Clayton Park & Rockingham
Rockingham is situated on the western shore of Bedford Basin. The first Europeans to settle in what was to become Rockingham were foreign Protestant farmers and innkeepers, starting in 1784. While the inns were too close to the city to benefit from stagecoach traffic, they were conveniently located for drovers bringing their livestock to the Halifax market.
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On April 1, 1996 the City of Halifax was merged into the Halifax Regional Municipality. Preceding and following amalgamation, subdivision development in the western part of Rockingham continued apace, spurred in particular by the significant period of recent growth in Rockingham between 1997-2003 when Clayton Park West filled within a quarter of the budgeted timeframe.
Clayton Park, one of the newest areas in Halifax, has been characterized by significant development over the past 20 years and became one of the fastest-growing, densest new developments in Nova Scotian urban history. Today, the focus of Rockingham has moved from the former suburban centre located on the Bedford Highway, slightly north of Mount St. Vincent University and the CN station, to the new development at Clayton Park West which now extends to the northern extents of Rockingham at the Kearney Lake Road.
Located along the southwestern border of Rockingham and bordering the northern part of Fairview, Clayton Park is named after a family that owned property in the area extending up the southern slope of Geizer's Hill. Clayton Park development began in 1962 and was created as an upper middle class area. Incorporated into the residential area are elementary and middle schools, churches, a library, two walkable shopping plazas, a recreational centre (now demolished), and an abundance of green space.
Clayton Park is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of Nova Scotia, with people of more than two dozen cultures being residents. The area is popular among new arrivals to the Halifax area due to the large number of high-density apartment complexes and condominiums.
Aside from enjoying rapid development, residents in the area benefit from significantly lower rental rates compared to accommodations in the Halifax core. Residents also enjoy close proximity to extensive shopping and restaurants in nearby Bayer’s Lake Business Park. Bayer’s Lake is one of the largest business parks in Atlantic Canada and a premier destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. Also nearby is the Clayton Park Shopping Centre, which offers access to local retail shops, major grocery chains as well as restaurants, pubs and specialty stores.
In the heart of the district is Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), a primarily undergraduate university recognized for its small class sizes and personalized approach to learning. MSVU brings many students into the area and contributes greatly to the culture and vibrancy of the district. Many MSVU students enjoy the ability to live affordably in apartments close to their school, while taking advantage of efficient public transportation into Halifax.
Census (2011) 34,439
- Park West: Grades PP – 9
- Duc d’Anville: Grades PP – 6
- Grosvenor-Wentworth Park: Grades PP – 6, including French Immersion
- Rockingham: Grades PP – 6, including French Immersion
- Clayton Park Junior High: Grades 7 – 9
- Park West: Grades PP – 9
- Halifax West High School: Grades 10 – 12, including French Immersion
Clayton Park is in close proximity to an extensive network of parks, walking trails, and recreation facilities. Residents of this area can access a number of major facilities. The Mainland North Common is developed as a regional recreation facility and features a public library, a number of sports fields, including two indoor soccer fields, and the multi-purpose Canada Games Centre. MSVU also offers recreational, cultural and educational facilities of the highest standards.