Nestled into the woods of western Halifax Regional Municipality and brushing up against the shore of St. Margaret’s Bay, Tantallon and surrounding areas retain locals and attract newcomers by offering access to necessary amenities, while also getting the best of nature.
Kevin Little, the minister at St. Lukes United Church, loves the area he and his family chose to settle in. “It’s pretty clear to me what the big pro is of Tantallon. It’s small community, or at least it appears to be a small community, but it’s actually much larger,” he says. The subdivisions hide in the woods, leaving lots of trees and green space. And of course, nowhere is too far from the glittering water of the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way to coastal hikes and boating adventures.
Little points out that every shop one could possibly want is corralled safely in Bayers Lake Business Park, 15 minutes down Highway 103. Locally there are a few big grocery stores, pharmacies and basic stores, but mostly people are untroubled by commercial districts.
“The only down side to living out in Tantallon is the cost of gas and how much it costs to go back and forth,” he says.
He walks or catches a ride as often as he can and the new peak-hour express bus service helps, but you’re going to be doing a lot of driving. “Frankly, the feeling is that your [carbon] footprint is big because of it,” Little says.
Mike Leroux has lived in Tantallon for 15 years. He’s worked at the St, Margaret’s Bay Community Centre for almost as long as says the 2005 expansion of the facility transformed the area. The year-round ice rink is used for hockey and figure skating. The gym and other rooms are kept busy with the Slam basketball league comprising 500 kids and classes in taekwondo, Choi Kwang Do, aerobics, day camps and many other activities.
Leroux estimates that the centre serves a fast-growing population of 60,000 people and gets 650,000 visits every year. “It’s used for everything under the sun. We’ve shot movies here, we’ve done weddings — on ice, believe it or not — everything,” he says.
“The outdoor swimming pool is just packed in the summer time.”
He says the big lots at affordable prices are a big plus. “You’re close to water, the ocean, all kinds of amenities,” Leroux says.