One of Edmonton’s popular inner-city neighbourhoods is the beautiful community of Belgravia in the University District. Considered an inner-city neighbourhood, Belgravia is south of downtown and lies between the University of Alberta’s main campus and the south campus. The River Valley is on the west side of Belgravia and 114 Street is to the east. The district is often refered to as Belgravia McKernan, with the latter being a neighbouring community.
The district was established more than 100 years ago and as a way of attracting quality builders and upstanding residents to the neighbourhood, it was named for the upscale neighbourhood in London, England. When Edmonton established a tramway or streetcar system in 1907, Belgravia became the southern terminus for the Edmonton Radial Railway as it was called then. Today Belgravia residents enjoy rapid transit and catch the LRT at the McKernan-Belgravia Station located at 114 Street and 76 Avenue.
Belgravia was founded in 1912 there were a few grand homes built but the neighbourhood has filled in over time. There are raised bungalows from the 1940s, mid-century bungalows and split-level homes from the 1950s and 60s and with the high degree of redevelopment taking place in inner-city Edmonton, Belgravia boasts a number of shiny new infill homes and a variety of modern condominiums.
The location of Belgravia is the main attraction. Those who work at the University of Alberta love living so close. Students take advantage of rental suites in Belgravia and can easily walk or bike to class. Downtown is a short commute by train from Belgravia. Being next door to the scenic North Saskatchewan River valley with kilometres of trails and open green space is the best part. Residents love Whitemud Park and the ravine, Belgravia Park with it’s school and community centre in the centre of the neighbourhood. There are off-leash parks where often people have more fun socializing than their canine friends.
The neighbourhood’s south-central location makes other Edmonton amenities so easy to get to. West Edmonton Mall to the west and Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre to the east are about 15 minutes away. Groat Road to the north or Fox Drive to the south takes residents across the river. A short drive to the north east is the Strathcona district and the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market open every Saturday.
Within the community, residents enjoy a peaceful residential neighbourhood and a contemporary urban lifestyle with restaurants, shops and a library nearby. Schools are another community attribute that home buyers appreciate. Belgravia School for K- Grade 6 students, McKernan School for junior high students and Strathcona for high school students.
Community spirit is strong in Belgravia fostered by the local community league which operate the hall at Belgravia Park. The league maintains the outdoor rink and holds plenty of events for residents throughout the year, such as a barbecue and a tour of local gardens. The league also operates a preschool. In fact, this robust community association is currently fundraising to build a new hall. The current one was constructed in 1961, remodelled in 1994 and is in need of expansion. The first hall was built with $100 contributions from local families and organizers expect that this same generosity of spirit in Belgravia will prevail today.
The City of Edmonton has also slated Belgravia for reconstruction beginning the Spring 2017 as part of the municipal neighbourhood renewal program. This involves repaving of many of Belgravia’s streets, replacing older streetlights with more decorative lighting and upgrading many of the aging sidewalks and curbs. A public open house is actually slated for February 9 at Belgravia School so residents will understand the scope of the project and how the neighbourhood will benefit.