This article appears in Our Neighbourhoods 2015.
People who live in Azilda enjoy its rural routes and country airs. When they want the bright lights of the big city, they are just a short 10-minute drive away.
Spacious and well-maintained homes in established neighbourhoods with large lots are attractive to buyers.
The community of Azilda was named after Azilda Brisebois Bélanger. In 1886, she had a date with destiny and her husband. Joseph was a CPR employee and he followed the National Dream from Montreal to a western outpost near Sudbury. Azilda came west to join her husband.
As legend has it, Azilda was the first women to step down from the CPR train at the brand new Rayside station, circa 1886. When a post office was established a few years later, it was named in her honour.
The Bélangers were pioneer settlers. They had 13 children. In 1906, the family built a three-story home. The cost of the home was about $2,500. Several generations of the Bélanger family have lived in the home (725 Notre Dame Ave.), which still stands. A historical plaque was erected at the homestead in 1991.
Until 1972 Azilda was a village in the Township of Rayside. It then joined with nearby Chelmsford in Balfour Township to become part of the Town of Rayside-Balfour, a municipality in the Region of Greater Sudbury. In 2001, it became part of the City of Greater Sudbury.
(Rayside Township was established in 1890 and Balfour was established a year later.)
Azilda, with a population of about 4,295 people, has maintained its own distinct identity after amalgamation. A recent report prepared by City’s planning services department found there are 1,355 families living in Azilda. The majority of homes (64 percent) were constructed before 1980. Nearly 78 percent of the population own their home, while 22 percent rent. The 2011 average household income in Azilda is $80,831.This is higher than the City average of $76,772. Forty-five percent of the population consider English their mother tongue, Fifty percent say French is their first language. Sixty-one percent of the population consider themselves to be bilingual.