Difference in any street
Although Old Strathcona used to be a working class district in its past, it nowadays counts as one of the most popular quarters of the city. It gained this reputation thanks to its diversity. Not only does it impress local inhabitants through a varied programme, but also tourists love to come here and explore the exciting neighbourhood.
If you happen to be interested in art, you will love this quarter, because in that respect it has a lot to offer. You can participate in seminars and courses to expand your knowledge about art and, in addition, fill up your stock on art utensils. There are plenty of shops in the streets of Old Strathcona where you can buy your stuff to create art, all of which are only a couple of minutes away from each other. You may as well try out pottery in several pottery workshops, admire sculptures in any shape imaginable or just have a little stroll around the different art galleries.
In the spotlight
On the one hand Old Strathcona is well known for its fine arts, but on the other hand it also plays a significant role in the field of performing arts. At the moment, there are more than 10 theatre groups rehearsing for their many performances. Occasionally, there's no need for theatre halls, sometimes the streets of Old Strathcona are the stage for certain productions. Often you find improvised theatre performances on the streets or are even lucky enough to experience an entire theatre festival, also including local authors and directors, who all feel at home here to release their creative energy.
All that cultural programme can make you feel quite tired and hungry. There are more than 100 eateries and restaurants to choose from. So take your time and have a break. Complementing traditional Canadian food, you'll also find excellent Italian cuisine on-site.
You wouldn't believe it, but Old Strathcona is also perfect to go on a shopping tour. You'll find anything suiting any taste. It doesn't matter whether you want to do your weekend shopping or buy new clothes for the whole family, Old Strathcona has it all. You may as well visit one of the numerous second hand stores. But you won't only find the latest fashion to wear, also many interesting music and book stores in the old buildings, complementing the district's versatility. So what you're waiting for? Let's go shopping...
If you're up for some adventures, then Old Strathcona is the place to be. There are many bicycle stores that you may want to visit to get fully equipped before going on a cycling tour. Here you can also learn how to repair your bicycle on your own. Apart from cycling, you'll have the chance to exercise outdoor sports. So if you're looking for some open air activities in the Canadian wild, Old Strathcona is a wonderful place to do so.
In its origins Old Strathcona used to be an own community that was not part of Edmonton. In 1899 it became a town and only 8 years later it was officially declared a city. Despite of being an own city, in 1912 then, it became a part of Edmonton.
As a district of Edmonton, it became famous for its historical architecture, adding a special flavour to the city. Strathcona Hotel is probably the oldest building in town. It was built in 1891 due to the then newly built railway system.
In the period between 1910 and 1912, the majority of redbrick houses were built in this neighbourhood, what the area has remained famous for in Edmonton until today. In the 1890s, the Whyte Avenue was a rather poor and destitute area, with run-down houses being kept together by a mere bunch of wooden boards. During the economic upswing more workers moved from all over Canada and the United States to Edmonton, so that building the redbrick houses was overdue.
How to get there
From the direction of Calgary
Your journey to Edmonton starts out on the Memorial Drive eastwards. You then change to the Deerfoot Trail (Route 2). Keep following the road taking you northwards, which will at some point turn to Queen Elizabeth Highway. You'll pass Innisfail and Red Deer before you get to Edmonton.
From the direction of Hinton
First you use the Switzer Drive which takes you to the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16). Follow the road for several miles, passing Obed Lake Provincial Park, Edson and Evansburg until you finally reach Edmonton.
From the direction of Saskatoon
You start your journey on Yellowhead Highway, following it towards the north-western direction, taking you directly to Edmonton.
Once you're in Edmonton, Alberta's capital city, get on Whyte Avenue and here you are in Old Strathcona.