A distant view of the Edmonton skyline seen from across the forest and river.

7 of the Best Neighbourhoods in Edmonton That Should Be On Your Radar

Canada Edmonton

by Talar Sakarya Posted on May 3, 2024
House hunting in Edmonton? You’re not alone. Detached home sales in the city rose 60 percent in February 2024 compared with the previous year, according to a report from the Realtors Association of Edmonton. Not surprisingly, some of the factors fueling moves to the best neighbourhoods in Edmonton are growing families, the ability to work remotely, and the desire for more outdoor space.

Despite the high demand, though, Edmonton is still one of Canada’s more affordable markets (just ask anyone in Vancouver or Toronto). Whether you’re a first-time buyer, upgrading, or relocating from out-of-province, there's bound to be a great option within your budget. 

The average price for a home in Edmonton hit an all-time high in March 2024: nearly $421,000, which marks a 7.9 percent yearly increase. But the average price drops significantly when you start looking at condos and townhouses — and expand your search to the Edmonton suburbs. Combine this variety of costs and styles with a thriving cultural scene, including festivals throughout the year, galleries, theatres, and live music, and it’s clear that the northernmost city in North America with more than a million people has something for everyone.  

The Best Neighbourhoods in Edmonton

Ready to narrow down your search in Canada’s Festival City? Edmonton offers a mosaic of neighbourhoods, each with its own distinctive vibe. From the artsy flair of Whyte Avenue in Strathcona to the tranquil charms of Highlands along the North Saskatchewan River, the city is a welcoming, diverse mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces. As you begin your search for the best Edmonton neighbourhoods, here’s a closer look at seven of our favourites — and the great attractions they have to offer.

The unique and eclectic exterior of the Art Gallery of Alberta in Downtown Edmonton.

A rich cultural scene in Downtown Edmonton includes the Art Gallery of Alberta, a popular destination for residents and visitors exploring the city’s vibrant core.
(Source: Steven Fortier via Unsplash)

1. Downtown Edmonton

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,450
  • Average home value: $1.1M
  • Great for: Singles, art lovers, young professionals, retirees, foodies

If you love the buzz that comes with a fast-paced urban lifestyle, Downtown is one of the best places to live in Edmonton for you. This central location is a great choice for working professionals, young singles, and empty nesters. Love condo living? Expect a lot of options, from trendy renovated warehouse lofts to luxury residences with views overlooking the city skyline. If your budget allows, you may even consider one of the upscale townhomes in the area. 

Not as congested as other Canadian city centres, Downtown is quite walkable, and the public transit service is quick and reliable, too. As for leisure time, there are plenty of attractions, like the year-round festivals at Churchill Square, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Royal Alberta Museum, and the Commonwealth Stadium. Not to mention the plethora of cafés, restaurants, fun workspaces, and nightclubs just steps from your front door.

Q: What are the safest neighbourhoods in Edmonton?
With comparatively low crime rates, neighbourhoods in the south and southwestern parts of Edmonton are generally considered to be relatively safe and very family-friendly. These include Henderson Estates, Ogilvie Ridge, and Haddow, to name a few of the best areas to live in Edmonton. From this list, specifically, Ritchie, Aspen Gardens, Gerneau, and Oliver tend to be the safest.

2. Ritchie 

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,500
  • Average home value: $480,000
  • Great for: Families, singles, hipsters, outdoor enthusiasts, foodies

Like a vibrant almost-suburb, Ritchie is finally getting its due as one of the best neighbourhoods in Edmonton. Filled with a mix of long-time residents and singles, the area is seeing more young families moving to the area, thanks to a revitalization that kicked off in 2017 and brought an influx of millennials — and it’s easy to see why. Downtown Edmonton is nearby if you need to commute to work or don’t want to stray too far from the action, and, locally, you have great dining and shopping options. The most well known is Ritchie Market, a central hub that houses local businesses, including Blind Enthusiasm Brewery, Duchess Bake Shop (sign up for a class — you never know when you might end up on “The Great British Bake Off”!), the Acme Meat Market, and more. 

Although this walkable neighbourhood has a hipster vibe, it also offers plenty of outdoor appeal, thanks to parks like Mill Creek Ravine. In this gorgeous space, which features an almost seven-mile loop to the North Saskatchewan River, you’ll find local runners, mountain bikers, and dog owners. Another fitness-and-fun option includes Ritchie Park, which has a playground and a lake popular with ice skaters in winter. 

As for housing, Ritchie’s options vary from family homes to stylish condos to luxury residences. And, parents, take note: Public schools have earned an A+ rating from AreaVibes — thanks in part to Escuela Mill Creek (elementary school), which features a Spanish bilingual program.

Q: Which is the best area to live in Edmonton? 
In the last few years, the consensus seems to have landed on either Strathcona or Ritchie. But, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Our recommendation? Give them each a visit and see which neighbourhood tickles your fancy.

Two fashionable young women stroll along the Fashion District in Edmonton’s Strathcona neighbourhood with shopping bags in hand.

Often called the trendiest neighbourhood in Edmonton, Strathcona offers a lively fusion of energy and culture.
(Source: Explore Edmonton via Facebook)

3. Strathcona

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,500
  • Average home value: $512,000
  • Great for: Partiers, foodies, families, hipsters

Often called the trendiest neighbourhood in Edmonton, Strathcona offers a lively fusion of energy and culture. Located close to both downtown and the University of Alberta, one of the neighbourhood’s biggest draws is Whyte Avenue, the main street lined with pubs, restaurants, and cafés that runs through the beautiful historic district of Old Strathcona. During the day, the avenue charms with its family-friendly vibe — the cozy, well-stocked Wee Book Inn, for instance, will delight readers of all ages. 

After dark, the district comes to life with a pulsating entertainment and bar scene. Check out the Wooftop Patio at Black Dog Freehouse, a longtime beloved hotspot for drinks, live music, and comedy. Like a little country in your nightlife? Two-step over to Cook County Saloon, a country music (and hot chicken!) favourite for 40 years. And like the locals have been doing for four decades, you’ll want to flock to the year-round indoor Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market for goodies from more than 130 vendors. 

A great place to start your Edmonton house hunt, Strathcona offers just about every style of residence, including historic estates, refurbished single-family homes, cottages, bungalows, townhomes, and condos.

Q: What is the hipster neighbourhood in Edmonton? 
Strathcona takes the top honour in this category, as well, thanks to trendy Whyte Avenue and its adjacency to the University of Alberta. Coffee shops, art galleries, and IG-worthy public art add to the hipster ambiance. 

4. Highlands

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,300
  • Average home value: $630,000
  • Great for: Families, history buffs, retirees

Located in the Northeast part of Edmonton, this neighbourhood is known for its historic charm and leafy, tree-lined streets. Beautifully restored Craftsman and Colonial-style homes are the hallmark of Highlands, which offers amazing views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley from many spots. Residents run the gamut from young families to retirees attracted by the peaceful vibe and proximity to Downtown Edmonton’s business centre. 

The dining scene in Highlands has something to please every taste. Locals love the historic Gibbard Block, a landmark apartment building now home to businesses and eateries (think: upscale food court). Another favourite, Mandolin Books and Coffee Company, is just as cozy and quaint as it sounds. 

Overall, the neighbourhood is one of Edmonton’s most vibrant and engaging, blending upscale living and historic preservation. Outdoor adventure is on the agenda here, too, at places like Borden Park, a popular gathering spot known for its walking paths and ball fields — and beautiful floral displays and art installations. 

A woman in a purple coat is riding her bike on a wooded trail in Edmonton, Alberta.

Nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts appreciate the wealth of local parks and pathways throughout Edmonton. 

5. Aspen Gardens

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,500
  • Average home value: $808,000
  • Great for: Families, schools, outdoor activities

For those who want to get away from it all, this peaceful and somewhat secluded family-friendly community will feel like a haven. Aspen Gardens is an affluent neighbourhood of scenic tree-lined streets far removed from congested city life, with large, single-family homes on spacious lots that allow plenty of breathing room between neighbours. 

Ideal for family life in all stages, the Edmonton suburb is situated atop the Whitemud Creek Ravine, which offers a four-mile walking, cross-country skiing, and birding trail, along with lots of spots for picnics. 

But modern amenities aren’t missing in Aspen Gardens, which is considered one of the best neighbourhoods in Edmonton. Just about 15 minutes away by car, you’ll find grocery and retail options like the Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre. Along with a variety of private schools, the local Westbrook School and Vernon Barford Junior High School are both highly rated.

Q: What is the richest neighbourhood in Edmonton? 
Although Garneau, Downtown Edmonton, and Aspen Gardens have the most expensive housing costs on our list, according to AreaVibes, River Valley Walterdale is the richest neighbourhood in Edmonton, with a cost of living 28 percent higher than Edmonton. In second place is Windsor Park in the south central part of the city. Both are among the best neighbourhoods in Edmonton, of course — by any measure.

6. Garneau

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,450
  • Average home value: $1.1M
  • Great for: Students, professors, bohemians, artists, families

Garneau, one of the oldest and best neighbourhoods in Edmonton, is also the site of the University of Alberta — home to 35,000 students and 7,500 faculty and staff. The main campus covers five city blocks on what was once known as River Lot Five by the indigenous peoples who populated the land. Today, with Garneau’s bustling mix of business, residential, and academic life, you can expect a diverse environment with a bohemian vibe. Just about everyone walks or cycles to get around the community and takes full advantage of its many amenities and loads of popular restaurants and cafés. Local faves include Sugarbowl, established circa 1943, which has evolved from burger joint to coffeehouse to bistro, and Cafe Mosaics, a beautiful spot for plant-based brunching.

Movie lovers are happy to view indie films and cult classics at the historic 1940s-era Garneau Theatre, now known as Metro Cinema. And like most college towns, Garneau has its fair share of health and wellness stores and book shops. 

Though there is a strong student presence in this area matched by an array of apartments and condos, it’s also a great place to settle down in a family home. The historic Garneau School for kindergarten to grade 6 students is just one more bonus.       

7. Oliver 

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,625
  • Average home value: $322,800
  • Great for: Young professionals, students, activists, foodies, shopaholics

The first thing to know about Oliver is that the name is going to change on New Year’s Day 2025, thanks to a community that cares about its history and the indigenous people who founded the area. The new name, Wîhkwêntôwin, means “circle of friends” in Cree. Today’s Oliver is one of Edmonton’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, just west of the downtown core, and particularly popular with young professionals. Many students from nearby MacEwan University also call Oliver home. 

Housing runs the gamut from high-rise apartments and condos to historic homes at a variety of price points. And just like the costs, the architecture in Oliver is a mixed bag, with modern glass towers next door to early 20th-century renovated treasures. Rentals are abundant (see above: students) and eclectic. 

Oliver’s 104th Street is a bustling boulevard known for a farmer’s market, cafes, and charming boutiques. At the Oliver Exchange building, once a telephone company hub, retail and restaurant treats include Plum Home + Design, Iconoclast Coffee Roasters, and The White Gallery, a bridal shop. But even amid the shopping hubbub, it doesn’t take long to find peace and tranquillity nearby in Oliver. At Paul Kane Park, for example, visitors relax around the pond or pedal and stroll along lush pathways — especially in the summer months, when the gardens are in full bloom. And if you get super lucky, the local ice cream truck will jingle its way into your afternoon.

A PODS truck transporting three PODS portable moving containers to Edmonton.

With a PODS portable moving and storage container delivered right to your driveway, you can pack, load, and unload on your own schedule.

Make Your Move to Edmonton Flexible 

Any of these Edmonton neighbourhoods would be a wonderful place to call home. But if you’re making a move, be sure to choose a flexible moving partner designed to meet your unique moving needs to ensure a smooth transition. With PODS, a portable moving and storage container is delivered right to your driveway, where you can load it on your own schedule. And when you’re ready, PODS will pick it up and deliver it to your new home. It’s totally contactless (and totally convenient).

Ready to make the move to Edmonton? The PODS Blog has resources on everything from selling your current home and loading a truck or storage container to even providing an all-encompassing moving checklist. And If you’re considering other Canadian cities, you’re covered there, too. Check out our list of the most affordable major metros in the Great White North.

Talar Sakarya is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Eternally curious and restless, she loves to travel and ranks Italy, Ireland, and Indonesia as her top three favourite destinations.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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Edmonton is one of the best Canadian cities well-known for its scenic aesthetics, abound food, cultural fests and undoubtedly certain facilities to comfort its residents. The scope for good education and job opportunities is enormous. You can easily buy yourself a place to call home here due to economical price range. Condos and townhouses is a far better option in your initial years of moving here.
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