Edmonton has a lot to look forward to. The next couple of years will usher in the completion of the Metro Line portion of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system from downtown to NAIT, and construction will commence on the Valley Line from Millwoods to West Edmonton Mall. Scaffolding will go up in the city centre for the new provincial museum and a modern sports arena and traffic pylons will disappear from the Anthony Henday ring road as it finally closes its circle. With the recent shutdown of the City Centre Airport Eliminating the height restrictions that were imposed on Edmonton's skyline, a frenzy of new skyscrapers are being proposed, each designed taller than the last. Similarly, the residential sector has managed to keep up with this development, continuing the housing boom that has been around since the beginning of the millennium. The edge of the city is constantly being pushed further and further outward by new communities like Windermere and Lake Summerside.Sometimes, it may take a little reminder that these freshly framed houses are not Edmonton's only option when looking for a new home. This article is that reminder. Looking back at over a century of history and expansion, Edmonton shows itself to be a cornucopia, spilling its bounty of great, already established communities for those that would only reach out and grab them. Even considering this bounty, there are 6 communities that tend to be more popular than the others.
Keeping downtown within walking distance, Oliver is a community built around amenities. With Jasper Avenue to the south, 124th street to the west, and the Oliver Square retail complex to the north, you are never more than a few blocks away from a plethora of shops, restaurants, or pubs. It is close to Macewan University's main campus, Corona LRT station for easy commuting, and the already mentioned Jasper Avenue is a hub for Edmonton's nightlife.
Next we can move further west to the quiet and peaceful community of Glenora, with the Edmonton river valley bordering its south. Glenora offers nearby attractions like the Royal Alberta Museum, the Telus World of Science, and the Valley Zoo, and shines with its own particular charisma. Just walking among the old trees framing its roads, it isn't hard to see why it remains one of Edmonton's most popular and sought after neighbourhoods.
Another sought after neighbourhood can be found in the Strathcona District. This part of the city is dominated by the flavour and culture of Whyte Avenue, where old and new blend with shops, nightclubs and restaurants of every variety to create an atmosphere that is distinctly its own. Stop by the weekly Strathcona Farmer's Market to pick up some locally grown produce, or take in a festival at the nearby Arts Barns.
If your interests are a little more academic, you can look into the areas surrounding the University of Alberta. The most prominent of these is the Garneau area; known for the historic Garneau Theatre – home of the Metro Cinema – and the renowned High Level Diner. Like Ritchie, the neighbourhood of Garneau is also close to the cultural mélange of Whyte Avenue, and is surrounded by many of the River Valley's walking paths and parks, including the 68 hectares of Hawrelak Park.
Every year, the south-eastern banks of the North Saskatchewan River echo with the lively sounds of Edmonton's Annual Folk Music Festival, and the residents of Cloverdale, whose community hosts the festival, get their admission for free. Close to the pyramids of Edmonton's Muttart Conservatory, Cloverdale takes advantage of the city's River Valley to create the cozy and secluded ambiance of a small town despite being near the heart of Edmonton.
Known colloquially as Edmonton's French Quarter, Bonnie Doon brings a little of Montreal to Western Canada with broad, tree-lined avenues, and the only Francophone University in Western Canada. In the summer, it hosts the French Quarter Farmer's Market, and it has a reputation for being a very community-focused neighbourhood.