Edmonton's 10 Best Neighbourhoods: The Future is Now
The second annual list of the city's top 10 communities featured in Avenue Magazine
This year Edmontonions were asked what they thought about the future of the city.
Edmonton had 45 new neighbourhoods since 2005-2013
The currently second ranked neighbourhood for 2013
was ranked first to be the best place to live in 15-20 years.
Banister Research & Consulting Inc. asked Edmontonioins
what are the in-the-works projects which you are most excited to see.
You cannot wait for the LRT to grow and serve more of the city.
A new Royal Alberta Museum excites you.
A new downtown arena? Not so much.
In fact, more people (47 per cent) did not care or did not want the arena
Fact is, according to our numbers, a new museum is more
important to Edmontonians than a shiny new arena for the hockey team.
is it that hockey is often oversold as a unifying force fot the City
See what Edmontonians want for their city
No. 1. Strathcona
No. 2. Westmount
No. 3. Garneau
No. 4. Highlands
No. 5. Oliver
No. 6-10. Riverdale, Strathearn, Crestwood, Windermere, Belgravia
1) STRATHCONA SECOND YEAR IS STILL A FAVOURITE
and stretches from 85 Avenue south to 80 Avenue to to 106 street west
Old Strathcona’s has a vibrancy which never tires and is available 24/7
Hundreds of eager shoppers flood the nieghbourhood on the way
to the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market where every Saturday 130 vendors set up their tables
They start to replinish their offerings in the wee hours of the morning
in anticipation of seeing favourite customers return again and again
and the excitment of making loyal repeat customers out of new comers.
The farmers market offers old fashioned lazy summer day scene
with the 21st century conveninces
Mingling with the shoppers buskers, face painters and tables
piled high with colours and scents of produce
and hand made goods looking for a new home
there are meeting places for friends to gather to catch up with their lives
and gossip the old fashioned way face to face
Summer on Whyte Avenue cannot be beat.
Old Strathcona with its central location offers easy access to the scenic river valley
making it a magnet for bikers or runners in the Mill Creek Ravine.
It’s one of the best places for people watching, for gathering connecting and for strolling,
for enjoying a Sunday brunch or visiting you favourite local pub.
In the past few years the area has seen a shift
to more service and retail options opening up on the avenue,
and away from the pub crawlilng reputation it had in the past.
The Old Strathcona Business Association hopes the area can be lively both day and night.
It’s encouraging retailers on Whyte Avenue to stay open later
so that visitors and residents can fully enjoy the area beyond the usual
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours of operation.
2) WESTMOUNT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD SPANNING TODAY AND THE FUTURE
Westmount’s the neighbourhood where many people would like to end up
The neighbourhood is bounded by
111 Avenue to the north, Groat Road to the west, 124 Street to the East, Stony Plain Road to the South
The southern portion of the neighbourhood is also known as Groat Estates.
Could it also be the city’s Neighbourhood of the Future?
Those who participated in Avenue’s neighbourhood survey think so.
Edmontonions were asked
In which neighbourhood would you like to live in the next 20 to 30 years?
Westmount carried the vote.
According to the City of Edmonton’s neighbourhood profile,
47 per cent of Westmount’s homes were built before 1960,
and 71 per cent of the area’s homes were built before 1980.
So how did Westmount make the old new again
It is the people.
A central neighbourhood attracts a certain type of person:
One who embraces cycling or taking transit to work
someone who likes to walk out to 124th Street to enjoy the restaurants and shops.
While the people are busy shaping the neighboughood
the neighbourhood subtly shapes the people.
In this neighbourhood the shaping is around walking, biking, and being neighbourly.
This community spirit was formed because walking is how you meet neighbourhs
and build a walkable people friendly place to live.
The opening of Duchess Bake Shop,
the bakery Noah Richler named “the best patisserie in the country”
in the National Post, reflects the pride
which the residents of Westmount have for their unique locale.
And, while most of the homes are old, the Westmount Community League
has hosted a renovation help group,
where members swapped tips about contractors, electricians and plumbers.
A massive sign of the community’s prospects for the future
is the number of young families moving into the area.
3) GARNEAU FULL OF CHARM
Bounded on the North by 87 Ave West by 112 st East by 106 St South by University Ave
People of all ages and walks of life are attracted to Garneau’s charms
Garneau, a neighbourhood traditionally known for its historic charms,
is evolving to become a mix of the old and new.
From 1928 historic homes to newer condos and rental units
this is a neighbourhood catering to a broad range of lifestyles.
There are renters and owners, and a mix of ages and family types:
Students, many of whom are new to the city,
young and mid-career people and retirees at every stage of life
It brings together diverse people in a beautiful setting.
Heritage homes and tree-lined avenues give the neighbourhood character,
while apartments provide the population density
which attracts and sustains local coffee shops, restaurants, bars and shops.
A bustling centres where young, old and middle-aged
live side by side and learn from each other.
This is what Garneau has to offer.
The thousands of students who come here every year
give the community vitality at every hour of the day and night.
The seniors, many of whom have lived here for decades,
provide perspective and memory and passion for their community.”
But it’s not just the people themselves who are diverse; it’s also the businesses.
There is a good mix of long-established businesses and newcomers
who keep things fresh such as eateries and cafes like Narayanni’s Restaurant,,
Sugarbowl, Transcend and newcomer Three Boars Eatery are other examples.
Sugarbowl the restaurant, which has been an institution in the neighbourhood since 1944
and has remained constant through everything from fires to new ownership,
pulls in residents and people from outside the neighbourhood.
In summer, its business doubles, as the patio
becomes a spot for people-watching and relaxing.
4) HIGHLANDS SMALL CITY WITHING BIG CITY
Highlands has a small-town feel which remains even as the area changes
it is bounded on the north by 118 (Alberta) Avenue, on the east by 50 Street, on the west by 67 Street,
on the south by the North Saskatchewan River valley.
Interchanges give residents access to destinations
south of the river including Whyte Avenue and the University of Alberta.
Highlands is sprinkled with both statuesque historic homes and modern dwellings
standing as a testament to the neighbourhood’s more than 100 years of history
The eclectic mix is a visual treat for those who live there,
but also serves as a reminder that neighbourhoods which treasures its past
can be accepting of the future.
With the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay looking to infill parts of historic
neighbourhoods such as Highlands with the aim to increase density,
the future definitely will include new residents in the area.
Highlands is such a lure that it houses third and fourth generation families
People raise children here and then the kids go off to university.
Second generation may not have been able to afford to live where they grew up
but eventually the third and fourth find their way back.
So what brings them back?
Perhaps it is the independent businesses, shops and restaurants along 112th ave
with a local area coffee shop where the community comes together,
gives it, a small town city, inside a city feel.
Every Thursday first of May to the end of September,
112th Avenue and 65th Street host the Highlands Outdoor Farmers’ Market,
where the businesses and local vendors sell their goods.
The area isalso home to the community-spirited,
and family-oriented Highlands Street Festival.
Like any small town — even if it’s only one in spirit —
the town has to grow in order to thrive.
Highlands Edmonton Public library is an example.
The EPL are building a brand-new building.
and transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to reconstruct 112th Avenue
as a four-lane roadway will mean more customers for businesses
and more students for schools.
See more at Highlands What is There Now CLICK HERE
5) OLIVER A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE
Oliver’s future could hold more walkability, more parking lots or a little of both
Oliver is located immediately to the west of the downtown core,
south overlooks the North Saskatchewan River valley
Immediately below Oliver is Edmonton's Royal Glenora Club,
Victoria Golf Course, and Victoria Park.
A hundred years ago, Oliver was called the west end of Edmonton.
Today, it is now called an extension of downtown,
which applies to both the neighbourhood’s location and its diversity.
A mix of condos high rises, houses and both big-box and independent stores
fill the spaces where many young adults but hardly any children live.
You can go from looking at a sweeping view of the river valley
to walking through rows of century-old homes on streets canopied by elms.
Then, you could walk through a community garden and up to 104th Avenue,
past the huge parking lot of Oliver Square
and over to the independent shops on 124th Street
— all without wear and tear on your bones
The community is gaining an increased sense of vibrancy
with the development of 124th Street and new businesses,
but it is still a community more friendly to cars than people.
Oliver’s on the cusp of change
— the future could mean more widespread parking lots
or more young people and thriving businesses.
Or, maybe both.
That is because 14.2 acres of the community
— the old Molson and Crosstown Motors sites —
will eventually become retail and residential space.
It’s just not clear how that will look yet.
But no matter what happens, it’s hard to argue Oliver’s strong points.
The river valley’s right there, character homes abound, downtown is just minutes away
and many bars, businesses and restaurants are within walking distance.
In the middle is the beautiful green space of Paul Kane Park.
While one of the highest densities in Western Canada,
it still has a strong sense of unity which is arguably different from downtown.
6 amd 7 and 8 and 0 and 10
EDMONTON'S BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS NO 6 to10
No. 6: RIVERDALE
With the community nestled between Boyle Street
and a bend in the North Saskatchewan River, the scenery is breathtaking.
Combine that with how
close it is to downtown,
direct access to the river valley, with its biking and hiking trails,
Riverdale stands out as a recreation haven just moments away from the core.
and has a very active Community League
catering to children, young adults and the elderly
No. 7: STRATHEARN
The wedge-shaped neighbourhood is within walking distance
of the Bonnie Doon area and its shopping centre.
To the north, it overlooks the North Saskatchewan River valley on the east by 85 Street,
to the south is located a short distance Whyte Avenue
Overlooking the North Saskatchewan River Valley,
Strathearn earns points for acommanding view.
But who needs to leave when Strathearn’s
destined to be the go-to neighbourhood?
The slated LRT expansion to Strathearn Heights has set into motion a development plan,
which promises to replace 500 townhouses with a new urban plaza,
complete with apartments, residential towers and commercial spaces.
No. 8: CRESTWOOD
It is bounded
on the east by the river valley, on the north by the McKinnon Ravine, on the south by the McKenzie Ravine,
and on the west by 149 Street.
Residents have good access to hiking trails and bike paths
in the McKinnon Ravine and in the larger river valley.
Most Edmontonians will say Crestwood and Candy Cane lane in the same sentence.
But Crestwood is more than its Christmas spirit it has in abundance;
the neighborhood is jam-packed with community facilities,
including two neighbourhood shopping centres,
and Crestwood Park’s arena and tennis court.
The community spirit of this neighborhood is a big draw, proudly boasting Canada’s
oldest community league, which has been around for 96 years.
No. 9: WINDERMERE
It is bounded on the south by the future realignment of Ellerslie Road, on the east by 170 Street
on the northeast by Anthony Henday Drive, and on the west and northwest by the river valley.
The name of this neighbourhood is likely a combination of two words:
Winder which means, “to take one’s breath away,”
and “mere,” which refers to the boundary of an area.
It’s an appropriate name for one of Edmonton’s newest neighbourhoods,
which lies in Edmonton’s southwest boundary
— connecting to Anthony Henday Drive.
With all-new modern homes, condos and duplexes
set within sprawling development communities and a massive shopping centre
including Edmonton’s only licensed movie theatre, this growing community
truly takes the breath away.
No. 10: BLEGRAVIA
Named for a fashionable residential section of 19th-century London,
this quiet neighbourhood
lies between the North Saskatchewan River and 114th Street.
Older bungalow-style homes, small shops near 76th Avenue,
easy access to the University of Alberta and a short jaunt to Whyte Avenue
have long characterized Belgravia.
But with the LRT expansion giving residents quick access to downtown,
and new condominium projects on the rise,
the once quiet slice of Edmonton is looking to get busier.
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