UPDATE on Christmas Light Displays in London Ontario 2018:
Unfortunately, the London Transit Commission no longer offers the bus tours of the local Christmas lights as described below. However, I’ve gathered together a list for you of recommended light displays in the city. Scroll down to the end of the post for a printable list.
Will continue updating the printable if I hear about any other noteworthy displays! Leave me a comment if you know of something missing.
LTC Tours of Christmas Lights in London Ontario
A few years ago, I went on a bus tour of the city to see the various Christmas light displays in London Ontario. It took us to see the lights downtown and through some London neighborhoods. These tours have been operated by the London Transit Commission on city buses throughout the month of December since 1995.
However, I had never actually heard of it before my local women’s group posted this as a meetup. Apparently the LTC doesn’t actively advertise these tours so it’s just spread through word of mouth by LTC drivers and those on the tour route!
Volunteers Make It Happen
Volunteer drivers help to keep the costs down. All you need to do is to get together a group of a minimum 25 participants. It’s only $2 a person. We were able to choose our desired pickup/drop off location, making it very convenient! The tour was roughly 2 hours long and began with circling around Victoria Park to see the gorgeous light displays there.
As an aside, did you know that the promenade deck at City Hall is open every night 7-11 pm from now until Christmas Eve? You can go there for an amazing overview of the park!
Then it was on to some East London neighborhoods! This included streets such as Duluth Crescent, Jena Crescent, Speight Boulevard, Martinet Place, Mountbatten Place, and Vancouver Street. I have to be honest – about halfway into the tour, we were all a bit disappointed.
In fact, my planned blog post at that time was going to be all about whether Christmas light displays were becoming extinct as we saw very few decorated houses. Oh, there was one house that rivalled the Griswold’s house in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation but the majority of the houses we saw were a letdown.
Christmas Lights Everywhere!
Then we got to Martinet Place and Jena Crescent and things began to turn around. There were Christmas lights everywhere! The bus driver even stopped a few times and let us get out to get a closer look and take pictures. One of the houses even had music coordinated with the flashing lights!
But, the piece de resistance was on Mountbatten Place. The bus pulled up in front of a very colourfully decorated house and stopped. Next thing we knew, we had a visitor join us on the bus. That’s right – Santa Claus himself! We all turned into little kids, excited and giggling as Santa walked down the aisle, handing out candy canes to each of us.
It was the perfect end to what ended up being a really fun outing for all ages!
Click on the image below for a printable copy of this year’s list.Christmas Lights in London Ontario
UPDATE: CTV now has their map and image gallery of London Christmas lights displays available too!