Everything you need to know before moving to Chatham, Ontario
We are a small city. Chatham has a population of approximately 46,000 people. Chatham is part of the amalgamated municipality of Chatham-Kent (CK) (population 104,316 according to 2021 Census data). Chatham is the biggest centre in the municipality followed by Wallaceburg with approximately 10,000 people.
We are a friendly community. Be prepared for smiles and hellos and you walk down any street! This can take a bit to get used to if you come from a larger centre.
We are a generous community. On most days of the week you can find a free meal for people who need it and almost every town has its own food bank that residents donate to and fundraise for. And we like to party when it's for a good cause! Chatham-Kent knows how to throw great events and we raise a lot of money for our local charities this way - the yearly Festival of Giving https://ctcf-ck.com/fog/ is a crowd favourite and during the covid pandemic, a unique new fundraiser was born - The Gift CK https://thegiftck.ca/ Every week during the warm weather you can find a charity golf tournament and we also love our fundraising walks. Local businesses are BIG supporters of local charities and you'll find residents frequently arranging informal drives for people in crisis.
We are a farming community. It's so lovely to be able to buy seasonal fruits and veggies at markets and roadside stands all over CK. There are also lots of spots to get farm fresh free range eggs, fresh beef and locally caught fish. Many local adolescents get their first taste of the working world in our cornfields. But, be prepared to slow down for tractors on local roads, especially in planting and harvest seasons.
We love to shop local. Local small businesses thrive in our community. Every single city and town in CK has its signature shops that locals love. Some of my personal favourites are Wooly Doodle https://woolydoodle.com/ , Purple Pansy https://www.purplepansy.ca/ , Antiquated Joys https://antiquatedjoys.com/ , Duchene Paint & Accent Alley https://www.duchenepaintstore.com/ , Five Eau https://five-eau.ca/ and Sixty-One https://www.shopsixtyone.com/ Although we have a few traditional big-box stores at the north end of Chatham, for large shopping malls and stores like Costco, you need to travel to Windsor, Sarnia or London - all 45-60 minutes away.
We have fabulous local restaurants. The last decade has brought some really great eating establishments to CK. My family love Centro https://www.centrochatham.com/ , Mama Maria's http://mammamariasristorante.ca/ , Quo Vadis https://www.qvpizza.com/ , Satellite Restaurant https://satelliterestauran.wixsite.com/satellite (inventor of the original Hawaiian Pizza!), Molly and OJ's https://mollyandojs.ca/ , William Street Cafe http://williamstreetcafe.ca/ and Bayside Brewing Co https://baysidebrewing.com/ More local favourites are Craves Poutinerie https://cravespoutinerie.com/ , Loaded to Go https://loaded2go.com/, and The Chilled Cork https://www.retrosuites.com/food-drink
Our nightlife is pretty quiet. A typical night out in Chatham consists of a long dinner and conversation at one of our fabulous restaurants and maybe theatre tickets or seeing a live band at a bar. Our night markets are perfect for a great night out too. But, if you are looking for a banging club scene or arena-type concert venues, you are driving to Windsor, London, Sarnia, or Detroit - all within an hour of the city of Chatham.
As a 32-year resident of Chatham-Kent, I know there is so much to love about living here. Have I missed anything? Are there other categories you want to know about? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org , I'd love to hear from you and welcome you to Chatham!