As one of Edmonton’s oldest inner-city neighbourhoods, Garneau was considered fully developed when it became part of the city in 1912. It was named after one of its first inhabitants, Laurent Garneau, a Manitoba Métis who settled there around 1874 with his wife and family. The family farmed the land and planted a Manitoba Maple tree that still stands at 111 Street and Saskatchewan Drive.
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The community has been called “an outdoor museum of early twentieth-century west Canadian architecture” with some of the best examples of this period found anywhere in the city.
Located west of present-day Strathcona, it is just east of the University of Alberta’s main campus overlooking the North Saskatchewan River Valley, site of the John Walter Museum, the Kinsmen Park, and the Kinsmen Sports Centre.
When the High Level Bridge was completed in 1913, Garneau residents suddenly had access to the whole city by foot, public transit, and streetcar. Garneau remains ideally placed for access to the downtown core and all the benefits of Whyte Avenue. It has three playgrounds, two at the Garneau Elementary School at 109th Street and 87 Avenue, and a Community Arts Centre on the west side of 109th Street and 84th Avenue.
Garneau’s population is above average compared with the rest of Edmonton, numbering 9,648 in 5,811 dwellings, as recorded at the last municipal census in 2012. Population density was over 11,500 per square kilometre, according to the City’s last census.
There is a wide spread of multifamily complexes and apartment buildings, both above and below five stories. Proximity to the University of Alberta, which was established in 1908, makes Garneau a popular area for students. Busy 109 Street runs north-south through the neighbourhood and hosts eateries such as High Dough, High Level Diner and Sugarbowl. It is also on the south side of the exit of the High Level Bridge that crosses over to the Edmonton Legislature.
The City of Edmonton chose Garneau for a neighbourhood renewal project set to be completed in 2023. Improvements include replacing curbs and gutters, sidewalk, and driveway connection links. Fresh landscaping, road rehabilitation and asphalt paving, overhaul of street lighting and park and public space renewal are incorporated in the project. Reconstruction will ultimately affect 84 Avenue, 85 Avenue, 86 Avenue, 88 Avenue, 89 Avenue and 90 Avenue. Also slated for improvement is 110 Street from 83 Avenue to 90 Avenue as well as the very desirable area of 86 Avenue and 88 Avenue.
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