It is not a setter of trends although it does buck them. Over the last two decades this part of Cardiff has become one of the most sought after places to live. Not just because of its wide streets and beautiful townhouses but because it is a community. Not just a community in the sense that any where there are people is technically a community. This area has something more. Somehow there is a very a real sense of pride and togetherness in this place. People are so pleased to say “This is where I live”. At a time of growing fluidity in populations and online shopping this sense of belonging to one area is becoming less and less common.
That is not to say that everyone who calls this place home grew up here. Far from it. One of its newest restaurants, Heaneys, is run by a Northern Irish chef, the market was set up by a French woman and the owner of the popular Brød Danish Bakery is...well...Danish.
And yet Pontcanna is undisputedly Welsh with a huge Welsh speaking population, located close to the heart of Wales’ capital and even home to a few of Wales’ rugby team. Even Tour de France hero Geraint Thomas can occasionally be seeing trekking up Cathedral Road on his bike. All of these nationalities have come together in Pontcanna creating a melting pot of vibrancy, creativity and, that word again, community.
The pride people have in this place can be seen by the lack of litter. When you walk up the broad Plasturton Avenue the only rubbish in the front garden is an empty box of avocados (not even a joke). Over the last 200 years the area has evolved. Plasturton Avenue itself was only constructed at the start of the 20th century with large parts of the area farmland. A building now full of artists’ studios was actually the laundry for St David’s Hospital.
The name is believed to come from Saint Canna (a 6th-century saint whose existence is disputed). Pontcanna is now synonymous with vibrancy with young people desperate to move there. “A little London” one resident called it.
Find out more about Pontcanna and take our tour of the people and businesses that make up this fantastic district of Cardiff, in our most recent edition of Distinctive.