About the Community of Strathcona
“Way out back in the back of beyond where the nights are as dark as coal..”
The community of Strathcona is an important part of Edmonton. The City of Edmonton is the most northerly of the major cities of North America and located on the border between the northern boreal forest and the great central plain of the continent. Strathcona is one of the oldest Edmonton neighbourhoods, centrally located on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Until it was amalgamated with Edmonton in 1912, Strathcona was a separate city. Residents of Strathcona can commute by car anywhere in Edmonton in less than 30 minutes and can travel to downtown Edmonton via a 5-10 minute bus ride.
Many of the historically valuable buildings still existing in Edmonton are located in Strathcona. Those interested in historical preservation will want to refer to the Register of Historic Resources of the City of Edmonton or the Old Strathcona Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to “preserving and protecting the heritage of Old Strathcona”. The most successful and interesting retail area in Edmonton is Whyte Avenue which borders the community. The area is also a lively arts district with many clubs, theatres and galleries. For example:
- Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival,the first and largest of its kind in North America, occurs here every August.
- Yardbird Suite is “Edmonton’s longest running jazz venue.”
- Walterdale Playhouse is “the oldest operating amateur theatre in Canada.”
For many, a favourite place to visit is the Strathcona Branch of the Edmonton Public Library. It was the first library to open in the Edmonton area, in 1913.
Thanks to the diligence of community members, the area was not sacrificed to freeways in the 1970s. The eastern border of the neighbourhood is Mill Creek Ravine, a lush, forested enclave that shelters deer and other wildlife and is a part of the greenspace so valued by Edmontonians. Parts of the community extend into the river valley and there are numerous walking and biking trails throughout.
The community is within walking distance of the University of Alberta , the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium as well as other major cultural centres such as the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Citadel Theatre and the Winspear Centre. Residents can walk to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in Gallagher Park, a variety of swimming pools, the Muttart Conservatory and downtown Edmonton.