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Edmonton’s neighbourhoods are as distinct as the city’s cultural diversity. From historic neighbourhoods to contemporary centres, Edmonton is home to several unique districts showcasing everything from arts and culture to the natural beauty of our river valley. Some of Edmonton’s notable neighbourhoods include:
124th Street: Within its 12 blocks, the 124 Street area transports visitors to an era of elegant living. The tree-lined boulevards are home to unique shops, services, and restaurants. 124 Street is an attractive residential area, a destination for specialty shopping, and a centre for the arts. Many of its historic homes and commercial buildings have been carefully preserved. With accessible parking, cobbled sidewalks and decorative streetlights, visitors and residents alike come to experience the charm and feel of a small-town, with the amenities and diversity of an urban centre. Experience the growing popularity of the 124 Street Grand Market Thursdays throughout the summer months.
Gallery Walk: The first of its kind in Canada, the Gallery Walk was formed in 1981 to promote both art and artists of merit, with a special focus on Canadian artists and their work. The Gallery Walk area is located just the 124 Street area. Formal self-guided Gallery Walks are organized twice a year; however, visitors and residents conduct their own Gallery Walk throughout the year. The Gallery Walk Association of Edmonton is available to assist in the planning of gallery walks for schools, conventions, or other groups.
Alberta Avenue: Alberta Avenue is one of the older residential neighbourhoods in Edmonton, with much of the area's development occurring during the World War 1 era. Its primary boundaries lie along 118 Avenue between 97 Street and 89 Street. With Edmonton’s economic boom, the area is seeing an increased redevelopment and is becoming a destination for the arts community. Home of the Kalideo Family Arts Festival in the Summer and Deep Freeze Festival in the winter.
Chinatown: The impressive Chinatown Gate in Edmonton’s city centre at 102 Avenue and 97 Street welcomes visitors to the heart of the Chinese community. The gate was built as a symbol of friendship between Edmonton and its sister city, Harbin. Make sure to roll the ball in the lion's mouth for good luck! The Edmonton Chinatown Multicultural Centre is located at 9539 102A Avenue.
Downtown: Edmonton’s downtown is a thriving arts, retail, business, and government centre. There are over 500 places to shop, and over 200 restaurants. Getting around is easy via 17-kilometer pedway system (above and below street level covered walkways) which connect major shopping centres and key public buildings. Downtown landmarks include City Hall, an eight-storey glass pyramid; the award-winning Canada Place, with its copper-coloured façade; the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, built in 1915; and the Shaw Conference Centre which offers spectacular views of Edmonton’s river valley.
Edmonton’s French Quarters: Situated at the very heart of the first French Quarter, the Saint-Joachim Catholic Parish was established in 1838 in Fort Edmonton. Four different buildings would carry the name Saint-Joachim Church (9920 110 Street), the last of which was built in 1899 and still exists today. A great many of the French community’s associations were established by parishioners of Saint-Joachim: la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste (1894), la Société du parler français (1912), and l’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (1926).
Over the years, however the French Quarter migrated to the south side of the North Saskatchewan River to the Bonnie Doon district, home to a large percentage of the province's Francophone population. It is affectionately called "la Cité francophone" and also Edmonton's French Quarter. The area is the hub of French life in the city. A cultural centre, Francophone high school, church, seniors' centre, the Campus St-Jean, and student residences all call Bonnie Doon home. They line the main street, la Rue Marie-Anne Gaboury. (In 1988, 91 Street was renamed in honor of Marie-Anne Gaboury, the wife of Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière and Louis Riel’s grandmother.)
Little Italy: The heart of Edmonton’s Little Italy comprises the few square blocks of inner-city Edmonton between 107 Avenue to 118 Avenue and between 93 Street and 95 Street. As an ethnic neighbourhood, it came into being with the post-World War II wave of immigration, which saw the Italian population of Edmonton grow from several thousand in the early 1950s to an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 by the late 1970s. These figures differ slightly from the Canadian census. Until 1996, the census did not allow respondents to report on country of origin; the statistics did not capture second and third generation Italian-Canadians.
Old Glenora: Old Glenora is one of the best known residential neighbourhoods in Edmonton. This is one of the city’s oldest and most sought after areas. Elegant brick mansions and two-storey homes from the early 1900’s sit along the beautiful tree - lined streets - some offering amazing views of the river valley. The Glenora neighbourhood is found south of 107 Avenue, between 124 and 142 streets.
Old Strathcona: The historic hub of Edmonton, Old Strathcona dates back to 1891 when the Calgary and Edmonton Railway completed its tracks to the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. Today, this revitalized neighbourhood, with a section of Whyte Avenue designated a Provincial Historic Area, contains many diverse elements and special events. Enjoy the feel of a small town along Whyte Avenue with unique shops, heritage buildings, brick sidewalks, several theatres, and a thriving social scene – there are more than 100 coffeehouses, restaurants and pubs to choose from. More than 90% of businesses in the area are owner-operated, and many have been handed down through the generations. Just off Whyte, you’ll find the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market with exceptional choices in fresh food, open year-round. And for theatre-goers, there are more theatres in just a few square blocks than any other place in Alberta.