WORDS: EMILY SHAW | IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN, NEIL KIRBY & GOOGLE MAPS
The people make Parktown North, says Hello Joburg magazine’s Bianca Spinner, long time Parktown North resident. “Some are polite, some posh, but most of them are friendly and helpful.”There certainly is a wide variety of people adding to this vibrant community and that has a lot to do with the age of the suburb, the erf sizes and renovated clusters.
Created in the gold rush of 1886 to house the Randlords humbler relatives, 200 years later the reality is quite the opposite. Parktown North is now known for its large family homes with the distinct charm of those years, spacious gardens and correlating prices.
Favoured by growing families but also by single professionals, the area caters to both life stages, in space and amenities for families but also in a thriving entertainment life for the more footloose and fancy-free. This fabulous duality makes the suburb a fool-proof investment for any potential house-hunter.
Parktown North is a young mom’s dream as it’s full of sweet but well-established play schools like Peeka-Boo Playgroup, Little Lamps Preschool, Golden Generation Montessori School and Greenpark Nursery School. For the older students, private high schools are slightly further aﬁ eld but against traffic from most directions.
Roedean Senior School (for girls) is the closest in Parkhurst and St John’s (for boys) is relatively close by in Houghton. St Mary’s (girls) and St David’s are still under 8km away and Brescia and St Stithians less than 10km away in Bryanston.
If a public school is what you’re after, the Parktown High Schools (one for girls and one for boys) are respectively located in Parkview and Parktown and have an excellent reputation both academically and in sport.
Whether its date night for mum and dad or a long bistro lunch with friends, Parktown North has something for everyone. “My favourite place to catch up with a friend is Douglas and Hale. It used to be The National and has been given a new life as a wine and snack bar. It’s cosy, has the biggest wine list I’ve ever seen and the energy picks up at night on a weekend,” says Bianca Joynt, Parktown North frequenter and business unit director.
James Diack’s famous wild boar ragu can be enjoyed at seasonal, farm-to-table eatery Il Contadino after a leisurely walk up 7th Avenue. Popular tattoo parlour Fallen Heroes is a mere 850m away for the more creatively inclined, as well as Gallery MOMO.
The MOMO is currently showing an exhibition with Angolan Portuguese artist Pedro Pires, entitled Six of one and half a dozen of the other, but also has permanent exhibits for browsing.
“We really have the coolest eateries and hangouts in town,” says Spinner, who refers to the ambience in the area as “truly hospitable” and as a result, that Parktown North feels distinctly like a village.
And this village loves a dog! The suburb is teeming with smart pedigrees to playful pooches – resting below sidewalk tables, trotting along the storefronts on a lead, or enjoying a run in a neighbouring park, they are welcome almost everywhere.
One such park is Verity Park, well known for its small public pool as well as its child- and dog-friendly layout. Here a lot of families choose to have birthday parties for small kids and there are often informal exercise groups lunging and squatting at daybreak and sunset.
Parktown North really does offer the resident a fabulous, well-balanced life of outdoors, culinary delight and beautiful living spaces, but even if you’re not quite ready to invest, the suburb is a lovely weekend retreat with so much to discover and enjoy.
“What do I love about Parktown North? Pretty much everything! The suburb permeates community and camaraderie. I love being able to walk the streets with the pups and constantly be greeted by beaming faces.” BIANCA SPINNER, RESIDENT
- Gallery MOMO: a modern art museum housed in a historic house situated on 7th Avenue
- Verity Park: popular park close by in Parkhurst with a small public pool
- National Children’s Theatre: NGO performing full scale productions, birthday parties and workshops
- Parktown Quarter: the ideal onestop with a Nando’s, Woolworths and Wellness Warehouse
- GardenShop: nursery and coffee shop perfect for Saturday morning browsing
- Village Medical Centre: cluster of medical professionals including GPs, dentists, chiropractors, dieticians and psychologists
- La Boqueria: beautifully decorated restaurant celebrating Hispanic street food
- The Foundry: perfect after-work drinks spot, casual and welcoming
- Il Contadino: farm to table, seasonal fare in a relaxed setting – try the margherita pizza!
- Douglas and Hale: over 66 wines for tasting, paired with delicious snack plates