The Current Normal – Edmonton Riverdale (Part 2)

This post is for Bernie, who quite correctly expressed disappointment that my previous Riverdale post did not include photos of any of the houses in the area. While it has much the same prose preamble describing the area, I have added a few things and the photos are vastly different. We spent more time wandering the streets, looking at the mix of old and new homes and in the process we developed a new appreciation for the area.

Photos from our July 2/20 walk.

Edmonton’s Riverdale, not Archie’s, is a river valley neighbourhood, just East of downtown. It is bounded on East and South by the North Saskatchewan River with other boundaries abutting the Boyle Street neighbourhood and Grierson Road. It is represented by the Riverdale Community League, formed in 1920 and was once home to a blacksmith, sawmill and the J.B. Little brickyard (first kiln started in 1893). Power for these ventures was supplied from coal mined from the nearby river banks.

(Sources: Wikipedia and Edmonton City Archives)

On this trip, we learned that, it was the original industrial subdivision created at Fort Edmonton.

Today, the area is a quiet residential neighbourhood, with both modern and older homes. The area is essentially a low lying flood plain along the river and has been flooded on numerous occasions, throughout history, including being totally submerged in the great flood of 1915.

The house is not huge, but the fretwork on the gable end was too pretty to resist
Older classic two story home on our walk down into Riverdale
Cottonwood poplar fluff is everywhere right now. In places, there is enough fluff that kids can make fluff angels (like snow angels). Apparently, the fluff is heavier than usual this year, as these trees look on this time as a good time to propagate their species for survival
There are a few condo blocks in the area. This one was all decked out for Canada Day
This is a new build done very well to replicate the character of the area. While it has been here for a couple of years, the lawn and landscaping are not yet done. Money??
Vinyl siding was prevalent in the day some of these more modern homes were built
I love the look of this place, but not too sure about one garage door on each side of the entrance
Some of the first more modern homes built in Riverdale
nowhere near an ocean, but there were some driftwood accents on a few homes in the area
classic original bungalow with huge yard
This one may be a bit too modern for me
I could not resist this gate. Wow.
another new version of an old classic
many homeowners hire a service to take care of their landscaping—now, why did I not think of that?
this original has had a bit of work done to it
Another original – likely a post war bungalow
a little Mediterranean flair here
Modern homes – the Riverdale area is unaffordable for average folk
Even the weeds are pretty here
Miss Janet Harley, was the perfect image of the old fashioned school marm. She was principal at Riverdale for 10 years, ending in 1940 and taught for 65 of her 81 years
Riverdale School – the first school here opened in a temporary building in 1913. This building, still in use, served its first classes in the 1924-25 school year.
It seems anything goes in the area. This home is very architecturally modern and well landscaped
New home built in a more classical style
One of the original homes in the area, before it became popular
Due to Covid 19, the city has been doing less turf maintenance, as they are now cash strapped. This stair could use a bit of tidying.
One last look at Riverdale community from the top of the river bank.

11 thoughts on “The Current Normal – Edmonton Riverdale (Part 2)

  1. It’s always nice to meander through old sections of town – looking at the different styles of homes. I particularly like looking at the gardens – to get inspiration. Nice photos Allan

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    1. Thanks Ann. Agreed, some of the landscaping was just gorgeous. Other older homes were kind of left more natural. Everything was so lush after all our rain. Thanks for reading and commenting. Allan

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  2. Now that’s an awesome tour! A very eclectic style in that area. I,of course, love the actual old ones best but there are a couple of decent infills. My fav — the blue cottage with the huge front yard.

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    1. Yes, it has been interesting to watch the development from the 1980/90s vinyl siding phase to the 2000/10 stucco and brick. The brick houses are nice. I like the blue one with the big yard as well. It has character. I still have a post in the hoper for the Old Glenora area, which will show you some heritage houses from that area. Thanks for reading Bernie. Allan

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      1. Oh I can’t wait to see the Old Glenora houses.
        This Riverdale area built on a flood plane and that new infill housing with the ugly sunken garage. I often wonder how these people can complain when their houses flood?

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      2. Yup, even the apartment/condo blocks have underground parking garages. People want what they want, despite geological evidence countering their plans. In one area of Edmonton, the City warned residents not to build along the river bank due to unstable soil on the high bank. They built anyway, including an in ground swimming pool. Then, when the bank gave way causing 5 or 6 homes to slide down the bank and making another few unlivable, they sued the city. Hmmmm.

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