The neighbourhoods of Fairview and Spryfield haven’t always been considered beautiful or desirable. They have a scrappy, catch-as-catch-can reputation, which isn’t always deserved. In fact, as some of the earliest suburbs of Halifax, they deserve the same cache as Rockingham or Cole Harbour. And the good news is that the long-standing stigma is lifting, and adventurous home buyers are seeking out properties to rehabilitate or renovate in these exciting neighbourhoods.
Both Fairview and Spryfield are both located immediately off the Halifax peninsula, both just minutes from the Halifax Roundabout. Spryfield’s history stretches back to the first English landowner, Captain William Spry, who purchased the land in 1770, then sold it after the American Revolution upon his return to England. The settlement’s proximity to Halifax combined with its arable soil made it very attractive to planters. And until the 1950s, Spryfield continued to be dominated by farmland, and a granite quarry — many of Halifax’s finest buildings are faced with Spryfield granite.
The community today is recovering from the mid-century exodus to leafier suburbs. For more than a decade, the neighbourhood was characterized by sterile public housing and semi-vacant strip malls. But that’s changing now, with the development of the up-market Governor’s Brook neighbourhood. New community-centred restaurants like the homestyle Blooming Cafe (diner classics, nightly entertainment) and rustic-modern Station Six (donair tacos, quinoa salads).
Homes in these mature neighbourhoods were built during the post-war boom. Many have already been remodeled and refurbished, but you can still find many project homes. It’s also a neighbourhood that was designed with kids in mind. There are little parks and playgrounds everywhere in Spryfield. Multi-use trails meander between the neighbourhoods, linking the area’s lakes. And the jewel in the crown is Long Lake Provincial Park, with its acres of wetlands, forest, waterways, and miles of hiking.
Fairview’s history stretches as far back as Spryfield’s. When Europeans first settled this area, it was granted to the so-called Foreign Protestants who also founded Lunenburg. Most of the neighbourhood’s single-family homes were built in the 1930s and ‘40s, and have a tidy, charming, cottage feeling. Increasing density in the 1970s resulted in many duplexes and townhouses that are now coming back on the market at affordable prices, ripe for renovation. You’ll also find plenty of income properties.
Fairview also nurtures a handful of choice restaurants like Mexico Lindo (burritos, chilaquiles), Silong Filipino (pork skewers, halo-halo), and The Anchor (craft beer, gastro-pub favourites).
As more and more condominium projects grow in Fairview, people are rediscovering the convenience of this area, which is just minutes from the peninsula, and minutes to Bayers Lake via Washmill Lake Drive.
Clever, young homebuyers are breathing new life into these neighbourhoods, increasing their desirability and home values. And please, don’t be fooled by what you may have heard: these are terrific places to live. They’re vibrant, diverse, affordable, and very attractive to artists and entrepreneurs.
Wondering what’s new in Spryfield and Fairview? Give Century21 a call today.