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Living next to a canal

(32 Posts)
Mcchickenbb41 Sun 26-Mar-17 14:05:47

Hello mil is considering buying a new build flat which over looks a canal. Can anyone list the pros and cons of this please ?

Helenluvsrob Sun 26-Mar-17 14:07:59

Damp? Misty? Canal towpath ? ( passing walkers / joggers / bikes also druggies / alcoholics possibly and burglars ! H

INeedNewShoes Sun 26-Mar-17 14:09:42

Canals can sometimes be a bit smelly, depending on time of year etc.

Pros: you get to watch the boats go by which I think is rather nice.

2cats2many Sun 26-Mar-17 14:11:28

Rats. There's always rats near canals.

Mcchickenbb41 Sun 26-Mar-17 14:13:41

Thank you yes I'm worried about all of the above. But the one positive is that it's quite pretty especially as she will be giving up her garden.

BackforGood Sun 26-Mar-17 14:13:56

Lovely views.
Possibly very busy towpath (this is difficult for us to know though, as there are canals and then canals).

Mcchickenbb41 Sun 26-Mar-17 14:14:10

Oh god. Rats ! Forgot them

Hawkmoth Sun 26-Mar-17 14:15:08


Ohyesiam Sun 26-Mar-17 14:17:16

In my experience canals are only smelly right in the heart of cities, and then only in august. I wonder of some local councils clean them out, and some don't, because in Camden the canal never smelled, but in Lime House it can, and neither is more urban than the other. Maybe you could check with the local council

Chottie Sun 26-Mar-17 14:17:34

Also there maybe some permanent moorings, which means noise and smell from the heaters and motors and noise from the barges.

INeedNewShoes Sun 26-Mar-17 14:20:51

The canal I'm thinking of that gets a bit pongy is in the middle of the countryside. It might have been a one-off, down to a particular algae growing or something. Who knows...

Its a good point re being nearer moorings. The smoke that is emitted from the barges when people are heating/cooking is quite unpleasant and surprisingly strong smelling.

Mcchickenbb41 Sun 26-Mar-17 14:25:28

Oh yes. That's some good advice. I'm going to view the flat with her this week. I know the area well as I take dc there quite often to feed the ducks. It is a very busy canal. Situated in quite a busy town. I think this will be a Bit of a shock to her as she's leaving a very quiet area (think in the country). But this is the problem she's going to get as she wants to be nearer shops etc incase there is a time she can't drive.
She's 69 and thinking ahead basically

olderthanyouthink Sun 26-Mar-17 14:28:28

I worked right next to regents canal for a year and I don't remember many negatives. I'm walking along there right now as it happens.

Lots of people passing, bikes can be noises on certain surfaces but we couldn't hear it from in the office

Maybe noise from cafes but they weren't near the office

Summer PE lessons where screaming kids in kayak would pass by

The canal got very green at times (looks like duck weed) but didn't small as far as I can remember.

There were more bugs than away from the canal but still not that many (I think londons air quality kills them)

Positive point was that it was cooler by the canal in the summer

olderthanyouthink Sun 26-Mar-17 14:30:13

Oh and I saw no rats.
The odd homeless person, police searching the canal and one guy fall in on his bike but no rats

Mcchickenbb41 Sun 26-Mar-17 14:53:06

Thank you Older. Great pic enjoy the rest of your walk smile

johnd2 Sun 26-Mar-17 22:05:20

I lived next to the canal near Paddington for a year and never saw any rats, the noise from the road was worse then the canal. There were some interesting birds including a heron I think! I thought it was a lovely place to live, although the flat itself was single aspect north facing with overhanging balconies above and low ceilings, but that's not the canal's fault!

Mcchickenbb41 Sun 26-Mar-17 23:38:04

Thanks john this particular stretch of canal is quite picturesque and has a lot of wildlife. Every time I have visited though I'm there walking with the dc so not looking at it through the eyes of a resident. I'm hoping it will be a good move for her just a bit concerned as she's downsizing so won't be able to afford to move again

INeedNewShoes Sun 26-Mar-17 23:40:35

I think if you've walked along that stretch a few times at different times of year and it has always been pleasant it's probably fine smile

You would have noticed if any of the problems mentioned on this thread were rife at that particular bit of canal.

I've walked along my local bit of canal quite a bit. There are bits of it I'd love to live next to (serene, wildlife etc.) and bits of it I would never buy a house next to (moorings where the air seems to be filled with fuel fumes).

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 26-Mar-17 23:40:55

And mosquitoes in summer.

wrinkleseverywhere Sun 26-Mar-17 23:44:40

My grandmother's sheltered accom flat overlooked a canal & she loved it as the outdoor "scene" often changed. Lots of birds, various boats & then all the people using the path. There was a meadow on the other side of the canal & a few trees. As she'd lived in the countryside for all of her life until moving into this flat, she liked the rural scene.
She was very lucky to get the flat she did. The other side of the block overlooked a car park and a roundabout.

Mcchickenbb41 Mon 27-Mar-17 07:39:38

I need this is why I'm glad I posted this as I wouldn't have thought about the moorings part. I'm going today to look again with fresh eyes
Wrinkles this is exactly how this kind of place is situated. Flats out the front are on a busy main road. Her flat will have French doors over the canal. I think she'd find it a lovely place to live. But when she casually dropped this in conversation yesterday ( massive back story here ) I just had a few alarm bells ringing. Thank you everyone for advice. Really glad I posted.

wrinkleseverywhere Mon 27-Mar-17 21:53:04

When you say "French doors out to the canal", what do you mean? Her flat has French doors & you open them & are immediately on the tow path? Or is there a bit of garden & a fence? I think I'd be a bit concerned about security if it is just French doors. Quite secluded & easy to break into; also, if your MIL gets dementia, unless they are well secured, easy for her to wander out of & go missing and possibly fall in the canal.

StubbleTurnips Mon 27-Mar-17 22:00:40

We're near the canal - we have a stream that feeds into it at the bottom of our garden. Don't underestimate the rats.

They are a massive pain in the arse.

RTKangaMummy Mon 27-Mar-17 22:14:57

I was talking to DH about canals and flooding yesterday

He confirmed that they do actually flood over the tow path, where we used to live there was a supermarket next to tow path and it does flood from canal

Crumbs the rats would be yeeeek

And if she was on ground floor the people walking along outside my door

If I was on 3rd floor and above then it would be interesting people watching cos I could watch them but they not see into my apartment or Windows iyswim

RTKangaMummy Mon 27-Mar-17 22:17:25

Which floor is the flat on?

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