The City of London has a vision to revitalize our Core Area as the cultural, civic, retail, and economic heart of London, and as a great place to live. The Core Area includes Downtown, Richmond Row, Midtown and Old East Village and encompasses most of the Downtown London and the Old East Village Business Improvement Areas (BIA). 

Have a question related to the Core Area? Please email corearea@london.ca or call 519-661-2489, extension 7455 to learn more.

Core Area road projects in 2022

This year, the City is building new roads and replacing old infrastructure in and around the Core so people can enjoy the heart of our city for years to come. We’re constructing better connections for cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and transit users. And we’re enhancing the look and feel of our Core to ensure people feel safe and welcome.

Learn more about this year’s transformational Core Area projects below – and don’t forget to sign up for email updates on the projects happening in your area.

Construction Dollars are back!

Londoners can receive Core Area Construction Dollars from the Downtown London Business Association and the Old East Village BIA to spend at participating businesses within the core area until November 30, 2022.

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What is the Core Area Construction Dollars Pilot Program?

The Core Area Construction Dollars program is a four-year pilot program funded by the City through the Core Area Action Plan, which was developed with local stakeholders to support the Core and generate new growth and investment. The goal of the program is to encourage people to visit and support Core Area businesses during construction and enrich their experience while they visit the core area.

How will Core Area Construction Dollars benefit participating businesses?

Delivered through the BIAs, this program will contribute over $90,000 into the local economy this year, incentivizing customers to shop, dine and experience the core. Core Area Construction Dollars are distributed by the Downtown London Business Association and the Old East Village BIA through contests, giveaways, events and promotions. No purchase is required to redeem Construction Dollars and visitors can use them to buy goods and services. Businesses are reimbursed 100 percent of the value of each Construction Dollar.

Orange signs in businesses windows indicate where customers can spend their Construction Dollars. The Downtown London Business Association and Old East Village BIA websites show a full list of participating businesses.

What are Core Area Construction Dollars?

Construction Dollars are vouchers in $5, $10 and $20-dollar amounts that can be used at participating businesses in the Core Area until November 30, 2022. Valid Construction Dollars are marked with the year “2022” and can be redeemed at your favourite spots within the Core Area.

Core Area visitors are encouraged to follow Downtown London and the Old East Village BIA on social media for their chance to win Core Area Construction Dollars.

What are the boundaries of the Core Area?

The Core Area includes Downtown, Richmond Row, Midtown and Old East Village and encompasses most of the Downtown London and the Old East Village Business Improvement Areas (BIA).

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Map of London's Core Area

Core Area plans, strategies and programs

There are several strategies, plans, and programs underway that set the foundation for revitalization in our Core Area. These plans encompass everything from homeless prevention and business supports to transportation infrastructure and cultural prosperity.

Learn more

Core Area Action Plan

Investing in our Core Area.

The Core Area Action Plan has been developed to address a number of complex challenges related to London's Core, outlining 69 short-, medium-, and long-term initiatives focused on improving homelessness prevention, enhancing safety and security, ensuring there is space for the economy to grow, and creating a positive space to attract visitors to our Core Area.

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Core Area initiatives

Short-term initiatives

Short-term, immediate actions will be complete within a six-month timespan. This includes strengthening our Coordinated Informed Response Program, establishing a headlease program, increasing foot patrol in the Core, recruiting food trucks in Dundas Place, and streamlining event processes.

Medium-term initiatives

Medium-term actions will be complete within a six-month to one-year timespan. This includes establishing a permanent Coordinated Informed Response Program, creating more daytime resting spaces, creating new housing units with supportive living arrangements, creating a Core Area Ambassador pilot project, and undertaking safety blitz's for aggressive driving in the Core Area.

Long-term initiatives

Long-term actions will be complete within a one-to-two-year timespan. This includes opening a permanent supervised consumption facility; eliminating application fees for patios, signage, and awnings; and enhancing transit service and cycling infrastructure.

       READ THE Core Area Action Plan            

London Community Recovery Network

Laying the foundation for recovery.

The London Community Recovery Network has identified several initiatives to help drive London's recovery from COVID-19. This includes initiatives taking place in our Core Area, including fast-tracking the creation of Core Area housing, creating virtual concerts to promote local artists, and establishing a digital marketing campaign to encourage people to visit our Core Area.

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The Network is a community driven recovery effort comprising leaders from the private sector, non-profit sector, and institutional organizations working collaboratively with the City to create a community recovery plan to drive a strong, deep, and inclusive recovery for London.

Ideas for Action to Power London’s Community Recovery from COVID-19

Back to Business

Supporting business needs to mitigate strain.

London’s business community has experienced tremendous strain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its ability to safely reopen is vital to our city’s economic recovery. The Back to Business action team helps make the transition as smooth as possible for businesses as they implement measures to serve their customers in a safe manner, assisting with Core Area business requests for space allowance for curbside pick-up and sidewalk customer queues, and temporary measures using public space for expanded outdoor patios and merchandise displays, to name a few.

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The City has initiated an open dialogue with BIAs, including those in the Core Area, to better understand their members’ COVID-19 recovery needs. The Back to Business initiative provides a flexible one-window approach for businesses who are looking for support from the City as they reopen.

The Back to Business initiative brings together city staff from permitting, bylaw enforcement, parking, roads and transportation, business relations, planning, and the Clerk’s office, among others, to help serve business in our community.

Back to Business initiatives are funded through the Core Area Action Plan.​​​​​​

COVID-19 business supports

The Housing Stability Action Plan

Finding solutions to our homelessness and housing crisis.

The City's Homeless Prevention and Housing team, along with many community partners are working hard each and every day to help provide Londoners, including those in our Core Area, with safe, appropriate, housing with affordability and supports. The Housing Stability Action Plan is a five-year plan to address housing stability in London.

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To move towards the vision of Housing Stability For All, four strategic areas of focus have been identified. Each strategic area of focus has a goal, result, strategic initiatives, actions, and measures that will guide the work of the community now, and in the future. These four strategic areas of focus include responding to the homelessness crisis, creating more housing stock, providing those living rough with the supports they need, and creating better ways to provide housing supports.

Read the Housing Stability Action Plan

Related plans and strategies

There are several broad scoping and longer-term strategies, plans and programs that are underway that set the foundation for Core Area revitalization. These include The London Plan, the Our Move Forward: London’s Downtown Plan, the Rapid Transit Master Plan, the Cycling Master Plan, the Cultural Prosperity Plan, and the London Music Strategy, to name a few. Visit our plans and strategies page for more information.

Core Area newsletter

Want to stay up-to-date with Core Area revitalization initiatives and engagement opportunities? Sign up for the Our Core Area newsletter!

Frequently asked questions

What are the boundaries of the Core Area?

    The Core Area includes Downtown, Richmond Row, Midtown and Old East Village and encompasses most of the Downtown London and the Old East Village Business Improvement Areas (BIA).

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Map of London's Core Area
Where does the budget for Core Area Action Plan initiatives come from?

Some of the initiatives in the Core Area Action Plan can be implemented within existing budgets, and some are subject to separate business cases to be considered as part of the 2020-2023 Multi-Year Budget process. The remainder will be included in a specific Core Area Action Plan business case for Council’s consideration during the Multi-Year Budget process.

What happens if we don’t address issues in the Core?

If we do not address those problems that are threatening its long-term success, we stand to:

  • See a significant decline in our Downtown assessment base, leaving a greater tax burden on property owners in the remainder of the City;
  • Send the image of a declining city to prospective new businesses, undercutting our economic competitiveness with other cities;
  • Weaken our competitive position for attracting and retaining a talented workforce in London and innovation that follows them;
  • Undermine our significant municipal investments in the Core Area;
  • Portray London as an unattractive city to live and work in;
  • Lose existing businesses in the Core Area, leading to job losses and a reduction in local economic activity;
  • Leave our city’s most vulnerable populations at risk and without supports;
  • Damage our Core Area’s residential neighbourhoods;
  • Reduce the viability of important cultural heritage resources and neighbourhoods that define our city’s history;
  • Undermine our city-building strategy to grow more inward and upward in the future; and,
  • Weaken our City’s music, entertainment, culture and arts offerings