Parktown North is a plush, tranquil village of colonial style homes directly north of Rosebank and Johannesburg, just off of Jan Smuts Avenue in Gauteng Province, Region B, with a population of around 4,000. It is one of Gauteng’s oldest residential areas, having been settled in the Nineteenth Century by employees of the Randlords who controlled the diamond and gold mining industry.
In keeping with its refined heritage, Parktown North is a quiet, reserved community, although it is conveniently situated between the popular destinations of Greenside, Melville, Norwood, and Parkhurst, where high street culture, antique shops, exciting eateries and coffee shops abound. Seventh Avenue runs through the center of the village offering convenient access to and from the surrounding suburbs.
History and Climate of Parktown North
The History of Parktown North reflects the best and worst of South African heritage, as illustrated by two of its prominent museums. The Absa Money Museum is devoted to Numismatics (study of money and its history) in South Africa and it memorializes the industries and currencies which existed around Johannesburg from its beginnings when beads were used for bartering until the global financial system of the modern day. On the other side of the way, the Apartheid Museum recounts the tribulations of economic and racial disparity during the same period.
Today, Parktown North, with its refurbished antiquarian architecture and redecorated stolid mansions, represents a reminder that old systems can be revitalized when people make a sincere effort. Many of the old homes have been completely modernized and the area is adopting more of a Bel Air / Beverly Hills identity today. The types of residents most likely to call this neighborhood their home are old money aristocrats and new money businessmen, attorneys, doctors, and other skilled professionals.
Parktown North shares the same weather and climate as Johannesburg. It can get hot, up to 30°C (101°F) in summer, and late afternoon thunderstorms are common. Winters are mild, although temperatures can occasionally dip below freezing.
Things to Do in Parktown North
Main attractions in Parktown North are focused on those with high standards. The Jozi Food Market is the finest source of produce and grocery in the Johannesburg area. The Kai Thai Spa provides luxurious aromatic and massage therapies. “Firehouse” is an exclusive retail store for gifts and décor accessories nearby in Hyde Park, right next to the upscale Hyde Park Mall. Also nearby, Rosebank offers many business plazas and shopping centers, along with the popular Rooftop Craft Market (famous for its cheese) and the African Market. The Joburg Theatre is a convenient 5.5 kilometers away. One of the most exhilarating running trails in the northern suburbs, the Zoo Lake trail, runs south to north from Parkview to Bordeaux directly through the center of Parktown North.
Equestrian sports are also popular among the residents here. They frequent the world famous South African Lipizzaners, which is related to the renowned Lipizzaners Spanish Riding School, about 20 kilometers up Jan Smuts Avenue. When it’s time to release the hounds, Parktown North has a Dog Whisperer obedience training center and a Pooch Parlour pet spa for canine companions.
Of course, Parktown North is not far from great golf courses, including Parkview, Wanderers, and Killarney. Each of these are rated among the ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in South Africa.’
The best restaurants in Parktown North serve high quality traditional fare, such as Wombles Steakhouse, The Local Grill, “Feastt,” and Turn ‘n Tender. A smattering of worthwhile cafes and foreign dining establishments are available too. For example, Cucina Di Ciro, Full Stop Café, Guru Coffee, Moema’s Restaurant, Cube Tasting Kitchen, and Mantra Indian Cuisine.
Living in Parktown North
This area is replete with top-notch professional services and private health care clinics. These include law firms, interior design and architecture firms, excellent medical specialists and facilities like the Rosewood and Randburg Day Clinics, and other establishments catering to clientele who demand the most qualified and meticulous attention.
In and around Parktown North, outstanding schools offer excellent educational services to kids from nursery age through primary. These include Parkhurst and Parkview Primary, Parktown Public School, Parktown Boy’s and Parktown Girl’s High Schools, and Parkview and St Martin’s Primary & Senior Schools. The community safety forum and police services are also superb.
Needless to say, home and rental prices in Parktown North are steep. This area is known for its luxurious manors, modern mansions, and opulent cottages, where mature trees canopy the wide, quiet streets. Truly an exclusive location, Parktown North is one of the most impressive and desirable places to live among all of Johannesburg’s lush, leafy Northern Suburbs.
Many of the properties are large and it is common to find dwellings with more than ten bedrooms. Although some apartment blocks are on the market here, expect to pay many millions for an address in Parktown North. Meanwhile, as an alternative to settling permanently, there are very nice temporary accommodations available to visitors and tourists. These include the “Q on First” guest house, Leighwood Lodge, The Africana House, and Acorns on 8th.