London 2025

Forecasting is never a precise science especially when it comes to the future. Truer words were never spoken. But, in spite of that sage old warning I do find myself wondering, aloud sometimes, what London might look like in the year 2025. Fourteen years seems a long way off but a lot can happen. And if I’m wrong maybe I’ll be lucky enough to eat my words. Then again I may be fortunate enough to see some of this vision for 2025 come true.
So here, captured in my little fantasy drive into and through London, is a glimpse of what I see London looking like in 2025…..
I have just pulled off the Forest City Expressway (code for ring road), and am proceeding into downtown London just passed the Wonderland Extension to the 401. It does my heart good to see all of the new industry that has sprouted up along the 401/402 and now the Expressway too. The Expressway has saved me 20 minutes compared to the old highways so I use that time to take a little cruise through the core where I have lived since 2010. I just passed the luxury condos on the SW corner of Richmond and Dundas and the streets are bustling with shoppers and pedestrians many of them with grocery bags from the XYZ (fill in your favorite big box brand here) store which is located on the main floor of the Galleria. The entire two block area bound by Dundas, Ridout, Wellington, and Central have been dubbed “DineTown Canada” as a result of the area celebrating the opening of its 100th eating establishment. This new hotbed of culinary delights has been featured in Gourmet Magazine, the LCBO’s Monthly Magazine, and has fast become a destination for motor-coach tours and groups of all kinds.
All of the streets that form the borders of “DineTown” are beautifully landscaped with hundreds of real, healthy trees, award winning hanging plants and all of the utility poles and posts are free from a single flyer, poster, or pamphlet as their glossy black finish shimmers in the daylight. Strangely, there is not a single cigarette butt to be found nor is there a trace of graffiti on building walls.
Classical music is playing throughout the district and more charter busses pass by on their way to the designated bus lot. The Free Press this morning featured a story on the area in honour of it being designated one of Canada’s top ten tourist destinations. As I continue down to the end of Dundas I am struck by the five canoes and three racing skulls that that are making their way along the river directly in front of our three fountains. And the River Walkway that is now full of small restaurants and novelty shops is teaming with tourists. The water is faster moving, deeper, and cleaner than I remember it back in 2011. There are virtually no empty buildings along Dundas or in the rest of the core for that matter. And the 2000 Fanshawe students that everyone was so worried about fitting in are now just as much of a fixture in the core as bankers and accountants.
Better hurry home now as I have a luncheon appointment at The Diner on Dundas, which is the award winning Fanshawe College training facility which, today outguns George Brown as Canada’s top culinary school. With UWO’s new downtown campus located right next door, it is little wonder the area is cooking with gas.
Life is good in the core and all those controversial decisions that were made in the decades leading up to 2025 have proven their worth.
BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…….better wake up now, it’s that darned alarm clock again.


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