You dream of lovely Victorian homes with large trees, spacious yards and porch swings, readied for lazy summer sunsets and lemonade. However, homes built during the early 1900's often need extensive repairs, plumbing upgrades and insulation. You can execute minor repairs, but extensive remodelling is beyond your skill set, and hiring contractors seems overwhelming. If you enjoy the character and personality of vintage residential architecture but want the amenities associated with newer homes, you can realize your dream by taking advantage of infill housing.
Residential infill projects place new homes among older homes in historic neighbourhoods. Buyers enjoy parks, mature trees and established community associations while controlling urban sprawl, and living an environmentally conscious lifestyle. You'll find public transportation, shopping, and health care services within easy reach while enjoying a modern home that blends in with your neighbours' homes.
Located near Edmonton's urban center, Strathearn boasts three churches and mature trees along its streets. Its community organization, established in the 1950's, was instrumental in bringing an ice skating rink to the neighbourhood. As the Strathearn Community League continues to develop recreational facilities, it also sponsored a preschool program during the late 1990's, through 2005.
Featuring Borden Park and Concordia University College, Virginia Park supports a Senior's retirement lodge and the Virginia Park Woodland. Consider enrolling your children in the Virginia Park Arts Core School and volunteer as a library assistant or classroom help. You'll stay fit cycling and walking on Borden Park's trails while your children use the playground. The Park's baseball diamonds and sports fields contribute to that small town atmosphere you find in historic communities.
Once known as Norwood, Alberta Avenue is an example of successful urban revitalization. This neighbourhood boasts the Commonwealth Stadium Recreation Center, and a community paper, the Rat Creek Press. Family-friendly events include the Kaleido Family Arts Festival, and the Deep Freeze Winter Festival, with the Avenue Theater giving music and live theater a home. If you love dogs, you'll relish the Avenue Goes to the Dogs Festival.
You'll need to be very careful when asking for directions because there are several places called "Sherbrooke" in Canada. Spend time at Kingsway Mall-at the end of 118 Avenue- shopping standard department stores, or find space for your community group's meetings. As one of the first towns in North America designed using the modern "neighbourhood" concept, you'll find curved roads and 4 libraries within 10 miles of your new home.
Delton is a charming community located just north of the downtown Edmonton area, and its residents enjoy an easy commute to employment opportunities, recreation, dining options and more in the center of the city. Some of the homes in Delton date back to 1904, but the area also has several completed infill projects. For example, one completed project is a two-story duplex that has been built with approximately 1,500 square feet on each side. This project enables its residents to live in a modern structure, close to the heart of the city.
Ritchie is a popular community located southeast of the downtown area. Many people choose this community because of its proximity to central Edmonton as well as the famed nightlife at Mill Creek Ravine and Old Strathcona. The area is also popular because of its proximity to the University of Alberta and of the ease of access to 99 Street. Many of the homes in the area are duplexes, row houses or single family homes, but there are also apartments and condos in the area. Only about 13% of the homes were built within the last two decades. One-quarter were built prior to the 1950s, and another one-third were built before 1960. There are several infill projects that have been completed in the area, including both single family and duplex homes. These are gorgeous homes with a Craftsman-style exterior and upgraded interior features.
Jasper Park is a mature, established community located west of the downtown area. The community is rather small in size, but its residents enjoy proximity to the West Edmonton Mall, Meadowlark Park, Meadowlark Health and Shopping Centre and other venues. One of the completed infill projects in this community is a charming, two-story home with a Craftsman style exterior. It has ceramic tile, hardwood floors and upgraded heating and cooling systems.
Another charming community located just west of Edmonton's central commerce area is Crestwood. This is a gorgeous area that sits in a strategic location between two ravines, and many homes have views of the scenic North Saskatchewan River. Residents enjoy hiking trails, bike paths, and the annual Candy Cane Lane holiday lights display in the area. The majority of the homes in the area are single-family homes, and they were largely constructed in the decade immediately following the end of World War II. The infill projects completed in this area are larger, single-family homes with upgrades like hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and other features.
Highlands sits just northeast of the downtown area in a great location close to the North Saskatchewan River. It is home to Concordia College, Rexall Place, the Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium and other venues. Many of the homes in Highlands were built in the early 1900's, and half were constructed between 1946 and 1960. Infill projects in Highlands include moderately sized, single-family homes with berber carpeting, hardwood floors, wet bars and other enhancements.
Laurier Heights is bordered by the river valley on two sides, making this neighbourhood a great urban-but-wild location. Laurier Heights Community Park draws local residents to work up a sweat in the tennis courts and cool off in the spray park. There's easy access to major roads, shopping, the university and downtown Edmonton.
Parkview is on the west side of Edmonton, with views overlooking the river valley. Families enjoy picnics in the nearby parks with Laurier Park, Buena Vista Park and Hawrelak Park all easily accessible. There's bird watching and glimpses of other wildlife in the river valley and opportunities to pet the animals at Valley Zoo. The neighbourhood has restaurants and shops within walking distance, as well as public transportation options, though having a car makes living here easier. One recent infill project here upgraded a home to 3000 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, plus a fully finished basement and a triple detached garage!
Valleyview is a subdivision of Parkview and as such, is filled with tree-lined streets. Valleyview Shopping Centre provides life's necessities, including banking, a grocery store, restaurants, and a travel agency to help you plan your winter getaway. Valleyview is just a block away from the River Valley trails and it's a 10-minute drive to West Edmonton Mall or the University of Alberta.
On the south-central side of Edmonton, Bonnie Doon features one of the first major shopping centres in the city. But you don't need to be a mall walker to get your exercise here; Bonnie Doon is one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in Edmonton, with trails and amenities close by the residential area. You can walk through the university campus or down into the Millcreek ravine.
On the northwest side of Edmonton, it's easy to achieve a healthy mind in a healthy body in Woodcroft. You just head to Coronation Park to explore the planetarium, take a walk or go for a bike ride; swimming, skating, and tobogganing are also options. Westmount Centre provides all the shopping residents need. Woodcroft isn't just green in its parks; an LED streetlight project is underway to improve lighting and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other projects to reconstruct the neighbourhood were completed in 2012 and 2013.
Grovenor is a neighbourhood that was previously called Westgrover, and it is located within the boundaries of MacKinnon Ravine, Stony Plain Road, 107 Avenue and 149 Street. The houses in this historic area date back to 1907, and there are approximately 1,082 homes in this area. While all of the original homes built in Grovenor were constructed by the 1980s, several infill projects have already been completed in this area. That means that some of the properties have been constructed within the last few years. When you live in this area, you can enjoy proximity to commercial developments on Stony Plain Road as well as easy access to the downtown area through major thoroughfares. There is also an elementary school located in the neighbourhood.
Glenora is another lovely neighbourhood in Edmonton that has completed infill projects. This area originally was a river farm that overlooks the beautiful North Saskatchewan River valley. It is sectioned off by the MacKinnon Ravine, Groat Road, 107 Avenue and the small community of Westmount. The area was originally developed starting in 1913 when the construction of the bridge made commuting to the downtown area possible. The lieutenant governor's mansion was among one of the first homes in the area. Most of the homes built here were constructed prior to 1970. In addition, the area is a rather affluent area with a higher than average per capita income than other areas in the city. Other notable areas in this neighbourhood include the Alberta Government House, the Royal Alberta Museum and the Government House Park. Many of the infill projects that are completed in this area are designed to blend with the beautiful historic architecture found throughout the community.
Westmount is another beautiful option to consider. The development of Westmount started in the 1910s. The area was originally marketed as one of the most desirable, yet affordable neighbourhoods in the area. Many of the historic homes feature beautiful architectural detail, wraparound verandas and either a Craftsman-style or Four Square-style facade. The focus in this area is on revitalization that retains historic character, and in recent years, the area has taken on a hip look with popular restaurants, trendy boutiques and others interspersed with gorgeous historic and renovated homes. This creates an energetic yet small town feel to the area that residents love.
There are approximately 2,245 homes in the King Edward neighbourhood, and the majority of these homes were constructed prior to the end of World War II. These are mostly single family homes with historic architecture. The neighbourhood sits in a beautiful location overlooking Mill Creek Ravine, and it is also bounded by Whyte Avenue, 71 Street and 76 Avenue. Residents here enjoy proximity to the University of Alberta and Old Strathcona. While the neighbourhood has historic charm, it is important to note that the majority of the residents have moved into the area since 2005.
Infill Revitalizes Neighbourhoods
As new homes outside of the city drew single people and modern, smaller families away, historic neighbourhoods lost their vibrancy. Limited housing space made existing urban homes too expensive for new families, triggering school closures and the city faced rising costs for delivering standard services. With a devastated budget, Edmonton's urban core would soon be a series of slums, attracting crime. When you buy a new home in an established neighbourhood, you join gentrification emphasizing planned development and communities that;
- meet your needs for a lifetime with a variety of housing options
- have upgraded infrastructure
- have safe places for foot and bicycle traffic
- has facilities, events and public spaces, encouraging neighbourhood gatherings
- and fostering community participation.
Infill projects provide individuals with a great way to enjoy the charm and other benefits in an older established community while still living in a newer home with modern features. These are just a few of the many neighbourhoods in Edmonton that have completed infill projects. If you would like more information, or own a lot or older home that you are considering building on or selling, please contact Plex Developments at 780-975-3415.Posted by Terry Paranych on