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Welcome to the Railway City! Steeped in locomotive history, St Thomas, Ontario is located within Central Elgin, aptly tagged, “progressive by nature”. St. Thomas boasts 25% more life in store for those who call it home, making sure all it’s residents are #stthomasproud.
St. Thomas Real Estate Market
As of 2016 St. Thomas’ population was approximately 41,000, continuing to grow as it draws from surrounding areas, such as London. Builders and realtors are as busy as ever as the real estate market remains competitive. Subdivisions can be seen developing at all ends of town. St. Thomas’ proximity to larger cities allows for a short commute while paying significantly less for property comparatively. That being said the value of St. Thomas properties are still increasing seeing a 34% increase since January 2018.
As proof of its increasing growth, January 2019 saw the second highest number of January sales since 2010. Buyers are coming from all over as houses that would sell for over a million dollars in Toronto or Vancouver markets are at a much more affordable rate in St. Thomas.
St. Thomas was dubbed #1 coolest downtown by Expeida.ca and rightfully so. Offering a craft brewery, with their aptly named signature beer, Dead Elephant Ale, Art Crawls, worldly cuisine, and fine shopping, the downtown core is thriving. Here are some of the city highlights
A day at the beach is not more than 15 minutes away as St. Thomas is just a short drive from Lake Erie and world renown, Port Stanley Beach. Make sure to stop for ice cream on the way back into town at Shaw’s Creamery, a local favourite.
St. Thomas has a number of parks and conservation. Pinafore Park and Waterworks Park both offer large open spaces, play equipment, splash pads plus walking trails. It's easy to see why so many residents spend time enjoying these amenities offered by the City.
Pinafore Park also hosts a number of events throughout the year such as the annual Fire Muster and Canada Day Celebrations complete with fireworks for the entire family to enjoy.
The Kettle Creek Conservation Authority manages Dalewood Conservation Area as well as Dan Patterson Conservation Area, both located in St. Thomas, Ontario. Dalewood Reservoir Trail is a 6.6 km loop that makes for a perfect afternoon hike, bird watching included! Dan Patterson has 5.8 kms of trail in two separate loops, Old Growth Forest Trail and Wetland Trail, both will be sure to reconnect you with nature.
St. Thomas hosts a number of festivals and events every year. The Iron Horse Festival is an annual downtown event that draws crowds to the main strip, hosting a number of different musicians, vendor’s and food trucks.
Living in St. Thomas comes with many benefits. This city prides itself in offering events and amenities to its residents in efforts to encourage physical activity, family time and community.
The St. Thomas Public Library is a space for all ages. With a newly renovated children and youth section that offers books, games, computer use and even a 3D printer!. Along with all the traditional services of a public library, there are many programs to take advantage of. For children there are Books and Bounce, EarlyOn Playgroup, Tales for Twos and a homeschooling group. In an attempt to encourage teens to get involved they have a Teen Advisory Board that meets and make suggestions for the flow and function of the youth space.Adults can enjoy book clubs, meeting groups and there is even use of a recording studio!
One of St. Thomas` claim to fame is NHLer Joe Thornton. It would only be fitting that the largest arena and Community Centre be named accordingly. The Joe Thornton Community Centre is a multipurpose building that has 2 ice rinks, a walking track and community room. Home of the St. Thomas Stars minor hockey team and potential future NHLers alike. Those who are looking for activities other than skating won’t have to leave the building to do so. The City of St. Thomas offers programs for all different ages, such as floor hockey, basketball, art and cooking classes an even pickleball. If you are looking to go for a walk but the blustery, Canadian winter is saying otherwise, you can take advantage of the rubberized fitness track on the second floor.
What does Paris, Manhattan and St. Thomas, Ontario all have in common? Elevated Parks! Canada’s first and only elevated park is located in St. Thomas. 95 feet above the Kettle Creek Valley, this former MCR bridge is now home to the beginning stages of the park. The park, which is 30 feet wide and 850 feet long is set to be developed in to a park and walking path with hopes for future events to be held.
If you find yourself looking for something to do on a Saturday morning, make your way down to the Horton Street Market. The Market runs from May - November starting at 8:00. Fresh and local produce, cheeses, bake goods, crafts, flowers and face painting are all available.
Other city amenities to be enjoyed are an indoor children's playground, The Nook multipurpose business/meeting area, the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, the Railway Museum as well as parks and walking trails throughout town.
St. Thomas Schools
In St. Thomas there are three different school systems residents can choose from offering Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.
The Thames Valley District School Board governs the 8 public Elementary Schools, such as Locke’s Public School, Mitchell Hepburn Public School or John Wise Public School, to name a few. For High School there are 3 public school options, Parkside Collegiate Institute, Central Elgin Collegiate Institute or Arthur Voaden Secondary School.
The London District Catholic School Board offers 2 Elementary School, Monsignor Morrison Catholic School or St. Anne’s Catholic School, which also has a French Immersion component. The Catholic High School servicing the St. Thomas-Elgin area is St. Joseph’s Catholic High School.
For those looking for an alternate, faith-based education there are currently 2 private schools, St. Thomas Community Christian School and Faith Christian Academy, which are in the process of merging to 1 school with 2 campuses.
As mentioned, there are French Immersion options at St. Anne’s Catholic School and Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Wanting to further your education after High School? You won’t have to go far! The St. Thomas campus of Fanshawe College provides a number of different courses and programs.
The Best St. Thomas Neighbourhoods
St. Thomas is growing at an impressive rate. New subdivisions are being built at all corners of town. When looking for a neighbourhood to call home there are no shortage of options.
Shaw Valley is located just off of Sunset Drive, in the South area of town. A newer subdivision that is currently still being developed by multiple builders, Shaw Valley has an out of town feel, 5 minutes from town. Larger lots, wider streets and 10 minutes from Port Stanley Beach are all great reasons to consider Shaw Valley for your next home.
Orchard Park is located on the South/East end of town, off of Elm Street. An ideal location to raise a family, as Orchard park has two parks within walking distance of the neighbourhood as well as Mitchell Hepburn Public School.
Dalewood Meadows is set just off of Ron McNeil line in St. Thomas’ North side. A large subdivision that remains popular due to the easy access to Highbury Avenue or Wellington Road, both which offer direct routes into London. This area is favoured for those who commute as they can benefit from the affordability while remaining in close proximity to work.
The Courthouse area offers large, older homes that remind you of the rich history St. Thomas is steeped in. This neighbourhood is nestled in and around the Courthouse, set against large trees and beautiful greenery.
St. Thomas, Ontario has a public transit system in the way of city buses. The bus system currently runs Monday-Saturday. There are 7 bus routes that run along talbot street, the north end, hospital, shopping areas and schools.
For the residents of St. Thomas that are unable to use the conventional busing system there is the Parallel system. The Parallel busing system is a door-to-door transportation service offered to residents with disabilities. Registration is required for use.
The restaurant scene in St. Thomas can best be described as tastefully eclectic. There is a wide variety of options, and they are all tasty! Ethnic eateries to bar and grill grub, St. Thomas will ensure there are plenty of options to choose from.
A local favourite is Legends Tavern. The recently revamped bar and grill offer some of the best wings in town, aptly named Legendary. Also, a comfortable and enjoyable spot to grab a beer and catch a game with friends. The updated patio draws crowds for drinks and appetizers all throughout the summer.
Bella Jacks is another one of St. Thomas’ popular restaurants. With authentic Mexican cuisine and refreshing margaritas, it is easy to see why so many people frequent Bella’s. Swing by on your birthday and you’ll end up wearing a giant sombrero and having your picture put on the wall of fame.
A longtime favourite of residents is The Bistro, formerly known to most as The Beanery. Delicious food and decadent desserts make this quiet and charming restaurant a date night must.
If you are in the mood for something a little different, both le Cafe Siam and Lotus Thai are both delicious options. Fresh Thai Cuisine made with quality ingredients keeps both of these locations busy all year long.
Other larger chains that remain popular as well are Boston Pizza, Swiss Chalets and newly opened Chuck’s Roadhouse.
Whether looking for wings and beer or crepes and fine wine, St. Thomas can provide you with both.
St. Thomas Real Estate Agents
Are you interested in purchasing a home in St. Thomas, Ontario? Our team at Team Forster is here to help you find your new home. Our experienced and trusted agents have the knowledge you need to make the right choice on your future house and home. For more information, contact us today. Uncover real estate gems and delights in St. Thomas, Ontario!
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