People looooovve making lists - best this, top that - and I've seen a lot of lists of the best places to live in Edmonton. Many are based on surveys, some are based on market stats, and some are just based on personal opinion. A number of these lists have been released in the past few weeks, so I thought it was good time to bring in a brokerage's perspective on things. Everyone has different reasons for choosing a neighbourhood, whether it is proximity to something (work, school, amenities, relatives), affordability, property types... the list goes on. What I can say for certain is no neighbourhood will be on the top of everyone's list, or even half of everyone's list. Most people choose a fairly broad area when looking for a place to live and narrow it down to the property that best meets their needs in that area. So, we've created our list of the best places to live in the Greater Edmonton area, including information from the fancy new HPI tool the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton just launched, but before I get to that, here are the results of some other lists, and our thoughts on the results. Avenue Magazine creates a survey based list every year, the most recent results were as follows:
  1. Glenora
  2. Strathcona (#1 for the previous 5 years)
  3. Oliver
  4. Westmount
  5. Ritchie
  6. Highlands
  7. Garneau
  8. Downtown
  9. Crestwood
  10. Bonnie Doon
  11. Belgravia
  12. Laurier Heights
  13. Parkview
  14. Riverdale
  15. Windsor Park
  16. Cloverdale
  17. Strathearn
  18. Hazeldean
  19. North Glenora
  20. Parkallen
You'll notice all of these neighbourhoods are fairly close to the centre of the city and the river valley, and I imagine many votes were cast by residents of the neighbourhoods (our community league promoted the survey to residents), and those who like to visit the amenities in the areas. Most of the areas are in above average price ranges, with many that are well above average. Some students from the University of Alberta came up with a list of neighbourhoods that would be desirable for millennials, based on mostly affordability and walkability, and came up with McCauley, Woodcroft and Carter Crest as the most desirable. This week, MoneySense published a list of the best places to buy real estate in the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA), where they identified neighbourhoods that have experienced better price momentum — communities that will weather the current economic storm and come out ahead in the long run. From what I can tell, they based most of their analysis on a snapshot of the year over year average prices in each neighbourhood, which is a valid comparison but doesn't show a complete picture. For example, the "extraordinary 38% one-year price gain" in Oliver, is comparing the average price of 23 sales in February 2017 (the most expensive of which was $475,000) to 16 sales in February 2018 (the most expensive of which was $900,000). I'm not trying to knock Oliver, I think it's a great place to live, but the analysis, in this case, is a little lacking. Regardless, their listing of the top 25 Neighbourhoods in the GEA are:
  1. Downtown St. Albert
  2. Oliver
  3. Strathcona
  4. West Meadowlark Park
  5. Pembina
  6. Pleasantview
  7. Royal Gardens
  8. Canora
  9. Westmount
  10. Inglewood
  11. Queen Mary Park
  12. Woodcroft
  13. Queen Alexandra
  14. Central McDougall
  15. Sweet Grass
  16. Garneau
  17. Montrose
  18. Brander Gardens
  19. Tawa
  20. Inglewood
  21. Ritchie
  22. Glenwood
  23. Lorelei
  24. King Edward Park
  25. Keheewin
Don Campbell from the Real Estate Investment Network recently ranked Edmonton as one of Canada’s top-10 markets to buy and hold real estate, and he said people should focus on newer structures (because the price isn’t much higher than for older buildings) with at least two bedrooms, near LRT routes (current or future). So our list of favourite neighbourhoods in Edmonton is based on our extensive experience working with buyers and sellers in the Edmonton area - our agents have shown thousands of homes to buyers (in hundreds of neighbourhoods), this year alone! "Love where you Liv" is not just our tagline, it's our goal for our clients. So here is our list of the best places to live in Edmonton.


It's not Edmonton's most populated neighbourhood for no reason, there's a lot of great stuff going on in Oliver. One of Edmonton's most walkable neighbourhoods with beautiful tree-lined streets is centrally located. Angel Mobey, with Liv Real Estate had this to say about her 'hood: "It’s really the perfect community. Central but off the hustle and bustle of downtown. It's walking distance to just about everything, with 3 farmers markets within walking (or biking) distance. Walk or bike to several major parks, the river valley and some of the best restaurants, bakeries, doughnuts, and cafes in the city. I honestly wouldn’t live anywhere else in Edmonton, even if I won the lottery...Well, maybe Glenora!" The HPI benchmark price for Oliver was $230,800, up 4.5% from 5 years ago. The MLS® HPI model is used to calculate Benchmark Prices. A “Benchmark home” is one whose attributes are typical of homes traded in the area where it is located. It allows us to see trends for neighbourhoods, property types and the market as a whole. For purposes of comparison, I will use the benchmark price for a typical home in each neighbourhood, and a comparison from 5 years ago. I will have more information about the HPI model in an upcoming blog post.

The University Area

Although not technically a neighbourhood the communities in the area have similar features, because of this many buyers look in "the University Area" as opposed to it's individual neighbourhoods, which, for the sake of this post include Strathcona, McKernan, Belgravia, Windsor Park, Garneau, and Queen Alexandra. Central to the area is Whyte Avenue, lined with shops and restaurants (as well as beautiful, mature Elm trees) is a destination for visitors and residents alike. Famous for its lively arts and culture scene, as well as stunning views of the North Saskatchewan River and the Mill Creek Ravine, residents also love living near the river valley. Obviously, the University of Alberta is nearby, as well as numerous hospitals and medical services, making it a popular location for Doctors and Professors.

Here's a look at the HPI composite for each neighbourhood in the University area over the past 5 years:

Crestwood, Parkview and Laurier Heights

Minutes west of downtown, these three neighbourhoods are bordered by the River Valley to the east, and offer large lots with mature trees, with many original updated homes as well as newer homes built on old lots. Small commercial plazas offer trendy shops, and restaurants, and active community leagues (including the oldest community league in Edmonton) bring a real sense of community to the area. The Valley Zoo is located in the valley next to Laurier Heights along with Laurier Park and Buena Vista park which are connected via a pedestrian bridge to Hawrelak Park. There is a very popular off-leash dog park in the area as well as the Edmonton rowing club. When asked where he'd live, if he could live anywhere in the Edmonton Area, Don Brown, with Liv Real Estate said - "Laurier Heights! The feel of the community is second to none. Every time I'm through, people are jogging, riding their bikes, playing with their kids, walking their dogs. Little to no through traffic, with little to no multifamily buildings or commercial development, and no transient population. There is easy access to walking and bike trails, with lots of access to usable green space. Elementary schools are walkable and desirable. The lot sizes are large enough to buy and build a forever home and there is the rare opportunity to find an affordable fixer-upper in a desirable neighbourhood."


A very large area of Edmonton, it admittedly might not be fair for us to group it together, but most people that live in the area will say they live in Riverbend as opposed to one of the nine neighbourhoods that make it up: Brookside, Brander Gardens, Ramsay Heights, Bulyea Heights, Rhatigan Ridge, Ogilvie Ridge, Carter Crest, Falconer Heights, and Henderson Estates. Andrea Briscoe, with Liv Real Estate, said: "There are so many amazing neighbourhoods in Edmonton, but I have a special place in my heart for Riverbend. Mature trees, large lots, great architecture, close to River Valley/parks/trails, easy access to downtown/University/Anthony Henday. Close to so may great amenities. Fantastic schools and home to the best dog park in the city!"

Ritchie & Hazeldean

Just outside the University Area (or perhaps inside it, depending on who you ask) Hazeldean and Ritchie are seeing a lot of redevelopment, and with it, new amenities. Cathy Nguyen, with Liv Real Estate, loves the area, saying: "I have to give a big shout out to my neighbourhood, Hazeldean/Ritchie. Super south central location; easy access to Whyte and downtown without the crazy bustle. Tree-lined streets plus Mill Creek Ravine access is amazing, the bike trails there connect you all the way from Millwoods to Downtown to the University, without going on any major roads. The new Ritchie market is very quaint, with a brewery and the best butcher in town. Property prices have soared over the past few years that I’ve been here with tons of infill. There are a few French immersion schools close by for families looking for that." Prices in Hazeldean and Ritchie have certainly been on the rise in recent years, the benchmark price for Ritchie n increased by 11% over 5 years and Hazeldean increased by 20%:


Large, well-appointed houses line Ada Boulevard, where residents enjoy a spectacular view of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. More modest housing is located further from the valley. It's a vibrant and active community, with many historical homes and gorgeous community gardens. Debbie Theiss, from Liv Real Estate, said she loves Ada Boulevard: "Amazing historical character homes with mature trees and beautiful landscaping. Can't forget the river valley view and the golf course. Oh and of course everybody walking their dogs so relaxing!!" The benchmark price for Highlands in March was $369,900, up 15% over five years.

Aspen Gardens

Corey Sylvester, with Liv Real Estate, sums up Aspen Gardens perfectly saying: "Aspen Gardens has recently become one of my favourite Edmonton communities. It is a mature community tucked right up to Whitemud Creek Ravine. Homes typically sell quite well in this area regardless of what the Edmonton market is doing. Price range is anywhere from $400,000 (+/-) all the way up to well over $1,000,000 for estate style homes with ravine views. It is a very close-knit community and people tend to buy and stay in the community. There isn't much infill happening, and most of the community does not support subdivision. People who build there are building their own personal residence. You get access to some of the most sought-after public schools in the city, have access to the ravine, close to Snow Valley Ski Hill, and Aspen Gardens has one of the lowest, if not the lowest crime rate in Edmonton. The community is centrally located, so commuting is quite easy, and only one short bus ride to LRT!" The benchmark price for Aspen Gardens was $376,900, up 4.4% over five years.


I think everyone who has attended Edmonton's incredible Folkfest has dreamt of living in Cloverdale at least once. The quaint homes, with beautiful gardens, on tree-lined streets, tucked in our beautiful river valley and just across the river from downtown. Allison Meston, with Liv Real Estate, says: "It has an amazing community league, Gallagher park, splash pad and playground, outdoor rink, tobogganing, ski hill, access to river valley trails, The Muttart, Bennett centre, accidental beach, and a new LRT stop coming soon! Oh and let’s not forget free tickets to residents for folk fest!!" The benchmark price for Cloverdale was $465,200, up 5% over 5 years.


Windermere is "outside the Henday" and is designed to be an "urban centre" of Edmonton suburbs. This newer development aspires to provide all the amenities residents need so they can leave their cars at home. There's a large shopping and entertainment area that includes Grocery Stores, a movie theatre, restaurants, big box stores and boutiques. Some of the neighbourhoods here have recreational facilities that are only open to residents including heated pools, tennis courts and more. Windermere gets by far the most traffic of any neighbourhood on our website.

Cynthia Leal Chiang, with Liv Real Estate, loves Windermere: "It's quiet. Everything is here. You never have to leave if you don't want to. Plus, it's close to the airport to escape Edmonton winters in 20 minutes." The benchmark price for Windermere was $567,400 in March, up 5% from 5 years ago.

Magrath Heights, Mactaggart, Hodgson

There isn't really a name for this area, but the neighbourhoods in southwest Edmonton are mostly made up of larger homes and high-end condos bordering the Whitemud Creek Ravine. The neighbourhoods have plenty of parks, walkways and water features and residents enjoy quick access to plenty of amenities along 23rd Avenue, including Terwillegar Recreation Centre. Bill Bhamra with Liv Real Estate says: "It’s all about lifestyle. Walking trails, river valley, family oriented, proximity to everything. I've been enjoying the area for the past 30 years!"

Honourable Mentions

This is already one of the longest (if not the longest) blog post I've ever written, but I want to include a few other neighbourhoods that our agents love:
  • Tameka Ross - Quesnell Heights. River valley views, mature neighbourhood everyone looks after their yard, great schools
  • Matt Walker - Gariepy (Lessard). Close to all amenities, Schools, Shopping, River Valley, walking and biking trails and close to Henday and Whitemud
  • Nathan Mol -  I think the university area gets enough praise so I am going to go with Forest Heights since I think it is often overlooked but has fantastic access to downtown, the river valley and some amazing biking trails, schools, and parks, plus a really nice city golf course. Prices are also much lower than the university area or Bonnie Doon so there is great value there.
  • Sheldon Johnston -  There are so many hoods here I could choose but I'm going to go with the awesome enclave of Dechene (phase 1).  Like everything its got excellent transportation access and is walking distance to lots of amenities. Close to river valley trails and in city trails.  Most importantly its small with a variety of unique home styles, with modern enough floor plans they don't require structural overhaul and they are mostly well built (you actually had to build a pretty good home when these were built to get them sold). Bottom line It's an affordable community with lots of cul de sacs and the homes are on decent size lots before the developers really started to squeeze the lot sizes.
All in all, Edmonton is a wonderful place to live, with many amazing neighbourhoods. My favourite (Laurier Heights) certainly isn't everyone's favourite, nor is any other neighbourhood. We all have different priorities and different ideas about what is the "best." What neighbourhood do you love? Posted by Liv Real Estate on
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I am curious about something. Generally speaking when experts like Don mention a city as a good long term investment what is the timeline they mean? Is it over 5 years, 10, 15, 20 or more?

Posted by Wally on Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 4:32am

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