Alternative Spring Break

London, Ontario - Building the Forest City

Depending on the needs of the community, you could be participating in a Habitat for Humanity build or helping at the Restore. Most likely, this experience will be a mixture of both a build and Restore support.

Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario has several construction sites across Oxford, Middlesex, Elgin and Perth. Homes are built almost entirely by volunteers, both skilled and unskilled. Volunteer contractors help with the “hard stuff”, but also support the training and oversee volunteers. If you have never picked up a hammer in your life, Habitat can use your help. Build Days are organized, led by Site Supervisors and Crew Leaders with construction knowledge and experience. Whatever the activity may be, it is essential to the success of the build. Each piece fits together to ensure the final outcome is an amazing one. All the equipment and safety gear you need for the day is provided and no previous experience is necessary.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are home and building supply stores that accept and resell quality new and used building materials. These stores are environmentally conscious, as much of what is sold is a product that would otherwise end up in a landfill. ReStores strive to keep operating costs as low as possible to maximize the amount of money that goes directly to benefit the London community, therefore ReStores are a great starting point for ASB London.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 1 - No PovertyUN Sustainable Development Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Community Partners

  Habitat for Humanity London

Dates of Travel

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – Saturday, October 13, 2018

Participant Numbers

  • 8 Student Participants
  • 1 Student Team Leader
  • 1 Team Leader


  • This experience will not only give you a great opportunity to serve in your local community, but also to learn about social issues and housing challenges facing our region.
  • A chance to explore areas of the city with which you may be unfamiliar, such as Downtown London and Old East London.
  • Connect with other students and community members that are passionate about community engagement, and helping London, Ontario thrive!

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Alternative Spring Break 2018 program, students participating in this experience will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than their own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the ASB Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Recognize the possibilities and limitations of their own role in serving local marginalized populations
  • Recognize and describe specific social issues in London, and explain governing structures and social policies that impact these issues

Ideal Participant

If you are looking for a tactile or traditional service experience, and want to stay local - or are on a tight budget - this experience is for you. This experience does involve construction work and physical activity, although no previous building experience is required. All safety measures and job skills will be taught on site by professional site managers. You will never be responsible for completing a task that makes you uncomfortable; however you will be challenged to find your voice and work as a team.  If you are hard-working, team-oriented, and want to learn more about the London community, then this is a great opportunity for you.


Total cost (subject to change) – $150 CAD

Fee includes:

  • Donation to Habitat for Humanity Hartland  
  • Lunch on build site each day
  • Thursday evening social activity and dinner
  • Administrative Fee (t-shirt, team leader contribution, journal)

Preliminary Itinerary

  • 9:00 am – arrive at the work site ready to build and/or support restore efforts (expect a mixture of days at build site and Restore)
  • 12:00 pm – lunch to be delivered to work site
  • 3:00 pm – Team reflection to be organized by team leader close to build site or Restore
  • 4:00 pm – day concludes

Thursday evening, you will have a team dinner and a choice of recreational team building activity at the Factory, Canada’s largest indoor adventure park. This will be the only organized evening; however, your team is encouraged to organize other social evenings throughout the week such as team hikes, dinners, and other activities.


ASB London participants will stay in their own residence rooms/homes.


You are encouraged to start the day with a good breakfast from home. Lunch will be delivered to your worksite daily. Your team will also be treated to one team dinner on Thursday evening, along with a social activity.

Need to Know

  • This experience is based in London and does not involve any travel. Students will need their Western London Transit Card as you will be travelling to the work sites via London transit.
  • If you require disability related accommodation, or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs.