Our Core Area

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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). 

Have a question related to the Core Area? Please email corearea@london.ca.

Core Area Ambassador program

The Core Area Ambassadors are the City’s customer service representatives for the Core Area. They

are the friendly faces interacting with residents, businesses owners, workers, tourists, and visitors.

The Ambassadors play many roles, such as responding to concerns and complaints, providing guidance on how to access City services, sharing recommendations for events and activities, supporting small-scale events and activations, working with other City teams to keep streets clean and safe, building ties with local businesses, and participating in beautification efforts.

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Core Area Ambassadors Posing for a Picture on Old East Village

Core Area grants and loans

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. 

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Core Area supports contact list

Looking to get in touch with City of London staff to ask a question or share a complaint or concern? View or Core Area supports contact list for a full list of City contacts to assist with safety and security, garbage and cleanliness, construction and transportation, business supports and more. 

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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.

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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.

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

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).

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