Transport: Angel Tube station is on the City branch of the Northern Line, and bus stops in Upper Street serve the City, Smithfield Market, the West End, Highbury and points north.

Prices and properties: For the privilege of being on the canal, be prepared to spend an extra pounds 250,000 or more. Between the wrong and right sides of Noel Road, prices can vary between pounds 500,000 and pounds 900,000. Hamptons International has a Grade II Georgian four-storey house on the north (non- canal) side of Noel Road for pounds 560,000. The property consists of a house and separate flat in the basement - or "lower ground floor". A similar but smaller house on Sudeley Street recently sold for about pounds 400,000.

Watch this space: Four or five refurbished period houses may soon come on to the market. Five consecutive terraced houses, 41-45 Duncan Terrace, were owned by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion and were recently put on the market as a single freehold for pounds 2.5m. When they return to the market, Kamil Chowdhury of FPD Savills won't be surprised to find that the developer has knocked two of them together for his own use.

Lofty lifestyles: The five-storey Canal Building at 135 Shepherdess Walk, scheduled for completion later this year, will have 79 lofts - 18 residential and 46 live/ work units - from 786 sq ft to 1,873 sq ft, many double height. The 10 penthouses are all gone; still available are seven units, priced pounds 175,000 to pounds 238,000, on the second, third, and fourth floors. A handful remain in the Royle Building at Wenlock Basin.

Islington amenities: Liquid refreshment is available at the Narrow Boat pub on the canal itself between Islington and Hoxton and at many other pubs on nearby roads. Islington's famous Camden Passage antique market is open on Wednesday and Saturday.

Gentrification: "Despite its fashionable image, Islington remains one of London's most deprived boroughs, with high unemployment and polarisation between rich and poor - the latter mainly, though not entirely, in Holloway and Finsbury Park. Sixty-five per cent of residents are council tenants." London Encyclopaedia, 1993.

Contacts: Canal Building, 0171-684 5996; Folkard & Hayward, 0171-226 2487; FPD Savills, 0171-730 0822; Hugh Grover Associates, 0171-226 1010; Hamptons International, 0171-226 4688; Hurford Salvi Carr (Canal Building and Royle Building), 0171-250 1012.