The University of Alberta is surrounded by several beautiful neighbourhoods: Garneau, Belgravia, Parkallen, and Windsor Park. These are some of the most admired neighbourhoods in the city. Residents enjoy a tranquil atmosphere and plentiful greenery, but they are not far from the hustle and bustle across the river. They live well and play hard. The North Saskatchewan river valley has a lot to offer residents. And because of the prime location, Real Estate in the area has the best Return on Investment / resale in the city. ( Shhhhh don't tell anyone )
The neighbourhood of Belgravia, known for its bungalow style homes, is located immediately southwest of the university. Certain spots offer great views of the river and the treed valley. It's been around since 1912, when infill reinvented the spot where an old streetcar line used to have its last stop. The city, in its assessment of housing statistics, noted that there are predominantly low density homes. Several years ago a new LRT station dramatically improved the transit situation for Belgravians. Belgravia Park is a serene place to walk or ride. Foodies don’t have to go far to relish Belgravia Hub restaurant, called a “beloved treasure” by the Edmonton Journal. The restaurant has a high rating and great reviews. Belgravia's community league, as is the case in so many Edmonton neighbourhoods, is active, supplying a source of local spirit. The Belgravia hall, a haven for people of all ages, offering community groups and activities, is being renewed and this process is to be completed by the end of the summer. Age demographics in Belgravia in 2011 were quite evenly distributed, with a slight rise in numbers of residents in their 20's and also folks in their 50's. Many were married couples and, interestingly, most had attended university. ( Search Belgravia Homes For Sale )
Windsor Park, like Belgravia, has a fair-sized green space in its center; a community ice rink lies within the park, also named Windsor Park. The neighbourhood is nestled between the university and a beautiful park and golf course area in the curve along the river. Most homes are picturesque single-detached homes; there are also a small number of duplexes. Gorgeous landscaping is widespread. Most houses were built prior to the sixties. A high-ranking elementary school has proven to be a sensible choice for many families who live outside its zone. The possibilities for community involvement are impressive and wide-ranging. Paging through the community league's newspaper, one discovers a university area treat: sophisticated, fun events for adult nights out, presented by the University of Alberta faculty club - buffets, dinner shows, and wine tastings. The U of A triathlon club encourages residents to go for a run. Again, relatively recent surveys revealed that many residents were either in their 20’s or their 50’s and had a university education.
The long-established Garneau neighbourhood is just east of the university campus. Many homes in the Garneau area overlook the river valley. Bridge views are prized. Trees that line Garneau's streets, like the neighbourhood, are also long-established. A seventy five year old movie theatre gives character to the neighbourhood. Edmontonians, who hold this theatre in high esteem, have opportunities to see indies and classics as well as attend special events. In 2011, the city reported that the majority of Garneau residents were in their 20’s. Most of the residences were built between the 60’s and the 80’s. Garneau has a cluster of gourmet coffee bars and diners. The community offers fine arts and sports programs for all ages.
Parkallen, made up of mostly single-family homes, lies not too far south of the university. Residents are fairly close to the South Campus LRT station. Once again, the community league is a source of entertainment and camaraderie. A long standing restaurant, named after the district, is praised highly by Graham Hicks of The Toronto Sun: the restaurant is "as unique as unique can be — comfortable, kid-friendly, high-end, low-end, great wines, great pizza and spectacular Lebanese cuisine".
University of Alberta Area
There are green spaces of varied sizes scattered liberally in the U of A area. The river locale means that residents of the neighbourhoods surrounding the university can visit sizeable parks. Possibilities for recreation, personal development and entertainment are endless. Residents engage in activities ranging from lawn bowling to pottery classes. Walterdale park offers many family friendly activities. One can visit the John Walter museum, located within the park, on weekends. The museum offers pioneer-themed birthday parties. There is family golfing at Kinsmen Pitch and Putt and Kinsmen Sports Centre offers "world-class swimming and diving venues". Whitemud park is a go-to for horseback riders, dog walkers, and tobogganing enthusiasts. William Hawrelak park lies between the University of Alberta and the river itself, offering year-round recreation: skating, paddle boating, picnicking, and cross-country skiing. Additionally, the elegant Royal Mayfair golf club lies against the curve of the river. The Royal Mayfair's GM, Wade Hudyma, described the golf course as a "fairly big part of the community", explaining to the Edmonton Sun that there are only six royal golf courses in the country. The club is a favourite site for weddings. Although the neighbourhoods that surround the university are largely peaceful and quiet, Rogers Place and the Ice District, which is undergoing massive transformations, is not too far away if one desires a change of pace.
The university itself, being ranked in the top five universities in Canada, was founded in 1908. International programs are a focus, as are physical resources such as laboratories. The northern end of the North campus is close to the river, and downtown is on the other side of the river. In warmer months the campus is lush with greenery. The university has a long architectural history. The gorgeous Old Arts Building was built in 1915. In the 50's and 60's, buildings were added as enrollment numbers rose considerably. Students have options of various residences, organized by year of study and other factors. The International House is well loved. In some cases, preference is given to Aboriginal students, whether single or accompanied by their families. An emphasis at Lister Centre, a first year student residence is immersion in a "community atmosphere". Living in residence, like living in other U of A communities, is a pleasant experience for many.
What About Infill in the U of A area?
There is a great deal of infill happening in the neighbourhoods which surround the university. An exciting recent infill craze in Edmonton is that of "skinny houses". Two homes are built on the site where a single home once stood. One Garneau skinny home has been highly praised by the Edmonton Journal as valuable infill. New buyers reported being pleased with the storage and living space. In Belgravia, one goal of a brand new redevelopment plan is to encourage infill. The city is to converse with residents and property owners. The city is discussing “greater housing choice and affordability, attracting reinvestment in local business and community, public realm improvements, and emphasis on active transportation (i.e. walking, cycling) in support of healthy lifestyle”. Infill in the North Campus area includes the Peter Lougheed Hall, a brand new student residence that is scheduled for completion in Spring 2017. The University promises that natural light and social space will be features and that the residence will be welcoming and inviting. The St. Joseph's College residence was recently expanded.