It’s hard to believe that this genteel, established neighbourhood was once farmland.
There was a time when the now affluent suburb of Northcliff was once an ugly duckling with cows grazing on open plains. Following his mother’s death, Gary Dembo and his wife Bethany moved to Northcliff four years ago to live with his elderly father. “As the older Northcliff properties tend to be huge, it made sense for us to move in with my father-in-law as there was plenty of space and the area has excellent schools and facilities,” says Bethany.
Gary grew up in the area and can remember a time when cows roamed Berario and surrounds. Now an established suburb, Northcliff has charm, well-maintained parks and neat beautiful pavement gardens that add to its aesthetic appeal.
Northcliff has all the amenities a family could need, such as shopping malls, restaurants, entertainment, community halls, churches, a mosque, a synagogue and medical facilities, among others. Fibre is also almost all rolled out now, so most residents now enjoy high-speed internet connections, says Bethany.
Although not quite a cultural melting pot, the area is diversifying, enabling Gary’s and Bethany’s daughter to interact with children from different races and cultures.
“One of the advantages of living in an established suburb is that my husband knows many of the families on the street as they have lived there for decades,” says Bethany. “Our child now plays with our friends’ children, others are just walking distance from our house, and it’s great to know your neighbours.”
However, the overall culture of the suburb is genteel and mature and not quite the wild-student-party vibe. Northcliff also has a strong sense of community, and through the “I love Northcliff” Facebook group, residents can interact with each other.
In addition, residents say security is great, and Beagle Watch, the preferred service provider for most families, knows the suburb intimately, which gives residents peace of mind.
Northcliff is a leafy suburb with mature trees and is breathtakingly gorgeous when the jacarandas are in flower
-Gary and Bethany Dembo, residents.
Best in food:
- MV Cafe
- Lucio’s Pizzeria
- Lillies Bakery
- Olivia’s Coffee Bake
- Thunder Gun Steakhouse
- Helen Joseph Hospital
- Johannesburg Eye Hospital
- Northcliff Orthopaedic Centre
- Netcare Garden City Hospital
- Netcare Milpark Hospital
Life Wilgeheuwel Hospital
Things to do:
- Cresta Mall: for entertainment and shopping
- Emmarentia Dam and Johannesburg Botanical Garden
- Mary’s Country Fruit and Veg for fresh produce
- Take a stroll at Albert’s Farm
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
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