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What is it like to live in Norwood?

Location, Location, Location
Norwood Memorial Municipal Building.
Norwood Memorial Municipal Building. George Rizer for The Boston Globe

Bill McCoy has lived in Norwood since he was 3 years old, and his childhood memories are sweet — literally.

He grew up on Oak Road and fondly remembers visiting a candy store next to Norwood Theatre for ice cream and other treats. He also recalls working alongside other high school students at a meat store in town owned by a local family.

Now 80, McCoy and his former wife raised three boys in a house on Alandale Parkway. One of his sons still lives there. McCoy, who went on to drive trucks and work at a liquor store in town, now resides on Ledgeview Drive near the Canton town line.

“Norwood is one of those towns where anybody born here who starts to leave never leaves,’’ he said. And, well, even if they do manage to depart, “generation after generation keeps coming back.’’

As president of the Friends of the Norwood Council on Aging, he should know. McCoy is proud that the group raised funds that put an addition on the senior center and for a bus that transports seniors to various locations. Every New Year’s Eve, the Friends hold a dance at the senior center, and “we sell out every year — it’s probably the biggest dance in Norwood on New Year’s,’’ he said, noting that the center actually hosts dances every month.

McCoy, who said he appreciates Norwood’s reasonable residential property taxes ($11.12 for 2016) and the services it provides, praised the town’s general manager, John Carroll, whose tenure is nearing four decades, and the construction of a new high school five years ago. He also cited as pluses: Norwood Hospital, where he gave blood for many years, and such family-friendly events as the Fourth of July and Norwood Day parades, which bring together thousands of community members.

“We’ve got so much to be thankful for in Norwood,’’ he said. “We all have our little gripes, but I would say we really have more than most.’’

BY THE NUMBERS

50

The number of large bells in the carillon cast by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon, England, and contained within the Norwood Memorial Municipal Building tower. Both the carillon and building were dedicated on Nov. 11, 1928, the 10th anniversary of Armistice Day.

1940

The year Norwood Sport Center opened. The family-friendly, locally owned candlepin bowling alley is still in operation today, runs an array of bowling leagues, and maintains much of its old-fashioned charm.

9,000

The number of visitors Norwood Memorial Airport served in a single year, ranking it highest among the state’s 30 general aviation airports, according to a state Department of Transportation study. The 2013 report pegged the airport’s overall economic impact at $52.2 million.

 

PROS & CONS

Pro

Property tax rate

Norwood ranks 295th in the state in residential property taxes, with a rate of $11.12 and an average residential tax bill of $4,443.

Con

Big-name shopping options — unless you want a car

Unlike nearby communities such as Dedham, Westwood, and Foxborough, Norwood does not have a large shopping complex to call its own. But if you’re in the market for a vehicle, you’re in luck: Route 1 in Norwood, known locally as the “Automile,’’ is lined with dealerships.

Pro

Food choices

The town boasts an enviable range of ethnic eateries — everything from Lebanese and Italian to Moroccan and Thai food.

The “Automile’’ in Norwood —George Rizer for The Boston Globe

 

Oak View Dollhouse Museum —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Some of the artifacts in museum’s storage. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
The Norwood Central commuter-rail station. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Norwood Theatre. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Norwood Municipal Airport. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Norwood High School —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Morrill Memorial Library. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
The view from the gazebo on the green. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Norwood Sport Center. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Artist Brian Bigelow of the Luke Adams Glass Blowing Studio assists a class member with a blow torch as she puts the finishing touches on her creation. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Officer Paul Leear is greeted by parishioners as he does traffic detail outside St Catherine of Siena Parish after Mass. —George Rizer for The Boston Globe

Rachel Lebeaux can be reached at rachel_lebeaux@yahoo.com.