or pan is to put a lid on it and turn off the heat. Never throw water on a fire involving grease or cooking oil as the result could be explosive.
Careless smoking is the number one cause of fatal fires in Ontario. Smoking while impaired or tired can lead to disaster. If you or your friends must smoke, it’s best to smoke outside.
Be careful not to leave burning candles unattended and don’t overload electrical outlets.
Always have an exit plan. Know all your ways out. Avoid going directly into smoke. If smoke is between you and the way out, crawl low under it. If smoke is in the hallways or stairwells of an apartment building and not in your unit, it may be better to shelter in place.
Once out of a burning building, do not go back in for anything. In a fire, you may have only a matter of seconds to safely escape.
Not feeling well? Western Student Health Services and Fanshawe Health Services offer clinics for all registered part-time and full-time students. There are also pharmacies at both main campuses. There are walk-in medical clinics across the city with varying hours of service. The Middlesex-London Health Unit provides health-related information on topics like pregnancy, healthy eating, addictions, and diseases. You can also call Telehealth Ontario anytime at no cost: 1-866-797-0000.
If you have a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 or go to the hospital emergency rooms in London:
- University Hospital, 339 Windermere Road
- Victoria Hospital, 800 Commissioners Road East
- Children’s Emergency Department at Victoria Hospital, 800 Commissioners Road East
- St. Joseph’s Hospital, 268 Grosvenor Street
STI’s and HIV
- Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)Testing – The Middlesex-London Health Unit offers an STI clinic on a drop-in basis.
- The Options Clinic – Provides information and testing for HIV and Hepatitis C. All testing is anonymous, privacy is protected with no identification required.
- Regional HIV/AIDS Connection – Provides leadership in education, support and advocacy to meet the challenge of HIV/AIDS.
Are you stressed, scared, overwhelmed, or in crisis? Fanshawe College has Counselling and Accessibility Services included in tuition for full-time students. They offer personal, career, and academic counselling, as well as support for individuals with disabilities. Western Student Health Services offers free individual Counselling on Campus to all registered students, as well as crisis services. The London Distress Centre has a toll-free line that provides confidential telephone support, empathetic listening, and problem solving skills 24/7 by calling 519-667-6711.
Other Resources and Supports
- PFLAG (Parents, family, and friends of lesbians and gays) – PFLAG Canada is Canada’s only national organization that helps all Canadians who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Rainbow Health Network (RHN) – Promotes health and wellness for persons and communities of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
There are child care centres located close to both Western and Fanshawe, and there are many licensed centre-based and home-based programs throughout the City. FamilyInfo.ca has information about Child Care and Early Childhood Education Services. Family Info also has information about Ontario Early Years Centres, Special Needs Resources, and Recreation Programs. If you are interested in registering in one or more child care programs, London offers a centralized process called 1List. Through the London and Middlesex Child Care Wait List, you can apply to any child care program in London and Middlesex County. If you need help affording the cost of child care, you can submit an application for child care fee subsidy directly to the City of London. Visit the City of London Child Care webpage for more information, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Canada! There are several resources to help international students get settled in London. Fanshawe’s International Centre and Western’s International and Exchange Student Centre both offer international student services including work and study permit assistance, and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.
London and Middlesex County’s Immigration Portal is a website dedicated to new immigrants. It has information for newcomers about living, working, and studying in London. The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre supports newcomers to London by offering settlement services and refugee support. Want to get involved? The London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP) brings together a diverse group of immigrants, faith groups, service providers, students, government, and academics to build a more diverse and welcoming community.