It feels like Lower Sackville never stops growing. Defying the provincial trend, the population growth in Lower Sackville always hovers around 5%, and with its mature neighbourhoods, excellent schools, and bustling downtown, it’s not hard to see why families continue to flock here.

Much of Lower Sackville’s housing stock hails from the 1970s, so new buyers will be welcomed into friendly, spacious homes in congenial neighbourhoods abundant in foliage. These are homes that have been maintained with pride; expect fresh paint, level decks, finished basements, sealed driveways — the works. Just off Sackville Drive, the streets wind into crescents and cul-de-sacs wind off into quiet corners and lanes. Peaceful places to begin and end busy days.

And don’t be surprised by neighbourhood block parties to celebrate Victoria Day, or barbecues on Canada Day, with kids cutting across shady backyards, water balloons in hand. Sackville’s Patriot Days are organized around Canada Day celebrations, too. Patriot Days bring a parade, sports tournaments, concerts, a teddy bear picnic, and nighttime fireworks over First Lake.

Given this vitality, some newcomers are surprised at how far back Lower Sackville’s roots stretch. The original Fort Sackville was established by famed Massachusetts-born ranger John Gorham in 1749 on the orders of Edward Cornwallis. Intended to act as protection for Halifax against attacks by Acadians, French, or Mi’kmaq, the fort was built overlooking the point where the Sackville River empties into the Bedford Basin.

None of the players in those 18th-centry crises would recognize the surroundings today. Sackville Drive, which traces the bank of the Sackville River, is a lively thoroughfare, with businesses thick on both sides: restaurants, financial institutions, auto sales, grocery stores, building supply centres, a movie theatre — they don’t call it SackVegas for nothing! And that’s to say nothing of the sports in which Lower Sackville takes such pride.

The Sports Stadium is the heart of the community, equipped with two swimming pools, a gymnasium, hockey arena, and a curling rink. And there are programs for literally everyone: from baby yoga to seniors’ aquatic classes to an intergenerational board game club. Drop in for a cycle class or for free snowshoe rentals and make some new friends, because athletics is part of the lifestyle here.

Sports have lifted the area’s schools, too. For years, Sackville schools have punched above their weight, often besting their counterparts in the big city and taking home provincial championships. Lower Sackville’s elementary and high schools are highly-regarded, and one reason why many families move to the area. Rather than being a face in the crowd, kids here make lasting friendships as boys’ and girls’ teams take home championships year after year.

Lower Sackville is just 10 minutes from Bedford, and about 20 to Burnside Industrial Park and the McKay Bridge. It’s also only about 35 minutes to Windsor or Tantallon. Its central location is one of its many charms.

If you’re looking for a family home outside of Halifax, Lower Sackville might be perfect.