Where: Old Montreal Road, Frank Kenny Road, Wall Road, Mer Bleue Road, Innes Road, Trim Road
OREB code: 1107
Price range early 2015: $189,000 to $1 million
By the numbers:
It’s the story of every new suburban development: the houses come first, then the families, then amenities such as schools and recreation centres. Avalon — where development started in the late 1990s — certainly has the houses: more than 400 houses and condos changed hands last year. And it has the families: 29 percent of the locals are under 18 (higher than the city-wide average of 21 percent).
Now it has the amenities to match. After an $8-million expansion slated to finish in 2016, the Millennium Sports Park on the ’hood’s eastern edge will boast a soccer/football field with lighting, bleachers, nine full-sized fields, a 400-metre running track, a club house, a large splash pad, and more.
This area has one of the highest proportions of transit riders in the city: 26.4 percent take transit to work (compared with 14.1 percent in Riverside South, 17.6 percent in Barrhaven, and 22.5 percent in the city as a whole). It could be due to one of the neighbourhood’s prime drawbacks: seemingly intractable gridlock on Highway 174. Mayor Jim Watson hopes to extend the LRT to Orleans by 2023. If that happens, Avalon could become even more appealing.
Bananas Caribbean Grill and Take-Out
2010 Trim Rd.
This modest takeout joint in the Sobeys plaza at Trim and Innes serves up such tropical specialties as jerk chicken, goat curry, rotis, and fried plantain, all with a side of Caribbean music. It’s super-affordable — you can get a patty for $2, and there are lunch specials for students. They’ll even cater a backyard island party for you, complete with a soca-spinning DJ and a palm-fringed bar hut.
318 Aquaview Dr.
Increasingly a hub for the surrounding neighbourhood (and a selling point for vendors of nearby houses), Aquaview Park features a five-year-old community centre, an outdoor skating rink, a basketball court, and a pretty pond circled by a recreational trail. It also hosts lots of community events, like an annual neighbourhood barbecue in early September.
François Dupuis Recreation Centre
2263 Portobello Blvd.
This sleek $18-million centre features two pools, a sauna, a fitness centre, a cardio room, and meeting space, along with an eye-catching aluminum piece of art called Water by Jennifer Stead. Even though the centre has been open barely two years, there’s already talk of expanding it in 2015–16, possibly by adding a gym.