If you’re looking for a gem of a home in a charming, tree-canopied neighbourhood, look no farther than Southdale and Manor Park. These neighborhoods cluster around a trio of lakes, boasting pleasant family homes and thoughtfully-appointed ramblers, perfect for growing families or friends to share.

The southeast shore of Lake Banook slopes steeply up into Southdale, creating a natural lookoff and water views for several streets. Careful pruning has preserved privacy for each neighbour, but the lake’s boardwalk, the jogging trails, and the stadium-like seating of Silvers Hill Park offer natural places to congregate. Lake Banook may be the birthplace of hockey, but kayaks and dragon boats are now much more common on the lake than skaters. But never mind, other nearby lakes (Oat Hill, Maynard, Penhorn) freeze solid more often than the Mi’kmaq’s ‘First Lake’ does these days.

Because of its location and proximity to Downtown Dartmouth, Southdale was among the first communities to experience a building boom in the first half of the last century. Some historic homes still line Hawthorne and Prince Arthur Streets, but most of the housing stock here was constructed from the 1940s through the 1960s. It has always been a child-friendly area, with several schools — Alderney, Hawthorne Elementary, and Dartmouth South Academy — wide sidewalks, and plenty of crosswalks. And slim parks stretch out along every lakeshore, providing ample opportunity for exploration.

All the amenities are available without heading downtown. There’s a major grocery store (and liquor store) on this end of Prince Albert Road, plus the reliable Yuille’s Auto Works. In the Paddler’s Cove development, you’ll also find a spa, and even a well-curated toy store. A few minutes farther and all of the conveniences of Tacoma Drive are at your disposal.

Just northeast of Paddler’s Cove is the tiny, enchanting neighborhood of Graham’s Cove. Nestled on a spit of land jutting into Lake Banook, the cottages on these two lanes are tiny treasures known only to a handful of locals.

Manor Park is a newer, sandwiched between Southdale and the Penhorn Plaza. These well-built houses were finished with Tudor-style beams, muntined windows, and rosy brick, perfectly illustrating that old adage likening homes to castles. Inside you’ll find fireplaces, great rooms, and several bathrooms. Most also have one- or two-car garages, and well-manicured yards. It’s a serene, peaceful place to live; a world removed from the traffic of Portland Street or the 111.

But don’t be fooled. Residents of Manor Park have very easy access to both of these thoroughfares. You can back out of your driveway and hit the entry ramp in less than sixty seconds. You can expect to be in Burnside in less than ten minutes, and on Bayers Road in twenty.

This section of Old Dartmouth brims with possibility and charm. Much of the housing stock here is move-in-ready, but you can still find plenty of properties where you can build collateral. Let a Century21 agent show you exactly what you’ve been looking for.

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