Komoka, Ontario began as a railroad town with high expectations. Two different rail lines ran through the little village, bringing work and goods to service it over the years. However, it was the city of London that drew in the big crowds in the 19th century. This left much of Komoka’s natural beauty intact as early settlement never met the speculation for the area. Now, Komoka is experiencing a modern growth spurt. This increase in population is spurring new development like a massive community arena and a shopping centre to better service the village. New residents are attracted to Komoka for its size and pace - allowing for a peaceful lifestyle to return to after commuting to and from London.
Where is Komoka, Ontario?
Driving West along Oxford Street from London, Ontario until it crosses the Thames River and becomes Country Road 14 will get you to Komoka. Komoka is a small municipality in Middlesex County. Like Arva, Delaware, Ilderton, Kilworth, Lobo Village, Poplar Hill, and many other communities, it is considered to be a part of the Middlesex Centre Township which covers 588 square kilometers and encompasses many rural towns and villages.
It is also the namesake for the nearby Komoka Provincial Park, a protected forest that accompanies the Thames River running through the region. In 2016, the Canadian census recorded Komoka’s population at 1,754 people, but that number has been increasing rapidly due to expansions and residential development in Komoka and the nearby area of Kilworth. When compared to the overall population of Middlesex Centre at 17,262 people, Komoka makes up about 10% of it.
Real Estate in Komoka, Ontario: Living in Komoka
Being only 18km away, Komoka is a popular place to live for people who commute to London, Ontario. Compared to the larger city, Komoka is a much smaller village, yet it still has some recent developments. The majority of the houses in these new developments are detached single-family dwellings. Since Komoka is outside of the city, it is cheaper to build here and housing prices are lower per square foot than in similar developments in London.
Need to know about schools? Parkview Public School is centrally located in Komoka and takes students from Early Years Kindergarten all the way to Grade 8. Another option is the privately funded Providence Reformed Collegiate, a Christian Secondary School in Komoka. Other options can be found in neighbouring townships and cities also serviced by the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board. Being so near London, Ontario, Komoka is a commute away from Western University and its affiliate Colleges: King’s, Huron, and Brescia as well as Fanshawe College’s two campuses.
Komoka has access to other services in the nearby cities. The three nearest hospitals are St. Joseph’s Hospital, Victoria Hospital, and University Hospital, all three of which are in London, Ontario. Komoka is home to a Middlesex County ambulance station and paramedic service.
History of Komoka
Early European settlement of the region was encouraged by the nearby Thames River and forest, useful for both transportation and natural resources. The first European settlement of the now-Middlesex Centre was Delaware in 1789, followed by Kilworth in 1789. The first historical “population boom” took place in the very early 19th century as Americans were taking advantage of land grants and relocating to Ontario.
Settlement in Komoka coincided with the development of railways in Ontario. The building of the Great Western Railroad through Komoka attracted settlers to work on the railway as well as those interested in the potential of trade. It was completed in 1854. Next, the Canadian Pacific Railway would be built through Komoka in 1881, making Komoka a stop on two major Ontario tracks. Over time, the stations in Komoka closed and the population growth slowed with the railway traffic.
In 1998, Middlesex Centre was formed by combining townships to the North, East, and South-East of London, Ontario. Included in this merge was the village of Komoka.
Things to Do In and Around Komoka
The newest addition to recreation and activities in Middlesex Centre is the Komoka Wellness Centre. This community facility houses two NHL-sized arenas, a fitness centre, an indoor walking track, a double gym, community club space, and a new branch of the Middlesex County Library. The rinks have a seating capacity of 750 and 250 spectators respectively, making it a comfortable place to watch local leagues or the Junior Hockey team, the Komoka Kings play.
An older, but still sparkling gem in the village is the Komoka Community Centre. Now primarily used for event space, this building located in Komoka Park was where the town library used to be. With a full kitchen, gymnasium, and meeting rooms, this building is used for a variety of events throughout the year. Private rentals, Christmas Markets, and many of the festivities during Komoka’s Canada Day Celebration are just some of the gatherings held here.
The Komoka Railway Museum was incorporated in 1980 to pay homage to the village’s history with the great railways of Ontario. Part of the original Canadian National Railway Station that was in Komoka was relocated into the current museum facilities. They also house a collection of artifacts which snapshot life and the railroad in Komoka through the ages. This collection includes restored full sized steam engines as well as smaller models which can be seen running along a 500 foot track outside of the museum in the Summer months.
Komoka is part of the pretty unique celebration for Canada Day. It is called “Del-Ko-Brydge”, and that name may sound pretty strange at first, but it stands for the municipalities of Delaware, Komoka, and Mt. Brydges who agreed to host a joint Canada Day. Every year since its inception in 1982, the festivities would rotate from town to town in partnership with local community organizations. This past year, it was hosted in the Komoka Community Centre with a free pancake breakfast, a parade, live music, activities, and topped off with an evening of fireworks.
Komoka is surrounded by nature and that scenic background makes outdoor activities a lot more appealing. Komoka Provincial Park provides a local hub for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing, depending on the trail and the season. The access to the Thames River allows for fishing spots and canoeing, weather permitting. Visitors can also enjoy less-physical activities like picnics and photography amongst the lush Carolinian Forest.
Another way to enjoy the spacious and rural Middlesex Centre is golfing. Komoka, Ontario has three Golf Courses to choose from. The Oaks Golf & Country Club, FireRock Golf Club & Pub, and Oxbow Glen Golf Course are all within a 5 minute drive from the heart of the village.
Restaurants and Shopping in Komoka and Beyond
Komoka has plenty of great shopping and restaurants to call its own. Familiar chains like Tim Hortons, Subway, Dollarama, and Foodland can be found in Komoka, but what about unique local businesses? One great place to try is the Gingerbread Bakery on Jefferies Road, a little family-run business which sells freshly baked sweet treats, including local-favorite Cinnamon buns. Local dining doesn’t get much better than the Little Beaver Restaurant offering diner-style breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Try their tasty tarts or signature double-patty Beaver Burger as a dine-in meal or take-out on the way home.
It might surprise you to learn that Komoka is not that far from the conveniences of London. Commuters don’t need to go anywhere near the core to have access to banks, pharmacies, and grocery stores because the quaint Byron Village is about 15 minutes away. Convenient shopping is not the only thing that Byron Village offers, the main street of the Village is also lined by restaurants serving the flavours of the world. If you are in Byron, consider trying a meal from one of these great 5 restaurants:
1. Byron Pizza
Komoka is the proud home of a forested Provincial Park, thriving local business, and a tight-knit and active community, all of which retains its charm from Komoka’s seclusion from larger cities. Despite its rural status, Komoka is still an excellent choice for a short and manageable commute to London, Ontario for work or access to amenities. So, if you are looking into areas outside of London, don’t forget to pay Komoka, Ontario a visit.