Good ’Hoods: The Best Edmonton Neighbourhoods to Retire In
Yes, it can get cold in Edmonton. But it isn’t winter all year long. Did you know that at the height of the summer solstice in Edmonton, you’ll enjoy almost 18 hours of daylight? That’s more than enough time to play 18 holes at one or more of the city’s 26 golf courses. And what better way to spend an endless summer than exploring one of the world’s most extensive urban river walkway systems? Edmonton is a celebrated cultural destination for patrons of the arts, and our country’s largest northernmost economy. Revitalization projects are happening everywhere in the city, and there are many neighbourhoods where residents of retirement age settle into their forever homes. If you’re considering “settling down” in Edmonton but your idea of retirement involves indulging in the spice of life, our recommendation is simple: stay central.
Say you want walking access to the best restaurants, entertainment and shopping when you’re at home, but your wanderlust means a large, detached home will stand empty for the part of the year while you’re traveling. Why not own a condo in downtown Edmonton? The centre of the city is no longer anything like a ghost town. A long-running farmer’s market feeds its loyal patrons, as do foodie magnets such as Tres Carnales and Corso 32. Near the 28-storey EPCOR tower (the first office spire to go up in over 20 years), condo development makes downtown life an attraction.
Almost downtown, the city’s most populated neighbourhood – hundred-year-old Oliver – retains and renews its draw with another upcoming 36-storey residential complex alongside its historic homes. This area’s diversity, beautiful river valley views, and abundance of retail and restaurants (try casual favourite Elm Café) make it the dense urban heart of Edmonton.
Head a bit farther north to find the slower-paced, classic feel of Westmount. An Architectural Heritage Area shows off character homes built in the 1910s and '20s, while up-to-the-minute 124th Street offers some of the best boutique and specialty shopping in the city. With the river valley at your back, it’s a lovely stroll between timeless and trendy all the way up to 111th Avenue.
South of the river valley but still close to the hub is Edmonton’s star neighbourhood Strathcona. This bustling centre boasts over 600 businesses, a year-round farmer’s market, and a vibrant theatre community that puts on the world-renowned Fringe Festival. Patios are packed during the summer months, and when it’s cold out, events such as Ice on Whyte keep residents and visitors coming back. Old Strathcona is a heritage district protected by Alberta’s Register of Historic Places, but longtime fixtures in need of renewal – Walterdale Bridge, recently – get the attention they need to keep servicing Edmonton’s faithful and newcomers alike.
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