Historically the 'suburbs' of Barbados were the middle class, residential districts of Bridgetown's merchants. Shop owners once built residences atop their businesses, but commercial expansion in the city meant less space for accommodation. Therefore houses were built just outside of town proper - in areas like River Road, Constitution Road, Fontabelle and Barbarees. Residences had their own unique perfectly symmetrical style, Victorian of sorts and not found in neighboring islands, and this style eventually was mirrored on a smaller scale in the chattel houses widespread across the island up to today.
With continued development these areas are now also considered to be within city boundaries - former residences are now business and government spaces. The suburbs have thus moved further out to areas like Belleville, Warrens, Wildey, Strathclyde, Bank Hall and Black Rock. These districts are not widely referred to locally as suburbs, but simply by their individual neighborhood names. Some are largely residential but a few have gradually become more commercial, though private residences and apartment buildings do abound in close proximity.
Belleville for example is known now for being a medical district - a maze of doctors' and dentists' offices, clinics, pharmacies and healthcare specialists which occupy traditional suburban houses, renovated and repainted. It also boasts other ancillary services - insurance, banking, photography, graphic designers, flower shops and the list goes on - a real potpourri of services that extends out to nearby Collymore Rock, which links Bridgetown to the busy Wildey area.
The Collymore Rock/Wildey strip hosts governmental and financial institutions - insurance companies and banks, some shops, cafes, doctor's offices and primary schools, the ever-helpful Carters General Store and a main office for LIME, one of Barbados' major telecommunications companies. In this area also are a few Embassies and Consulates - the Canadian High Commission, and the United States Embassy which serves both Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
The Barbados National Trust occupies Wildey House, the fitting home for an organization dedicated to the preservation of Barbados' natural and architectural heritage. The home of Banks 'the Beer of Barbados' is also in Wildey and worth a visit, as guided tours of the facility are available.
The Aquatic Centre and Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium with its astroturf - a major sporting, conference and entertainment venue, and the Barbados Olympics Association headquarters are also found in Wildey.
In Haggatt Hall, the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre serves the island with over 164,000 sq. ft. of meeting and conference space. The roundabout at Haggatt Hall bears a large statue of Bussa, a former slave revolt leader in Barbados. This is quite a landmark as you make your way around the island. Other points of interest nearby include the residences of both the Prime Minister and Governor General of Barbados and Barbados' lone television station, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Warrens is one of Barbados' fastest growing commercial areas, and one of the island's main points of decentralization in the past decade, mostly due to building height and conversion restrictions in the city. In general Warrens has become the preferred location for high rise complexes and off shore businesses. Many of the island's banks have branches in this area, as do local distributors, car companies, fast food chains, PriceSmart Membership Shopping and Super Centre Ltd. - a major grocer on the island. There are also a few shopping complexes in the area offering an assortment of goods, eats and services.
Just north of Warrens is the historic Bagatelle Great House with its spectacular double staircase fronted by two majestic palms. Bagatelle House is now the backdrop for the Lucky Horseshoe Restaurant and Chatters Tea Room. Other suburban points of note to the west of the island are the historic show house Tyrol Cot and its Heritage Village; our National Stadium - home to athletics, cycling and football (soccer); the Barbados campus of the prestigious University of the West Indies.