Pontcanna is an area of wide tree-lined streets and large houses. It is a relatively wealthy area with numerous cafes and independent retailers centred on Pontcanna Street and Cathedral Road.
There is both a large English-born population (roughly 25%) and a smaller Welsh-speaking population (roughly 20%).
 The area was formerly home to the television studios of TWW, Teledu Cymru, HTV and S4C‘s headquarters; the BBC‘s Broadcasting House is still nearby in Llandaff.Many of the larger villas (particularly on Cathedral Road) have been converted into flats, guest houses or business premises.
Located on the edge of Cardiff city centre, Pontcanna gives easy access to the centre for professionals, as well as access via the Gabalfa Interchange to the A48(M) motorway.
The name Pontcanna stems from Pont Canna Farm, which in turn was named after a bridge across the Whitehouse Brook, a one-time tributary of the River Taff which ran between Llandaff Fields and Riverside.
The bridge is believed to have stood near the junction of what, today, are Teilo Street and Cathedral Road. The bridge was removed (and the brook covered up) in 1896. Saint Canna is said to have been a 6th-century saint, although there is little early evidence of her existence.
What is nowadays Pontcanna was almost completely open farmland until the late nineteenth century.
The main route, Cathedral Road, was previously known as Pontcanna Lane, running between Plasturton Farm in the south and Pontcanna Farm to the north.
In 1854 Sophia, widow of the 2nd Marquess of Bute began to finance the creation of a 41-acre garden on the site of Plasturton Farm, next to the River Taff and Cardiff Bridge. This is now a public amenity known as Sophia Gardens and was a catalyst for the development of Pontcanna.