Located 25 kilometres north of Halifax en route to the airport, Waverley/Fall River attracts residents by offering a semi-rural setting with city advantages.
Barry Dalrymple is the HRM councillor for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. He was born in Fall River, but left at age 19 when he joined the RCMP and was stationed in Manitoba.
Dalrymple says he applied for a transfer home every year before finally returning 13 years ago. “It’s the people,” he says. To illustrate, he explains every time District 2 puts out a call for volunteers, he’s overwhelmed by the response.
The Waverley Sports Park highlights an extensive range of public facilities that include minor-league organizations for basketball, football, baseball and soccer. Dalrymple runs the baseball league and they have 400 kids playing this year and a new ball field is being built to allow the league to expand.
“Our school system is absolutely top notch,” he says. That includes the new Lockview High School, George P. Vanier Junior High and several elementary schools including the new Waverley Memorial-LC Skerry School, scheduled to open in September.
Other facilities include the Fall River Rec Centre, Waverley Legion and Beaver Bank Community Centre, which is being rebuilt after a fire last year. The volunteer fire halls in the area also have halls that are open to the public and the Sobeys shopping mall is expanding its retail offerings.
The majority of the 5,000 residents commute into Halifax/Dartmouth for work or go the other way to the 6,000 jobs at the airport.
Ironically, transportation is a big problem. There are no buses to the area, meaning everyone drives. That makes life difficult for university students and anyone else without a car.
Bonnie Ryan is working hard to gather the community resources under one website — she’s the webmaster for the community-based Fallriver.ca, set to go live in late May.
“If you move to Fall River and want to put your son in Beavers, you’ll be able to find that information on there,” she says. Ryan has lived in Beaver Bank for 25 years and works at Ashley Jefferson Elementary School in Waverley.
“It’s the country life, but close to the city,” she says.