Before we dive into our round-up of Edmonton's best community leagues and homeowner associations, let's first break down what each of those is, as well as the cost and services included.
A Homeowner Association or "HOA" is typical in Edmonton's "planned developments," and their fees are collected on top of property taxes to assist with maintaining and improving the amenities in a particular neighbourhood. Most neighbourhoods in Edmonton don't have HOA fees, but they are becoming more common as developers add facilities to communities that the city will not maintain through property taxes.
Typically, HOA fees are small - around $100-$200 a year, but they can be higher depending on what is covered. HOA fees commonly cover things like trails/pathways, fountains, community centres, and recreation facilities such as tennis courts, hockey rinks and basketball courts.
Homeowner Associations should not be confused with community leagues, which may also offer recreation facilities and community centres that are paid for through community league memberships.
Community League memberships are voluntary and range from free to approximately $40/year. You can purchase your memberships directly from the community League or through the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues website. If you're not sure which community league you belong to, you can search by your postal code on the EFCL website to find out. An additional perk of your community league membership is being able to participate in the Community League Wellness Program through the City of Edmonton, which provides current community league members discounted rates on annual and continuous monthly memberships as well as multi-passes at the city's recreation and sports facilities.
Both HOAs and Community leagues vary in the range of services provided. Some offer a range of community events, and some just do the minimum to maintain what they are obligated to maintain.
If applicable, an HOA fee should be mentioned on property highlight sheets when a home is listed for sale. If an HOA fee applies, everyone who lives in the subdivision must pay it whether they use the facilities or not. HOA fees are listed on the title for any property, and it's one more reason you should see the title for a property before making an offer.
Edmonton's Best Neighbourhood HOAs
Lake Summerside is probably the largest and most active HOA in Edmonton, with a large lake, beach, fishing, boating, and a very active community centre with lots of programming (fitness, art and cooking classes) and events. Other amenities include basketball and tennis courts, a skating rink, playground, minigolf course, hockey rink, and boat dock.
Residents of Upper Windermere enjoy access to a private leisure centre with a pool, rink, playground and basketball court. The HOA representatives also organize community events and classes. We've seen the fees in Upper Windermere range from $130/year to $700+/year depending on the home.
Ambleside is one of the more "walkable" communities in Southwest Edmonton. South of the Henday, it's located just across from Currents Of Windermere, giving you access to all amenities, including shopping, entertainment and restaurants. The community of Ambleside is also home to a vast trail system that leads throughout the community to various parks and community ponds. Liv Real Estate agent Corey Sylvester says, "It's an excellent community for active families or anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle." The HOA even covered landscaping expenses the city would normally cover but couldn't during COVID. The fees in Ambleside are approximately $200/year.
The Orchards has an active HOA with lots of events and programs in the community centre, plenty of amenities such as hockey and skating rinks, a splash park, playground, tennis and basketball courts, community garden and park space with firepits, picnic tables and grills.
Wedgewood is a beautiful, established community in the west end of Edmonton, Alberta. With only one entrance, it is one of Edmonton's safest neighbourhoods. Residents enjoy a large central park with tennis courts, a baseball diamond, soccer field, playground, large open green spaces with a Gazebo and an outdoor skating rink. The HOA also organizes a few neighbourhood events each year.
Edmonton's Best Community Leagues
A Cloverdale Community league membership includes lots of programming for residents (yoga, barre, sport ball, and soccer) at the local community hall. Residents also enjoy free Edmonton Folk Fest tickets (the extremely popular festival takes place in Cloverdale), summer block parties and 4-6 events per year, such as ping pong nights and other themed events.
Crestwood Community League was established in 1917 and is the oldest community league in Edmonton. The community centre has a variety of fitness classes and programs, and the adjacent rink, tennis courts and playground are popular with local residents. The community league also organizes the very popular "Candycane Lane," which raises funds for the food bank every year.
The Laurier Heights Community League recently built a large, modern addition to the community hall and has a large playground, splash pad, hockey rink, basketball courts and tennis courts. Plenty of events and programming take place in the hall and throughout the neighbourhood, all organized by the active league and "block connectors."
McKernan is a popular neighbourhood for students, professors and doctors. It's close to the University of Alberta, The Stollery, The U of A Hospital, The Cross Cancer Institute and The Edmonton Clinic. "My favourite thing about McKernan is you can have it all in a neighbourhood," says Nathan Mol with Liv Real Estate. "It's a really quiet residential neighbourhood with huge elm treed boulevards, schools and parks, but the location is also really central with excellent walkability to the river valley, U of A, Whyte Ave, and the LRT. It's also easy to get downtown, the west end or the south side - it's like having the best of both worlds!" On top of a prime location, this neighbourhood has an active community league that hosts various events & programs. Winter brings the outdoor skating rink and ice path, along with a rink shack and outdoor fire pits for residents to enjoy.
Horse Hill is one of the most unique and beautiful community leagues as it encompasses residential communities, farmland, acreages, and greenhouses. Liv Real Estate agent Kaelyn Kowalchuk says, "There is something for everyone, with scenic nature walks, greenhouses, nurseries, you-pick berry farms and one of the best golf courses in the city, Quarry Ridge." Kaelyn is the current president of the Horsehill Community League, which serves approximately 18,000 members across Brintnell, McConachie, Cy Becker, Quarry Ridge, and Rural North East Edmonton. They provide programs and events to bring the community together, hosting up to 15 events per year - some events receiving coverage on CTV News.
Each of these communities, and many more that didn't make our list, have so much to offer; from amenities to community programs and events, you can find something for everyone. So tell us, did your community make the list? What amenities or community features are on your must-have list?
Posted by Sara MacLennan on