Akinsdale is a mid-size neighbourhood that sits on the outer border of St. Albert. It has a population of ~4,860 with an average age of 41.7. Although there is a healthy mix of apartments, duplexes, townhouses and condos to choose among, single family homes (built mainly in the 1970s and 1980s) form the bulk of the residential real estate.
The majority of Akinsdale features low density residential lots interspaced with plenty of green space and large public parks. The Jarome Iginla / Kinex Arenas provide plenty of indoor space for skating, hockey and lacrosse. Children and youth have easy access to a public elementary, French immersion elementary and a junior high school. Commercial services are concentrated on the southern edge of the neighbourhood.
St. Albert Transit (StAT) services Akinsdale with weekday local routes, weekday commuter routes to Edmonton, and Dial A Bus.
Development began: 1970s
Type of homes: Single detached homes, apartments, condos, and townhouses.
Parks in the area: Arbor Park; Attwood Park; Alpine Park
Recreation facilities: Jarome Iginla/Kinex Twin Arenas
Schools in the Area
- Elementary: Elmer S Gish School; Leo Nickerson Elementary School (French immersion)
- Junior High: Lorne Akins
- High School: St. Albert Public Outreach High School, Paul Kane (for French immersion only)
- Many parks, play structures and greenspaces throughout the neighbourhood
- Near Gateway Village Shopping Centre
- Easy access to Edmonton via St. Albert Trail, Campbell Road, and the Anthony Henday
- Outdoor rink, tennis courts, baseball diamonds
They say location is the driving factor for real estate and when it comes to location, Akinsdale has a very interesting history. Although residential construction in this neighbourhood wouldn’t start until the early 1970s, the planned boundaries of the community included a hard stop at the south-east edge. Why? Edmonton was growing rapidly, swallowing up the surrounding towns. As Beverly, Jasper Place, and more were absorbed into the city, St. Albert held out against annexation. The boundaries of Akinsdale were drawn to discourage the new neighbourhood from being attractive to its larger neighbour.
That doesn’t mean Akinsdale wasn’t attractive in its own right. Despite lacking amenities and even basic infrastructure, residents lined up to claim a piece of Akinsdale. Developers built at a rapid pace for years, unable to keep up with the popularity of the community. In an unprecedented move, and based on the crushing demand, residents were allowed to move into their homes before the accompanying roads and public utilities were finished.
As Akinsdale’s residential boom slowed down, the commercial side of the neighborhood began to take place. The 1980s brought a new school, a sports arena, shops and services to the district.
Today Akinsdale remains a thriving and attractive neighbourhood. A mix of single family homes, condos, and townhouses at an average price of $283,333 (Housing Market Report November 2019) ensures affordable living for both the young families and the senior population that live there.
What about that intentional boundary put in place so defiantly decades ago? Although St. Albert and Edmonton expanded towards each other over the years, the four-kilometre patch of greenspace separating the cities whittled down. Today all that stand between them is a single ring road, and Akinsdale’s pride in knowing it “won” the standoff.