Proximity is a word that comes up often when people talk about why Clayton Park attracts so many people as a place to live.

“We’re so central to everything,” says Debbie Hum, the councillor for Rockingham-Wentworth.

“If you’re working in Dartmouth, it doesn’t really take you long to get over there or if you’re working in downtown Halifax.”

Getting out of the city isn’t a challenge either and it’s also close to the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport.

But more than just proximity, one of Clayton Park’s biggest draws is its diversity. This is fully evident at schools such as Halifax West High School, where close to 1,500 students are enrolled, almost 90 countries are represented and about 70 languages are spoken.

Hum says this diversity is great for everyone.

“I find that creates such a bond and an enriched learning experience for everyone, from the children right up to the most senior people,” she says.

This diversity has also helped give the community an identity, says Halifax Clayton Park MLA Diana Whalen.

“It didn’t have a character yet,” she says of when she moved into the community in 1990. “It was just all brand-new streets and empty building lots and lots of construction going on. It just didn’t have a sense of community.”

Access to facilities and services is also a part of Clayton Park’s appeal.

“It’s got everything you would want in the community,” says Whalen.

In the Mainland North Common area, she compares it to a campus because of the close distances between the Keshen Goodman Public Library, Halifax West High School, the Canada Games Centre (which is under construction) and nearby soccer facilities.

Word of mouth is also a factor in the community’s popularity.

“It’s people liking the community so much and telling their friends,” says Whalen. “It’s become a preferred location.”

Whalen’s riding of Halifax Clayton Park is the largest in the province in terms of population, but not size.

The reason for the community’s dense population comes from the number of people who live in apartments and condos, she says. When Whalen does mailouts to constituents, she sends out about 13,000 copies. Nine thousand of those are sent to multi-unit buildings, meaning only 4,000 go to homes.