It’s no longer a secret that Edmonton is a city on the rise. And a major driving force behind this upward trend is the city’s colorful neighborhoods. These diverse districts are where Edmonton’s food, fun, and fashion are omnipresent, where history intertwines with the present and also the future, and where the heart and soul of the city live. To find your way through these eclectic quarters, here’s everything you’ll need to know about Edmonton’s neighborhoods.

Old Strathcona and Garneau

Located in south-central Edmonton, Old Strathcona and Garneau (technically two neighborhoods that are frequently lumped together) combine to create a trendy area where new meets old. While strolling these beautiful and brickish streets, you’ll see historic sites like Princess Theatre, which was built in 1915 and still screens old-school flicks to accentuate the vintage vibe; Wee Book Inn, a used book shop family-owned and -operated since the ‘70s; and Knox Church, a staple on the block since 1907.

But the neighborhood’s infusion of the present is evident in such places as the Old Strathcona Farmers Market (which operates year-round) and Vivid Prints, a quirky shop filled with nostalgic and local art. Other points of interests are the plentiful food and drink options, which include MEAT, Transcend, El Cortez (where you can see Okuda San Miguel’s six-storey mural), and Situation Brewing — a can’t-miss spot for craft-beer lovers. And to top things off, you’ll want to make time to visit one of the area’s newest additions, Strathcona Spirit Distillery — the only distillery around!

Fourth Street Promenade

Much of Edmonton’s action can be found on 104th Street between Jasper Avenue and 104th Avenue NW — an area known as the Fourth Street Promenade. Located in the downtown core, much of the city’s economic and cultural activity is stationed in this neighborhood, highlighted by Rogers Place, home to the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. Since the arena’s opening in 2016, more and more people have chosen to convene along the promenade, leading to a growing collection of new storefronts and shops.

One community-driven space that will catch your eye is habitat etc, a market-style store with a bounty of local goods and workshops. Then there’s Mercer Warehouse — a shared, multi-use space that’s stood the test of time for over 100 years. Today it’s used by a wide collection of local entrepreneurs like Vacancy Hall, a pop-up retail brand, and restaurants Rostizado and Baijiu.

Speaking of the culinary side of things, Jacek Chocolate Couture can’t be overlooked during your time in this neighborhood, as it’s owned by the world’s first Cocoanista — defined as “a fusion between a Fashionista and a Chocolatier.” Other places to stop include Cavern, Drunken Ox Sober Cat, and the Neon Sign Museum — a uniquely radiant perspective of Edmonton’s past.

124th Street

124th Street is undeniably Edmonton’s art hub. Located in the city’s west end, this neighborhood is home to street murals and the famous Gallery District — a two-block radius jammed packed with seven galleries, such as Udell Xhibitions. Within a short walk you’ll find fine art exhibits, visual presentations, photography displays, and much, much more! But you don’t have to be an art enthusiast to enjoy this creative haven, because it’s also the perfect place for those who are simply curious about Edmonton’s cultural side. And what makes strolling 124th even more enticing are the pit stops you can make along the way.

Need a coffee? Check out Remedy Cafe, known for their chai bar and healthy snacks. Still hungry? There’s Rge Rd (a Canadiana-themed restaurant offering extremely fresh food) and Duchess Bake Shop (where you can’t leave without a macaron). If you’re in the shopping mood, there’s The Prints and the Paper and Hideout Distro, which offer everything from graphic art to books, bath bombs, and jewelry. And finally, if you’re in need of a musical pick-me-up, check out Listen Records for a quick neighborhood melody.

Want to share your favorite neighborhood hangout in Edmonton? Let us know in the comments below!

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Brad Donaldson is a writer and editor proudly based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Although his roots are in Canada, his desire to see more of the world frequently takes him away from home. His work, both as an editor and writer, has appeared in local newspapers and publications.