Pros and Cons of Living in Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Famously known as the Classic Car Capital of Canada, the town of Chattam-Kent is the heart of the automotive industry in the region. Its booming economy, beautiful weather, and abundance of amenities make this town one of the best places to live in Canada.

According to Maclean’s 2021 rankings, Chatham-Kent is the 27th best community in the whole country. This is a great accomplishment as the town’s rank has grown from 126th in 2019. Although the town is thriving both industrially and residentially, deciding to move can be overwhelming. Therefore, I have put together a list of pros and cons to help you make a holistic decision.

PROS

1. Beaches for Days

Of all the beaches in Ontario, it is safe to say that Chatham-Kent has some of the warmest ones in the province. Both beaches on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair are easily accessible. Residents and tourists love to explore these beautiful shores via the Beach Bus Route S1, which is functional every Saturday till the Labour Day weekend. The bus is scheduled to depart the Downtown terminal four times, starting at 9 am with the final departure at 5:30 pm. 

You will also find that there is nothing more satisfying than enjoying a warm dip at Erieau Beach. This shoreline of Lake Erie has some of the warmest waters in the area, thus making for a great swimming destination. The beach has easy accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers, thus making it a great family vacationing spot. With Chatham-Kent’s mild weather throughout the year, many people also enjoy long walks on the beach in the Fall season. 

2. Fish Till You Drop

If you love to fish, then moving to Chattam-Kent will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. This is because Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair have some of the best fishing to offer in the region. You can easily tell by the number of fishing tournaments hosted here that this town takes its fishing seriously. For instance, Lake Erie hosts one of the oldest fishing tournaments, the Great Erie Salmon and Walleye Hunt every year in July. For the last 41 years, the tournament has featured many grand prizes and junior prizes for all age groups competing.

Many residents and fishing enthusiasts also hit the water a second time for the 2021 Canadian Tire Mitchell’s Bay Open on Lake St. Clair this year. The two-day team event features live bass fishing during the peak of summertime. 

3. Wind Down With Local Beer and Wine

Whether you are a wine lover or prefer some craft beer, Chettam-Kent has all to offer. The town is home to “Chatham’s Premier Craft Beer Destination,” known as Sons of Kent. The renowned brewery is headquartered in the downtown area and has an in-house tasting room. Started by four friends, you will find nothing but the best ingredients brought together with traditional methods to produce some of the most exotic tasting beers in Ontario. If you don’t believe us, stop by the brewery in the weekday afternoons to get an exclusive taste of their finest beers.

If you prefer to wind down with a fine glass of wine, then we suggest making the most of the Early Acres Estate Winery in Chettam-Kent. Made with 100% Canadian grapes this family business has won over 21 awards since its inception. From rich reds to delicate whites, this winery has won the hearts of many in the region.

4. Strong Automotive Industry

Did you know that Chatham-Kent’s automotive roots go back to Gray-Dort Motors Ltd., one of Canada’s first automobile manufacturers? Since then, the region has had a booming automotive industry with many auto plants in the municipality. These include Autoliv Canada, Mahle, KSR, and Dana Canada. The industry is also influenced by the town’s strategic location and proximity to the US auto manufacturing epicenter. With a strong automotive industry, the town has many job opportunities for residents, thereby ensuring the quality of life. As a bonus for car enthusiasts, the town is also home to RM Auctions, a vintage car auction house, and RM Restorations, a vintage car restoration company.

5. Thriving Economy

One of the best reasons for moving to Chatham-Kent is its thriving economy. If you are worried about potential employment opportunities or career growth, this town is the best place to be. This is because the Ontario Government has only recently allotted over $2.5 million in expansion projects with five major manufacturers in the area. The funding is channeled towards the auto, mining, and food manufacturers, such as Aarkel Tool and Die, and The Barry Callebaut Group to encourage economic stability in the region.

By scaling up manufacturing operations, these companies will ensure many job opportunities for Chatham-Kent and other neighboring southwestern Ontario towns.

CONS

1. High Crime Rate

Although Chatham-Kent, Ontario, is growing industrially and population-wise, the crime rate in the town is still higher than in other places. According to areavibes.com, the crime rate in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, is 25% higher than the average Ontario crime rate. This means that as a resident, there is a one in 24 chance of being a victim of a crime. There is also a reported drug problem in the town with meth as the primary drug abused. People planning on laying down some roots here may find this a concerning issue.

3. Soaring Real Estate Prices

Chatham-Kent, Ontario, has seen a rapid increase in population in the last three to five years. As many people opt to invest in residential properties, the town has seen a rapid shift in demand and supply, thus impacting local buying power. As a result, the real estate prices have skyrocketed, thus making it difficult for many people to invest. According to the data released by the Chatham-Kent Association of Realtors, there is an approximate 21% increase in the number of homes sold in February 2021. If you are planning on moving to Chatham-Kent, Ontario, any time soon we recommend consulting with real estate agents in the area to get a better idea of investing opportunities available. 

Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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