UPDATE on Christmas Light Displays in London Ontario:
Unfortunately, the London Transit Commission no longer offers these bus tours of the local Christmas lights. However, AM 980 puts out an interactive map each year leading up to the holiday season showing great Christmas light displays that have been suggested by their readers. You can find that map here >>> Interactive Map of Christmas light displays
Last night, I went on a bus tour of the city to see the various Christmas light displays downtown and through some London neighbourhoods. These tours have been operated by the London Transit Commissionon 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!
Volunteer drivers help to keep the costs down. All you need to do is to get together a group of a minimum 25 participants and each pay 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 neighbourhoods including streets such as Duluth Crescent, Jenna Crescent, Speight Boulevard, Martinet Place, Mountbatten Place, and Vancouver Street to see the Christmas light displays on the houses there. 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.
Then we got to Martinet Place and Jenna 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! I highly recommend this for your family and friends! If you’d like to book a tour, call LTC Customer Service at 519-451-1347.