The most famous expression of realtors is “Location, location, location!”. This really is one of the most important things you consider when buying or renting a house. A conveniently located older house can cost much more than a new one in a different neighbourhood.
To make it easier for us, the biggest real-estate internet websites now provide maps of exact locations of each and every property they offer. But when you see an advertisement in a newspaper or in a window of a real estate agency, you’d still have to go and look it up on the map yourself. This is what takes a lot of your time in the process (exhausting as it is) of house-hunting.
To save some of that precious time, it is useful to know right away what kind of street the home you are considering is located in – is it a quiet no-through street or a noisy major road, is it a kind of central artery that hundreds of cars drive through day and night or a safe place where your kids can ride their bikes.
You can guess that just by looking at the address, even before you look at the map. Every street has a suffix, such as “boulevard”, “avenue”, “street”, “road” and so on, knowing what that suffix means tells you a lot!
So this is what I’ve found about those street names (in alphabetical order):
Avenue is a straight road with lines of trees or large shrubs running along either side.
A boulevard is usually a wide, multi-lane arterial road, divided with a median down the center, and “roads” along each side designed as slow travel parking lanes and for cyclists and pedestrians, often with landscaping of high quality.
A crescent is a quiet street in the form of arc, sometimes even closed at one end.
A cul-de-sac is a dead-end street with only one inlet/outlet. Cul-de-sac literally means “bottom of a sack” in French.
Grove is a quiet smaller tree-lined street, intended for local transport rather than as a through road.
Lane is a narrow way or road, often a pedestrian lane found in towns where it usually run between or behind buildings. Historically speaking, alleys or lanes were built to allow for delivery of coal to the rear of houses.
Parade is a centrally located wide road with several lanes going in each direction.
An esplanade or promenade is a raised walkway area. Generally speaking it can be anywhere, but almost all of them are by the ocean, sea or river. This allows people to walk along the water front, without having to walk on sand on the beach. Esplanades became popular in Victorian times when it was fashionable to visit seaside resorts.
Road has more traffic than street. Road‘s main function is transportation (meaning cars are ruling), while street is intended more for public interaction.
Quay is a wharf, usually built parallel to the shoreline.