Edmonton’s Best Neighbourhoods 2016
Our fifth annual survey received a record number of responses – here is the ranking of the city’s top communities, as selected by you.
July 28, 2016
photography by Paul Swanson
Its mix of shops, restaurants and nightlife, the year-round farmers’ market and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival make historic Old Strathcona – once a separate city, which merged with Edmonton in 1912 – a destination neighbourhood. For many, Strathcona is the spiritual home of the Alberta New Democrats. Indeed, both Premier Rachel Notley and Linda Duncan – Alberta’s only NDP MP – live within two blocks of each other in the eastern part of the neighbourhood. “From Rachel’s house, you can see Linda’s house,” says a well-placed NDP staffer, who also makes Strathcona home.
Highest priced home: $1,299,000
Lowest priced home: $137,000
Average home price: $394,170
Some of Edmonton’s most stately homes can be found in Glenora; the south end of the tony neighbourhood features several gated estates overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. Residents enjoy close access to the upscale shops of the High Street district and 124th Street. For decades, the Royal Alberta Museum and its expansive grounds brought Edmontonians to Glenora; however, the museum is now closed as it awaits relocation to a brand-new building downtown. Sandstone-clad, three-storey Government House, built in 1913 and the official residence of Alberta’s lieutenant governor, remains on the museum grounds.
Highest priced home: $2,398,000
Lowest priced home: $169,900
Average home price: $858,209
Ritchie is a mature neighbourhood bordered by Strathcona and Mill Creek Ravine Park. Many early residents of the community were Germans who came to work at the Gainers meat-packing plant that once stood on the western edge of the ravine. Vestiges of its German heritage remain with businesses such as the Old Country Inn restaurant (formerly Barb & Ernie’s) and nearby K & K Foodliner. It’s a buzzing time of renewal in the neighbourhood, with a strip mall on 76th Avenue being revitalized as part of the city’s corner store pilot project. Ritchie Market, designed as a walkable and bike-friendly development, will house Acme Meat Market, Transcend Coffee and Velocity Cycle later this year.
Highest priced home: $899,000
Lowest priced home: $162,800
Average home price: $418,161
On the first couple of streets west of bustling 124th Street, where Duchess Bake Shop (a personal highlight for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau everytime he hits town) and other cafes do booming business, charming old houses dating back to the 1910s serve as an architectural feast for fans of character homes. A few have Edmonton Historical Board plaques out front, such as the Chandler Residence, built in 1912. Out back, its original carriage house was designated a municipal heritage resource in 2008.
Highest priced home: $1,350,000
Lowest priced home: $119,900
Average home price: $508,131
Densely populated Oliver is a neighbourhood of young adults: Almost half the population is 20-39 year olds, the vast majority of whom live in one- or two-person households. The neighbourhood dates back to the 1880s, when homes were primarily single-detached houses. But many of those were replaced by apartment buildings in the real estate boom of the late 1950s. Sixty years later, the drive for density continues in Oliver: In June, city council approved a 45-storey residential tower – Edmonton’s tallest – at Jasper Avenue and 114th Street.
Highest priced home: $3,412,500
Lowest priced home: $109,000
Average home price: $360,078
The Garneau area is a well-known haunt among students and academics as the residential counterpart to the university and health research hives west of the neighbourhood. There’s plentiful access to river valley trails, and student-friendly cafes, diners and shops. This university neighbourhood has also inspired at least one modern work of literature. Edmonton author Todd Babiak set his 2006 novel, The Garneau Block, in a fictional Garneau cul-de-sac.
Highest priced home: $1,988,000
Lowest priced home: $159,000
Average home price: $482,000
Homes in this area range from modest bungalows to the grand old mansions of Ada Boulevard, and date back to before the area was annexed by the City of Edmonton in 1912. Among Highlands’ most interesting buildings is the 1913 Gibbard Block, co-built by William T. Gibbard of the Gibbard Furniture Company of Ontario, and was originally a luxury apartment building which included such modern features as telephones and intercoms. It now houses the La Bohme Restaurant Bed & Breakfast.
Highest priced home: $989,700
Lowest priced home: $129,000
Average home price: $413,324
According to the last city census, 13,148 Edmontonians are choosing to make their homes downtown. The vibrant neighbourhood includes the festivals of Sir Winston Churchill Square, the Art Gallery of Alberta and part of Chinatown, and no shortage of restaurants and shopping. The population will continue to grow with the opening of the Ice District development in the heart of the neighbourhood this fall -adding more than 1,000 new residential units in the area alone.
Highest priced home: $1,395,000
Lowest priced home: $136,900
Average home price: $765,950
9. Bonnie Doon
Bonnie Doon is home to the city’s French quarter, whose main route, 91st Street, is also known as Rue Marie-Anne Gaboury – named after a French-Canadian woman who accompanied her voyageur husband to Fort Edmonton in 1807. Her grandson is also a western Canadian household name: Louis Riel. The Facult St. Jean – the French arm of the University of Alberta – and French cultural centre La Cit Francophone, are located in the area.
Highest priced home: $2,875,000
Lowest priced home: $194,900
Average home price: $598,722
Best known for its 40-year tradition of Candy Cane Lane, Crestwood also boasts Canada’s oldest community league. The league’s long-time focus on cooperation and recreation helped spawn other groups across the city, which led to the formation of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.
Highest priced home: $3,900,000
Lowest priced home: $439,500
Average home price: $1,252,216
This article appears in the August 2016 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.