Why Alberta Avenue and McCauley are great neighbourhoods to live in

By Erica Marie

With gas prices soaring by the day, there is no better time to consider moving into a 15-minute neighbourhood. These communities, made up of smaller neighbourhoods within walking distance of essential amenities, have been gaining popularity in recent years as a way to reduce reliance on cars and promote a healthier lifestyle.

 

Though many had returned to the office when Covid restrictions were lifted, some continue to work from home and has embraced this new way of living. This means people are spending more time within their own neighbourhoods and less time commuting to work.

 

There are a lot of benefits to living in a 15-minute community. For one, it cuts down on car usage and associated pollution levels. It also gives residents more time to enjoy their leisure activities and foster a greater sense of community spirit.

 

Established neighbourhoods such as Alberta Avenue and McCauley are prime illustrations of a 15-minute community. These areas have schools, grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, and hospitals, all within a 15- minute walk, bike, or bus ride.

 

McCauley has a walk score of 89, making it the most walkable neighbourhood in Edmonton. Alberta Avenue ranks third on the list with a walk score of 80.

Besides location efficiency, these communities are also rich in culture and diversity, featuring local restaurants such as El Fogon Latino and Gebeta Ethiopian cuisine. Alberta Avenue has become the center for art activities and hosts popular events such as the Kaleido and Deep Freeze festivals. These neighbourhoods are not just walkable but filled with history and character.

 

Councilor Ashely Salvador of Ward Métis is a strong advocate for developing these kinds of communities in our city and says,

 

“I think we can all agree that this is the kind of city our kids and our aging parents deserve. At some point in our lives, we will not be able to drive around to access the services and amenities we need. So let’s build a city that works for everybody.”

 

One of the concerns Salvador noted regarding mature neighbourhoods is the housing options available. The majority of homes found in these neighbourhoods are single-detached houses on wider lots. With the
ever-changing population, the concept of Missing Middle Housing, which includes townhomes and duplexes, is essential in bringing families back into these neighbourhoods.

 

The success of establishing a 15-minute community depends on welcoming residents back into these core communities and creating a demand for businesses within the neighbourhood.

 

Infill development is therefore a necessary step in revitalizing a community, and this is exactly what you’ll see as you drive by the neighbourhood. The Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC) contributes to the reinvestment efforts in these areas through their Project 10 initiative. The organization has partnered with infill developers such as Skil-Tec and Euro Design Master Builder to demolish problem properties and build new homes for families to purchase.

 

The ECDC is hopeful that the city’s efforts, along with their Project 10 initiatives, will move these communities forward. As Salvador says, “At the end of the day, we have to be more efficient with existing city services and infrastructure by focusing on improving and building up existing areas. 15-minute communities are a win-win for residents and the city as a whole.”

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