Our Core Area
Discover Downtown, Richmond Row, Midtown and Old East Village
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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).
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From façade improvement loans to rehabilitation and redevelopment tax grant and safety audit grants to residential development charges grants, the City of London offers several grants and loans to business owners and property owners in London's Core Area neighbourhoods.
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.
Core Area Action Plan
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.
Core Area 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 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 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.
London Community Recovery Network
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.
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.
Back to Business
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.
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.
The Housing Stability Action Plan
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.
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.
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.
Our 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
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).
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.
If we do not address those problems that are threatening its long-term success, we stand to: