Neighbourhoods Around the World: A Visit to Edmonton
I am taking part in a blog series hosted by The Piri-Piri Lexicon entitled Your Neighbourhood Around the World. It’s a fascinating way of seeing a personal glimpse into neighbourhoods all over the globe. As a homeschooling family, it is also a great geography lesson, and we keep coming back to visit different areas.
We are located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in a north side residential neighbourhood. As part of this series we need to include several aspects: a playground or play area, local mode of transportation, typical house or building, a street nearby, school or daycare, and an supermarket.
An interesting fact about Edmonton is that we are the northernmost city in North America with a population over 1 million. Because of our northern location, we receive a lot of snow and have a long winter – we usually have snow from November to April. We received our first big snowfall of the season this week and have had overnight temperatures dipping down to -20°C. I’m longing for the warm summer already!
There are many neighborhood playgrounds, at schools and community league halls. Since it does get so cold in the winter, we also have a number of great indoor playgrounds and play structures at city run recreation facilities and private businesses.
Vehicles are the main mode of transportation in Edmonton. We also have an extensive transit system of buses and an LRT (Light Rail Transit). Residential streets are narrower than main thoroughfares, and usually just have local traffic, delivery trucks and buses. You see more service vehicles and larger transport trucks on the busier roads and highways.
Typical residential buildings consist of single family houses, townhomes and low level apartment buildings. Taller apartment buildings are typically found in the downtown area.
We live in an area of the city that has many schools. We have a junior high school and a Catholic elementary school on our street, as well as a public elementary school one street over. Edmonton (and Alberta in general) has a large homeschooling community as well. Homeschooling in Alberta is legal and regulated, and you are able to choose between traditional (parent led), blended (parents teach some, teachers teach some) or teacher directed (usually online). We are a traditional family, leaning more towards the unschooling method.
There are multiple grocery stores close by. I frequent a few different ones throughout the week as some offer different sales or better selections. In the summertime there are many farmer’s markets to visit for fresh local produce, meats and baked goods. Most summer markets run outside, and only a few continue on throughout the winter inside.
I wanted to add one more section, since it’s a favorite of mine, the nature areas around us. The noise of the city can get a bit much at times, so I like to get away without leaving the city. There are lots of great nature areas in Edmonton, especially the extensive trail system along the North Saskatchewan River. To put it in perspective, Edmonton has the longest stretch of urban parkland in North America, the river valley is 22 times the size of Central Park in New York! Here are some of my favorite nature spots in our neighbourhood and close by.
I hope you enjoyed the visit to our neighbourhood! Be sure to check out some other neighbourhoods around the world, including Tokyo, Japan, rural Zambia, and Hamburg, Germany.